Category: Poster

42 - I'm More Than A Number: Going Beyond Test Scores to Identify Students for Gifted Services

Saturday, Nov 11
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Despite widespread conversations and efforts, districts still struggle to identify culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse students for gifted services. Standardized test scores alone, even with universal screening, will not yield an adequate number of identified students. Making placement decisions defensible without qualifying test scores is crucial to ensure validity of processes. Come hear how our large, urban district worked within the confines of its resources to narrow the identification gap using research and best practices. Participants will leave with ideas they can implement immediately regardless of current identification or service models.

Monica L. Simonds

Director of Advanced Academic Studies
Richardson ISD
Dallas, Texas

I earned my B. A. in Speech and Journalism Education in 1990 and my M. Ed., Education of the Gifted, with a minor in English in 1996 from the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now University of Louisiana-Lafayette) . After teaching fifth grade, I began providing gifted services in various districts of Louisiana. In 1999, I took a position in Richardson ISD as a debate coach and I spent ten years building the high school speech, debate and academic competitions programs. While there, I began providing gifted professional development for PreAP and AP teachers in the secondary schools including Curriculum Compacting, Differentiating for the Gifted Learner, Nature and Needs of the Gifted Learner, Identification and Assessment of the Gifted Learner and Social-Emotional Needs of the Gifted Learner. In 2010, I became the Director of Advanced Academic Studies - Elementary. Since receiving this position, I have continued providing professional development as well as leadership to identify and serve a diverse population utilizing best practices beyond standardized assessments. My passion is high ability learners' needs, identifying students who are Culturallly, Linguistically, Economically Diverse, and educating and advocating for gifted to be a special needs population.