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Tuba City Unified School District Gifted Education

The Gifted Education program offers gifted student identification, testing, specialized curriculum and instruction and appropriate services to challenge and enrich gifted student learning.

Topic: Parent Webinar: “Should I Refer My Child?” Presentation Time: Dec 14, 2023 05:30 PM MST
Meeting ID: 862 9782 2465
Passcode: 620683


The TCUSD gifted education program strives to cultivate gifted student potential by collectively strengthening our commitment to gifted student development and growth. By creating opportunities that foster academic advancement, gifted students will be prepared for a lifetime of personal, cultural, and civic excellence.

Contact for more information:
Tami Dugi (Gifted Program Coordinator)

Our Purpose
The purpose of the TCUSD gifted program is to develop a thriving learning environment and an appropriate instructional program equipped with provisions, modifications, challenges and enrichment opportunities to promote the growth and achievement of our advanced learners.

Our Mission
The mission of the TCUSD gifted program is to meet the diverse needs of identified gifted students and to aid gifted pupils in reaching their potential through services designed to reflect each student’s academic and social-emotional needs, abilities, and potential.

Our Commitment
The TCUSD gifted program is committed to identifying gifted students utilizing appropriate testing tools, cultivating the learning and thinking of gifted pupils with appropriate teaching methods, and advocating for gifted students and the gifted program.


What does it mean to be gifted?
“Gifted pupil” means a child who is of lawful school age, who due to superior intellect or advanced learning ability, or both, is not afforded an opportunity for otherwise attainable progress and development in regular classroom instruction and who needs appropriate gifted education services, to achieve at levels commensurate with the child’s intellect and ability.

What is gifted education?
“Gifted education” means appropriate academic course offerings and services that are required to provide an educational program that is an integral part of the regular school day and that is commensurate with the academic abilities and potential of a gifted pupil.

Gifted Student Characteristics

  • Unchallenged by curriculum
  • Asks/answers questions above same aged peers
  • Enjoys studying/researching/reading outside of school
  • Writes/creates using detail and originality
  • Speaks with high level of verbal ability
  • Accelerated pace of thought processes
  • Can retain extraordinary quantity of information
  • Demonstrates unique interests and curiosity
  • Solves problems in diverse and novel ways

Program Goals

  • Provide comprehensive gifted services which cultivate each student’s problem solving and leadership skills while offering enrichment and creative opportunities.
  • Promote equity and access to appropriately challenging curriculum by educating teachers and staff on the unique academic and social-emotional needs of gifted students
  • Provide gifted identification procedures which are inclusive and reflective of the diverse student populations within each school.
  • Provide training for all staff on the procedures for referring and identifying students for gifted services.


STEP 1- Referral
Anyone can initiate a Gifted Program Referral for services: parents/guardians, teachers, principals, classified staff, or students themselves. To make a referral, contact the Gifted Coordinator and you will be sent the forms to complete and return to the Gifted Coordinator. Referral forms are also available at each school site and at the district Gifted Program webpage. Transfer students identified as gifted will have transfer test scores and educational profile reviewed to determine continued eligibility or to determine if additional data is needed through testing.

STEP 2- Data Collection & Review
Once referred, the Gifted Coordinator will begin collecting information about each student referred for identification. A Parent Input Form will be sent home for parents to complete and return. The student’s teacher will complete a Teacher Input Form. Students will complete their own Student Input Form. An educational profile for each student is developed. This includes state testing, grades, and district achievement testing. After a review of the data collected, a recommendation for gifted services or gifted testing will be made.

STEP 3- Formal Evaluation
Students recommended for gifted testing are given the CogAT (Cognitive Abilities Test) to help determine eligibility. This tests a student’s ability to reason using words (verbal), numbers (quantitative) and pictures (non-verbal). Some students are given the NNAT3 (Naglieri Nonverbal Abilities Test), which also determines reasoning abilities. This test uses only pictures and is beneficial for ELL, ESS and “at-risk” students.

Step 4- Eligibility Determination
Testing results data and student educational profiles will be used to help determine if gifted services are needed. To qualify for gifted services, students must test at or above the 90th percentile or test within “highly proficient” on approved standardized state tests (AASA, AzSCI, ACT Aspire, ACT).

Step 5- Annual Review
Gifted students’ annual state and district assessments (AASA, AzSCI, ACT Aspire, and ACT ), along with grades and student input, will be used to determine continuation of gifted services.