Gifted and Talented Services
- Offering professional development on best practices, developments, and achievements in G/T education
- Developing materials and assisting districts in the development and implementation of local programs
- Providing personalized technical assistance
- Delivering student seminars designed around the four foundation curricular areas
- Assisting districts and charters in providing out-of-school options for gifted students through student seminars and summer scholarship opportunities
Resources for Teachers and Parents
30 Hour Basics
6 Hour Updates
Administrators and Counselors
Counselors who work with gifted/talented students are required to complete a minimum of six (6) hours of professional development that includes nature and needs of gifted/talented students, service options for gifted/talented students, and social-emotional learning (19 TAC §89.2(4)).
Gifted/Talented Certified - TExES G/T Supplemental 162 Exam
Student Seminars Workshops/Training
Student Seminars Workshops
Training Workshops for Teachers
Training Workshops for Students: By Invitation Only
New G/T Coordinators
Tips for New Coordinators
- Read through the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students. Make notes, ask questions, and reflect on your district’s gifted/talented services.
- Be sure you have the contact information for the Region 7 ESC G/T specialists handy. There is no such thing as a silly question when you are new, and you will have many of them! The Region 7 ESC G/T specialists are ready to answer all of your questions. They will be happy to help you as you get started as a new coordinator!
- The Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students states, “Teachers as well as administrators who have supervisory duties for service decisions are required to complete a minimum of six hours of professional development that includes nature and needs of gifted/talented students and service options for gifted/talented students (19 TAC §89.2(4))." Region 7 ESC offers this training as a face-to-face session to meet the diverse needs of our districts and charter schools. To register, click on the G/T Professional Development tab and click on Administrators/Counselors for a list of workshops being offered.
- Begin to look at your district or charter's G/T program. Find out how each of your campuses is providing services. For example: Pull-out, Push-in, Full-time gifted only, Full-time inclusion, Special day school
- On each of those campuses, find out who is coordinating and delivering G/T services. Be sure there is documentation to support that each of the assigned G/T teachers has the required G/T training. View the Region 7 ESC's professional development offerings for teachers who need training by visiting the G/T Professional Learning tab and clicking on 30 Hour Basics or 6 Hour Updates.
- Talk to the administrators on each campus and find out if administrators and counselors have had the required G/T training in nature and needs, service options, and social-emotional learning.
- Look at your list of identified gifted students at each campus. Confirm that they are in class with a G/T trained teacher and are receiving services.
- Look at your district or school's assessment and identification procedures. Find out how your students are identified. Is data being collected from multiple sources for each area of giftedness served by the district as required in the Texas State Plan? Look at your demographics to see if your gifted program reflects the district's demographics. Does your assessment process allow for student exceptionalities? Are students being assessed in languages they understand or with nonverbal assessments?
- Ask each campus principal to recommend a classroom you could visit to observe challenging curriculum and instruction. After visiting several classrooms, review your district or school's G/T curriculum framework. Did you see evidence of that framework on your visits?
- Review your district's G/T comprehensive manual or program guide. Compare it to the district's Local EHBB board policy and the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students. Are these three documents aligned? Do they reflect what is happening on your campuses? If you do not have a district comprehensive manual or program guide, contact the Region 7 ESC G/T department for assistance in developing one.
New G/T Teachers
10 General Tips for a New G/T Teacher
- Connect, connect, connect with others in the field of gifted education. Oftentimes, especially in smaller districts, you might be the only teacher of the gifted.
- Become familiar with state law and the State Board of Education rule regarding gifted education by reviewing the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students.
- Know what it means to be gifted. Who are the gifted? Are all kids gifted? What do you think? The State defines gifted students as “… a child or youth who performs at or shows the potential for performing at a remarkably high level of accomplishment when compared to others of the same age, experience, or environment and who: a) exhibits high performance capability in an intellectual, creative, and/or artistic area; b) possesses an unusual capacity for leadership; or c) excels in a specific academic field.
- Become an advocate for your students. Stay current in research and best practices regarding gifted education.
- Complete (if you haven’t already) the required foundational 30 clock hours of professional learning that includes nature and needs of gifted/talented students, identification and assessment of gifted/talented students’ needs, and curriculum and instruction for gifted/talented students.
- Understand the curriculum and instructional policies regarding gifted education. Section 4 of the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students encompasses curriculum and instruction. In fact, the section header states, “Districts meet the needs of gifted/talented students by modifying the depth, complexity, and pacing of the curriculum and instruction ordinarily provided by the school.” Learn about the 11 depth and complexity thinking tools which were developed specifically for teachers to use with their gifted learners. These tools, represented by icons, help students "dig deeper" and take a more "complex look" at the standard, content, or topic being taught. Ian Byrd's website contains a wealth of information that will show you how to implement the depth and complexity tools. It's worth a visit!
- Differentiate! Do you know what can be differentiated? How? For a quick reference, visit The Differentiator. You’ll like the Differentiation Central website, too!
- Provide opportunities for your gifted students to shine and accelerate in their areas of strengths. Region 7 ESC offers many opportunities for gifted students through our student seminars.
- Read this article…it’s worth your time.
- Be flexible! Programs and services for gifted students are designed to meet the needs of the students. Students should not be made to conform to a “set” program. In fact, the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students mandates that gifted students are assured an array of learning opportunities that are commensurate with their abilities and that out-of-school options relevant to the their areas of strength are provided.
We hope you find this information helpful! And as always, you have help right here at Region 7 ESC. Be sure to contact us if you have questions or need assistance!
The Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students forms the basis of G/T standards of services and divides them into two categories.
- Accountability: These standards reflect actions required in state law and/or SBOE rule.
- Exemplary: Provides viable targets that districts seeking excellence, both for their district and for their students, may strive to attain.
Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students
- exhibits high performance capability in an intellectual, creative, or artistic area;
- possesses an unusual capacity for leadership; or
- excels in a specific academic field (TEC §29.121).
The Region 7 ESC G/T staff strives to assist districts in meeting the unique, diverse needs of gifted learners through Student Seminars. Each of the seminars is designed to offer gifted students an array of appropriately challenging learning experiences that are commensurate with their abilities and opportunities that allow them to accelerate their strengths in a variety of areas with a focus on the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) in each of the four foundation curricular areas. Student Seminars also allow gifted students throughout the Region 7 ESC area to work with one another, as well as independently. In addition, participation in the Region 7 Student Seminars meets the requirement of the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students by providing out-of-school options relevant to students' areas of strength whenever possible (19 TAC §89.3(3))
Click ont he links below to learn more about the events.
How does the competition work?
A team of 6 -10 high school students are gathered by a team advisor - this can be a teacher, an attorney, or even student leaders; and once registered, the team will begin preparing to compete against their peers in an organized Regional Competition meet. In October of the current school year, teams will be able to download information related to a fictional case. Each team must learn both sides of the case study (Prosecution/Plaintiff and Defense) and students must play the roles of both attorneys and witnesses in a 'mock' trial. Members work together to learn the facts of the case and create strategies for trial and then compete in local-area meets. The Regional meets are usually held on a week/end between January 15-February 15 at a local courthouse or legal institution within the region. The winners of these meets will then advance to the State Competition in Dallas, TX held the first weekend of March during the current school year. The final champion team will then represent the Great State of Texas at the National High School Mock Trial Competition held in May (usually the first or second week). For more information, please visit the Texas High School Mock Trial web page.
A team advisor - a teacher, an attorney, or even student leaders – will need to register his or her team online and pay the registration fee. Early registration is encouraged even before all team members are gathered, so that current members can be ready/prepped before the case materials launch in October. Important: There can only be one team of 6-10 members per high school. Therefore, if many students are interested, please have an internal competition, or try-outs, to determine who is on the Varsity team. Also, please notify the school principal and others at the school who may be interested in starting a team of your participation, so that more than one team does not register. Once the team is registered for the competition, teams are provided with a copy of the case materials for the year (included in the registration fee) and these contain the rules, procedures, and the case problem itself. The case for the year is usually released each October. Teams should secure assistance from a local attorney or judge to help with courtroom decorum and trial skills – even for one day this is helpful! Also, helpful materials and links are provided to new teams via this website.
2023- 2024 Competition Information Coming Soon!
2024 Spring Competition
CREATE! K - 2: 2024
Designed exclusively for K-2 gifted students, this fine-arts themed experience features special guests and stations with hands-on, interactive activities to engage your identified gifted students. The best part? There is no prep required to come and enjoy the day and CREATE!
Robotics Celebration for Elementary Students 2023-24
2023 - 2024 Robotics Competition Information
- Intermediate: Grades 4 - 5
- Middle School: Grades 6 - 8
- High School: Grades 9 - 12