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Gifted Education

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In the State of Missouri, “gifted children” mean those 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.”

School districts in Missouri may establish programs for gifted children when a sufficient number of children in the district are determined to be gifted and their development requires programs or services beyond the level of those ordinarily provided in regular public school programs.  The State Board of Education determines the standards for these gifted programs.

All districts with gifted programs must follow the rules and regulations set forth in the State Approved Gifted Program Guidelines.  There is no limit to the number of students who can be served in a state approved gifted program.  It is the district's responsibility to use the foundation funding they receive to support their gifted program.  The "application" for state approval will be included in the Core Data and MOSIS information submitted annually by the school district.

Senate Bill 638

Senate Bill 638 passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by the Governor requires the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to do an annual desk audit of state approved gifted programs to verify that districts are continuing to serve at least 80% of the total number of gifted students as they were serving in each previous school year.  If a district experiences a decrease in its gifted program enrollment of twenty percent or more from the previous school year, an amount equal to the product of the difference between the number of students enrolled in the gifted program in the current school year and the number of students enrolled in the gifted program in the previous school year multiplied by six hundred eighty dollars shall be subtracted from the district's current year payment amount.  The provisions of this subdivision shall apply to districts entitled to receive state aid payments but shall not apply to any school district with an average daily attendance of three hundred fifty or less.


Identifying and Serving Traditionally Underrepresented Gifted Students
Guidance for Missouri School Districts

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), in response to a recommendation made in the 2015 Annual Report of the Advisory Council on the Education of Gifted and Talented Students has produced this document to provide guidance for school districts to more equitably identify and meet the needs of traditionally underrepresented students in state approved gifted education programs.  (Click here for document.)

The document provides research based guidance on best practice.  It does not mandate any specific policy or practice.  All districts are encouraged to study this document and evaluate their existing gifted program to determine if it is providing equitable service to all gifted students and if it is not, to adopt policies and practices that will move the district forward in a positive way to reach that goal.  

If you have any questions, please contact David Welch at (573) 751-7754 or david.welch@dese.mo.gov .