Identification Process

State of Missouri: Definition of Gifted

  • Gifted students are defined in Section 162.675, RSMo as “students who exhibit precocious development of mental capacity and learning potential as determined by competent professional evaluation to the extent that continued educational growth and stimulation could best be served by an academic environment beyond that offered through a standard grade-level curriculum.” The Rockwood School District follows guidelines for gifted identification required by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), looking at multiple criteria to determine if gifted education services are needed. The Rockwood Gifted Program is reviewed and approved each year by DESE. Additional information on Missouri Gifted Education can be found at

Screening and Referrals

  • All district elementary students will participate in universal screening to determine if students qualify to move on to individualized assessment. Screening is the first step in the evaluation process. Screening is defined as a process that looks for students needing further assessment. In the Rockwood Gifted Program, we initially screen using the following methods:

Second Step in Identification Process

  • The second step in screening is to determine if there has been an IQ assessment within the last two years. If there has not been an IQ assessment within the last two calendar years, the student will move on to individualized assessment. If the student has been given an IQ assessment within the last two years, please click here to determine when they will be eligible for individualized assessment.

    Parent\Teacher Referrals:

    The idea of referrals centers on bringing attention to students that may not be picked up using the universal screening methods highlighted above. Nomination/Referral deadlines are strictly enforced*. Referrals are due to the identification office by November 1st of each year. Referral forms can be obtained by contacting your child’s school counselor or the CCL Identification Office. Students being referred must meet the following criteria:

    Parent/Teacher Referral:

    • Students that score at or above the 95th percentile on either the fall STAR Reading or Math and obtain a score at or above the 80th percentile in the other subject of the fall STAR Reading or Math assessment.
    • Students that have not had a cognitive ability assessment (IQ) in the last two calendar years. There is one exception to the referral deadline: Students who were not present during semester one or during the spring screening process may be referred by a parent or teacher. Referrals based on this exception are due by April 1st each year. Individualized Assessment for Elementary Students Students who meet the screening criteria (grades 1-5) will move on to individualized assessment. All students that meet screening criteria will be given a Cognitive Abilities Assessment (IQ). The Rockwood Gifted Program looks at cognitive abilities in any of the following areas: FullScale IQ, General Ability Index, or Non-Verbal Ability Index. We look at all scores within the 90th confidence interval of 132. If students score within this range or higher, the student will be given the following assessments:

    *Fall nomination/referral window opens after the Fall STAR Reading and Math scores are posted and closes on October 15 of each year.

    *For grades five through eight only, the spring nomination/referral window opens after the Winter STAR Reading and Math scores are posted and closes on April 1

    of each year.

Identification Criteria

  • For grades 1-5, the process for identifying gifted students begins when a student exhibits a qualifying score on the appropriate universal screening assessment or when they have been nominated\referred with qualifying scores. Students qualifying for gifted services are determined when they have met all three criteria. Criteria, as defined by the state and followed by the Rockwood Gifted Programs qualifying scores, are as follows:

    Criterion 1:

    General Mental Ability-full-scale or index scores on an individual intelligence test. A minimum score at or above 132 in the following areas: Full-Scale IQ, General Ability Index, or Non-Verbal Ability Index on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-V) or Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales (SB-V). The cognitive abilities assessment will be selected by the psychometrist at the time of assessment.

    Criterion 2:

    Academic Ability-A nationally norm-referenced test A minimum score at or above the 95th percentile in either Reading or Math and a score at or above the 80th percentile in the other subject on the fall or winter STAR assessment, or a score at or above the 95th percentile on the Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement (KTEA-3).

    Criterion 3:

    Creativity, Reasoning, and Problem-Solving AbilityResults of valid assessments measuring any of the aforementioned areas. Kindergarten and 3rd Grade: Meets gifted criteria on 3 or more activities on the Kingore Observation Inventory (KOI) Grades1, 2, and 4-12: A minimum score at or above on either the Cognitive Abilities Assessment (CogAT-Brief) or the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (KBIT-2).

    Criterion 4:

    Other-Documented evidence of exceptional performance in a general academic area related to the design of the gifted program. The Rockwood Gifted Program utilizes work samples and a gifted characteristics checklist. This area is only used in grade 3 and while completing case studies. Students must meet screening and individualized assessment qualifying scores in order to be recommended for gifted services. Students recommended for gifted services will begin gifted education services at the semester.


  • Students who reside in the Rockwood School District boundaries, but attend a private or parochial school, or who are homeschooled, may be referred by a parent or teacher. Referral forms can be obtained by contacting the CCL Identification Office. Referred students will be screened and those meeting screening criteria will be recommended for further testing. Referrals are accepted until April 1st each academic year and students will be screened in the order received. Students that qualify for gifted services will begin to receive services at the start of the semester.

Gifted Students Transferring into Rockwood

  • Gifted students transferring into Rockwood may be referred for gifted assessment. The gifted referral forms can be obtained by contacting your child’s school counselor/office or the CCL Identification Office. Once the CCL Identification Office receives the referral form, the identification office will reach out to the previous school district to request gifted assessment records. After acquiring the gifted assessment records, the identification office will utilize the assessments that match the Rockwood Gifted Program’s criteria and administer any assessments needed. Please note that test results must be received by our office at least three weeks prior to the start of a new semester. Information that is received after this point will be considered during the following semester’s admission process.

Gifted Education Identification for Underserved Students

  • All students are universally screened each year in grades K-5. Some students may have individual circumstances that interfere with demonstrating academic potential on traditional measures of giftedness. Oftentimes, this can result in certain demographics being underserved in gifted education. Underserved populations (e.g.-English Language Learners (EL), IEP, Section 504, etc.) are defined as populations that comprise less than 80% of the district’s demographic breakdown. Students in the state-defined areas of underserved populations who demonstrate high ability, but do not meet regular program criteria, may be considered through a case study approach. Students identified through this case study approach participate in the same gifted program as all other identified students


  • Grades (1-12): Rockwood elementary students are screened yearly and have the opportunity to receive individualized assessments if they have not received a cognitive ability assessment (IQ) within the last two years. To see when your child is eligible to be tested, please click here. Students may be given a maximum of two IQ assessments in grades 1-12. If students received an IQ assessment in kindergarten, this assessment will not count towards the two IQ assessments available in grades 1-12. 

    There is a research-based answer on why the Rockwood Gifted Program waits a minimum of two years between cognitive ability assessments. IQ scores can shift at earlier ages. After the age of 8-9, IQ becomes more consistent. By waiting two years between assessments in grades 1- 12, it ensures that a child will not be given both of their IQ assessments before the age where IQ becomes more consistent