Identification Process

Identifying Students for Advanced Academics

Our process for identifying students for advanced academics services within Roseville Area Schools incorporates the screening of all students, teacher observations and input, parent perspectives and input, classroom performance assessments, and ability testing.

In grades K-2, teachers use an informal identification and screening process that considers learning behaviors of all of their students. Using a teacher-nomination scale, they observe social and academic behaviors that are known to lead to high achievement levels or indicate the potential for high achievement. For more information on the informal identification process, download our Informal Identification fact sheet.

In December, all students in grade 3 take the CogAT (Cognitive Ability Test) Screening Form. This test measures students’ ability to reason and problem solve in verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal domains. Teachers, lead teachers, and other relevant staff meet to review CogAT Screening test results and to consider the results of the grades K-2 informal screening and classroom assessments. The team uses these assessment results to identify students who would benefit from taking the complete CogAT.

All students re-take the CogAT Screening Form in grade 5. Test results are reviewed and additional assessments may take place if a student is newly identified through the current test results or through teacher observations of a student's advanced-level work or potential.

In the 2021-22 school year, all students in grades 3-6 will take the CogAT Screening Form, due to the fact that no CogAT testing occured during the 2020-21 school year. More information about the testing will be shared through school newsletters in fall 2021.


Some students who are gifted may also have autism spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, behavioral or emotional disorders, or related challenges. We have a twice-exceptional learning(2e) group to address the unique needs of multi-exceptional students and their families. If you are interested in learning more about twice-exceptional (2e) students, please join our 2e learning group. To join or for more information, please contact Trina Hira.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

How do I know if my child is identified as gifted?

The Minnesota Department of Education definition of giftedness focuses on " those students with outstanding abilities....(and) students capable of high performance." However, capability is not always apparent nor can it be easily measured, especially in young children. Also, performance alone is not an indication of giftedness. A student who is not identified as gifted but highly motivated could easily outperform a child who is identified as gifted but lacking motivation or opportunity. A child who comes from an enriched home environment could also show more advanced performance.

Some believe that a child who has an IQ of 130 or higher is gifted. But giftedness is also more than an IQ score. Giftedness is actually a combination of personality and intellectual traits that lead to increased sensitivity and aptitude in a number of areas.

Contrary to what many people think, the gifted child is not destined for success. Many gifted children have social, emotional, and educational needs that are not easily met in the normal school setting.

How will I know if and when my child has been identified?

Informal assessments and classroom grouping occur in grades K-3. Information and placement at this level is used solely for talent development purposes. No formal identification or notification occurs at this time. In the winter of third and fifth grade, the CogAT Screening Form scores of all students are reviewed as part of a formal identification process (Note: in the 2021-22 school year, all students in grades three through six will take the CogAT Screening Form).

Students who show high aptitude levels (based on ability test scores and teacher recommendation from informal assessments and classroom performance) are assessed with the complete CogAT (meaning they take six additional subtests beyond what the CogAT Screening Form measures). The coordinator of Advanced Academics and Talent Development sends a letter (usually early in the spring) to parents of identified students that confirms and explains the types of services the student will receive. 

What can I do if I believe my child is gifted and should be identified for service?

Start with your child's teacher and ask about your child's abilities in the classroom. Share with the teacher information about your child's abilities, interests, and achievements outside of school. Ask what the process is for identifying gifted students and whether the teacher believes your child would qualify for gifted services. The school's Advanced Academics and Talent Development lead teacher is another resource who can answer questions about the identification process.

When do you identify students and start service?

Student information is reviewed periodically throughout the child's school career, starting during kindergarten and then whenever new information becomes available (or at the request of a teacher or parent).

Informal services begin in grades 1 and 2 for students who show a need for differentiated curriculum due to high reading and math abilities. During these grades, a committee of educators reviews student profiles and screens all students for gifts and talents.

By grade 3, enough information has been gathered to make a sound decision about the child's educational needs. In the winter of that year, we review the results of the CogAT Screening Form, which is a strong indicator of a child's ability. Comprehensive assessments take place during grade 3 and formal identification takes place in the spring of that year.

Formal service begins in grade 4. We continue to screen data from the CogAT given in grade 5. We also review FAST (reading/math) data and classroom performance to make new service recommendations.

My child has been in a gifted program in another school district. Does this guarantee placement in Roseville Area Schools' Advanced Academics and Talent Development Program?

Participation in a gifted program in another school district does not necessarily qualify a student for services in Roseville Area Schools. Be sure to share your child's gifted identification data with the Advanced Academics and Talent Development coordinator, and we will review the records to determine how to best serve the student in our district.

Trina Hira
Coordinator of Advanced Academics and Talent Development