Gifted 101 - Gifted Education in Lancaster County, PA

Gifted.  Talented. Asynchronous Development.


These are all terms that describe children (and adults!) that not only have high IQs, but overall think differently than the average person.

Being gifted isn’t the same as being smart.  It encompasses a completely different outlook — not just in learning, but in being and in acting, in personality and behavior.

As no single term adequately conveys the meaning of being gifted, there is no one set of qualifications that defines every gifted person.  Some are gifted in a specific subject; others are gifted in multiple areas.  Still others are dual exceptional, meaning they are gifted and have a learning disability. 

Gifted education varies greatly by state, county, school district and even schools.  As a county-wide affiliate of the state organization PAGE, Lancaster County PArtners for Gifted Education (LC PAGE) has members in school districts across the county.  This gives us a unique perspective on the state of gifted education in Lancaster as well as the resources and contacts to help inform and support local parents and educators of gifted children.

Please reach out to us directly with any questions or concerns as you go through this process. We are always happy to answer questions and help fellow Lancaster County parents navigate the world of gifted education! Simply email: LCPAGEpresident@gmail.com

Where do I start?

PAGE (Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education) has put together a great resource for parents navigating this process: A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Education in Pennsylvania

The following websites are helpful in beginning to learn more and gain a better understanding of your gifted child:

 
We also highly recommend that you read through the important document below!

In Pennsylvania, special education for gifted students is mandated in Chapter 16 under the Public School Code. Chapter 16 outlines the definition of giftedness, screening of students, qualifications for gifted education, evaluations, procedures for the educational planning process, types of specially designed instruction, and rights and responsibilities.

This document will give you a solid foundation to help your child through this process: PA Dept of Ed Gifted Education Guidelines

How do I find out if my child is gifted?

If your child is attending a public school, you simply have to request a gifted evaluation. That’s it! There will be no cost to you, and the school is obligated to do a full evaluation in a timely manner.

 

Sample Email to School

 Simply copy, paste, and replace the pertinent information before sending this to your school’s principal.

Dear [principal’s name],

I am the parent of [child’s full name] who is in [child’s grade] in [teacher’s name]’s classroom. I am requesting that a multidisciplinary evaluation be carried out to determine if my child is gifted. I understand that I am a member of my child’s multidisciplinary team, and I wish to give input to the team. Please let me know how I can participate in this process.

I look forward to the school district providing me with a notice of my parental rights and a Permission to Evaluate form for me to sign. I understand that the evaluation must be completed within 45 school days after the district receives my signed form, and that a report will be provided to me within 15 school days after the evaluation is complete.

Please contact me if you require any further information at this point. Thank you.

Sincerely,

[your name]

Read more about gifted identification on the Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education website here.

What can I expect from gifted services?

The Pennsylvania Department of Education has a great list of Gifted Education FAQs, which can be read here: Gifted Education Frequently Asked Questions

And while there are guidelines in place at the state level, each school district within Lancaster County provides gifted services in their own way. Go to your school district’s website for more information:

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