Gifted Education is a part of Special Education and follows Special Education processes and procedures. A student must be found eligible to participate in the program. Once a student is identified as having the characteristics of giftedness and displays needs that can't be met in the regular education classroom, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is written. The IEP guides the instruction for the student within the gifted education and general education programs.

The Blue Valley Board of Education fully supports gifted education. Each elementary school has a full-time gifted education teacher; each middle school has one or two gifted education teachers; and each high school has two gifted education teachers.

If your student is already identified as gifted and you have questions about his or her program or progress, contact the gifted education teacher at your child's school.


The Blue Valley Gifted Education teachers will serve as a resource for general education teachers in meeting the needs of gifted students through the following objectives.

  • provide opportunities for students to pursue individual interests and develop talents;
  • provide for the cognitive and academic development through challenging learning experiences;
  • provide support for the social and emotional needs of gifted students.

The Blue Valley Gifted Education teachers will serve as a resource for general education teachers in meeting the needs of gifted students through the following objectives.

  • provide staff development and training in differentiation strategies for general education teachers;
  • provide training for staff about the benefits and limitations of the characteristics of gifted students;
  • provide training for staff about the educational needs of gifted students within the general education curriculum;
  • collaborate with general education teachers in order to meet the cognitive, academic, social and emotional needs of gifted students;
  • communicate with parents of gifted students to provide individualized assistance and information about the gifted education program.


  • Individual Consultation with Gifted Education Specialists
  • Group Enrichment Experiences​
  • Academic Competition Involvement
  • Transition Planning Experiences
  • Curriculum Involvement
  • Gifted Education Course (Middle & High School)
  • Small Group Meetings
  • Access to School Center Information
  • Individualized Education Program (IEP) Goals

In addition to these specific services, students identified as gifted also benefit from the work that the Gifted Education Specialists do on the students' behalf within the schools. Specialists consult with general education teachers in order to meet the intellectual needs of gifted students within the general education setting, including curriculum planning assistance, differentiation planning assistance, consultation about the individual needs of specific students, and other areas as needed. Specialists can also provide training for school staff in meeting the needs of gifted students, including differentiating instruction, challenging students intellectually, supporting students' social and emotional needs, assisting underachieving students, facilitating future planning, and additional topics as needs emerge.


Gifted Education Curriculum focuses on essential skills for students to develop, and it facilitates students’ college and career readiness. These skills are grouped in six strands:

  • Research Skills
  • Critical & Creative Thinking Skills
  • Leadership Skills
  • Problem Solving Skills
  • Social & Emotional Skills
  • Technology Skills

For each level, these skills are embedded into group and individualized learning experiences personalized for the age and ability of each student. These skills provide the foundation upon which all the activities and experiences are built, allowing gifted students to be intellectually challenged in unique, meaningful ways.


The Kansas State Department of Education provides the following information related to Special Education services for gifted students in Kansas:

  • "Gifted" as defined in K.A.R. 91-40-1(cc) means performing or demonstrating the potential for performing at significantly higher levels of accomplishment in one or more academic fields due to intellectual ability, when compared to others of similar age, experience and environment.

Blue Valley Schools further define giftedness using a research-based list of attributes typically found in individuals who have a high degree of intellectual ability. Students who display many of these attributes and needs that cannot be met in the general education classroom will be evaluated for identification as a gifted learner.

The gifted learner:

  • displays superior problem solving skills
  • demonstrates persistent intellectual curiosity
  • shows initiative and originality in intellectual work
  • asks searching questions
  • exhibits a high level of conceptual understanding
  • displays considerable depth of knowledge in multiple areas
  • demonstrates ability to generate original ideas and solutions
  • shows persistence
  • is able to master grade-level work easily
  • exhibits a high level of critical thinking
  • displays a high level of abstract thinking
  • demonstrates concern for world problems and/or fairness
  • exhibits high moral judgment
  • displays unusually high intensity and/or depth of feeling
  • displays uneven levels of development (e.g. highly intelligent, yet socially, behaviorally, or physically immature)
  • expresses feelings of being different
  • sets high expectations for self and others
  • displays highly developed sense of humor
  • needs intense and sustained academic and/or affective support


Phase 1: Consultation/collaboration between general education and gifted education teachers

  • Review student, parent and teacher input
  • Review student records including state and local assessments
  • Document classroom observations and student responses to several class-wide intervention strategies in the general education classroom.

Problem Solving Team meets to determine whether or not to move forward in the problem solving process.

Phase 2: Gather data to determine the level of need for extended resources/instruction

  • Analyze formal measures of the attributes of giftedness completed by parents and teachers.
  • Document the student’s response to several individualized interventions that may include work products.
  • Child find experiences may occur with the gifted education teacher or via gifted education and general education collaboration and/or observation; experience cannot exceed 45 days and stops prior to the Phase 2 problem solving meeting.

Problem Solving Team meets to consider Phase 1 and Phase 2 data to determine if student need requires continued interventions and/or to move to Phase 3.

Phase 3: Initial Evaluation – Written parent consent needed

  • Norm referenced standardized individual intelligence test – Target 99th Percentile
  • Norm referenced standardized individual achievement test - Target 98th Percentile OR Assessment of a new work product implemented during Phase 3 (embedded in general education curriculum) ​– Target, top 1 percent of the student's peers
  • Analysis and consideration of existing data from the student's educational record, including information from Phases 1 and 2

Identification and Eligibility is determined by the Evaluation Team.


What is an IEP all about? Is it a legal document? What does it do for my child? Do parents get to have input into an IEP? What if I disagree with the contents of the IEP?
An IEP is an Individualized Education Program written specifically for a student's unique needs. The IEP describes the student's present level of functioning and includes goals that guide the unique cognitive and affective needs of a gifted student. Students and parents are included in the IEP planning process. Gifted education is a part of special education in Kansas and, as such, it must comply with the laws set forth in IDEA 2004 (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). Each parent is provided with a copy of the "Parents Rights in Special Education," also known as the procedural safeguards, which describes the legal aspects of the IEP process.

What is the difference between "intellectual giftedness" and "academic talent"?
Intellectual giftedness describes someone who is capable of high performance in many areas due to a set of individual attributes, such as persistent intellectual curiosity, considerable depth of knowledge in multiple areas, high level of critical and abstract thinking, concern for world problems and/or fairness, and an unusually high intensity and/or depth of feeling.

On the other hand, academic talent is a specific aptitude in one or more academic areas due to an innate understanding and/or highly developed practice. For instance, a student may be academically talented in math or writing.

What if my family moved here from another state and my child was identified as gifted in a previous state?
Because the definition of giftedness varies from state to state and district to district, the school problem solving team will evaluate the past record of any student who has been identified as a gifted learner in another district. Placement decisions will be made on the basis of the identification process established by Blue Valley Schools.​​​