Gifted & Talented

The Gifted and Talented Program at Morris Brandon

The Georgia State Board of Education defines a gifted student as “…a student who demonstrates a high degree of intellectual, and/or creative ability(ies), exhibits an exceptionally high degree of motivation, and/or excels in specific academic fields, and who needs special instruction and/or special ancillary services to achieve at levels commensurate with his or her abilities.”

Atlanta Public Schools provide services for identified gifted students at all levels.  The gifted program is designed to meet the very specific needs of these students and extend competencies in the areas of cognitive skills, learning skills, research and reference skills, communication skills, and metacognitive skills beyond the experience of the regular classroom.

The Georgia State Department of Education governs the procedures for identifying and placing students in the gifted program.

Interested in having your child tested for Gifted?

  • A “First Look” student is a student who has not been tested before or whose previous test scores have now expired. These students will receive the full battery of gifted assessments. These students will receive the full battery of gifted assessments.

  • A “Second Look” student is a student who received the full battery of gifted assessments in the previous school year.  Based on a careful review of their existing data and criteria set at the district level it was determined that the student qualifies for the administration of additional/alternative assessments. Parents will be notified if their child is eligible for a 2nd look assessment. Further evaluation requires your parental consent.

The district has made the decision to proceed with administering assessments for the purpose of identifying students for the Gifted and Talented program.

The proposed timeline for scheduling all assessments suggest that all testing will conclude before Spring Break.  Over the next few weeks, parents will be notified via email if their child is eligible to be evaluated as either a 2nd or 1st look tester.  If you have questions or concerns about Gifted assessments, feel free to email the school gifted contact teacher, Sonya Walston (

  • 90% of the homeroom teachers at Brandon Elementary have obtained their Gifted Endorsement certification.
  • Several teachers are enrolled in gifted training classes currently.
  • There are cluster groups of gifted identified students in all of our homerooms across grades 1st -5th.
  • Gifted students no longer receive just one day of gifted instruction in a gifted resource room.
  • Brandon has school-wide differentiated classrooms. 
  • Every classroom consist of diverse learners and our teachers provide instruction that meets the needs of the individual students.
  • We accommodate for students who are gifted through pacing, instruction delivery, product, depth, and breadth. 
  • Much of the high-level reasoning skills that improve overall student achievement are embedded in the daily ELA and Math lesson plans supported by Wit & Wisdom and Eureka.
  • A differentiated classroom fosters community, leadership development, student engagement, flexibility, and the teacher’s attention on student readiness, interest and their learning profiles.

FAQs for Gifted Assessments

FAQ for Screening and Referral

The Gifted and Talented Program at Morris Brandon offers qualifying students an opportunity to develop the following skills:

  • Advanced Communication Skills (ACS):  Learners will express ideas clearly and effectively using advanced communication skills for a variety of purposes.

  • Creativity (CRT): Learners will generate and/or produce items, ideas, and solutions using creative thinking skills.

  • Creative Problem Solving (CPS) Learners will insightfully evaluate a variety of problems and arrive at innovative and reasonable conclusions.

  • Leadership (LEAD): Students will develop an awareness of leadership skills, analyze and evaluate components of leadership, and demonstrate an effective leadership style.

  • Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS): Learners will analytically critique a system or set of complex ideas, utilizing logic and reasoning skills in novel ways, to create and/or modify knowledge.

  • Global Citizenship (GCZ): Learners will develop an awareness of global cultures, connections and issues in order to become actively engaged citizens of the world, with respect for differing values and goals.

  • Advanced Research Skills (ARS): Learners will select and explore a topic, research using a variety of sources, analyze and evaluate the information.

  • Social Emotional Learning (SEL): Learners will develop an understanding of their unique social emotional needs as a gifted learner and develop their coping and social interaction skills.

The APS Multiple Criteria Identification Process assesses students in four areas and requires that students meet minimum score levels in any three of the four areas in order to gain admittance to the gifted program. The minimum score requirements in the four assessment areas are:

  1. Mental Ability– a score greater than or equal to the 96th percentile on a standardized test of mental ability. An APS mental ability assessment must be given. Students must complete the entire APS identification process before any eligibility decisions are finalized.
  2. Achievement – a score greater than or equal to the 90th percentile in reading or math on a standardized achievement test or a score of at least 90 on a student generated product or performance as judged by a panel of qualified evaluators.
  3. Creativity – a score greater than or equal to the 90th percentile on a standardized creativity instrument or a superior rating on a student generated product or performance as judged by a panel of qualified evaluators.
  4. Motivation– 90th or greater percentile on a Motivation Rating Scale (K-8), or superior product/performance with a score of 90 or greater of 1-100, as evaluated by a panel of 3 or more qualified evaluators, or winners of academic competitions as determined by the Office of Gifted and Talented.

 You may learn more about the Gifted & Talented Program in Atlanta Public Schools by visiting

Temporarily you should direct any questions or concerns regarding the Gifted & Talented Program service models at Brandon or testing to Mrs. Sonya Walston.  (

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