Gifted Services

In Kansas, gifted programs fall under special education. "Gifted" as defined in K.A.R. 91-40-1(bb) means performing or demonstrating the potential for performing at significantly higher levels of accomplishment in one or more academic fields due to intellectual ability, when compared to others of similar age, experience and environment. 


Kansas state statute requires special education services be provided through the development and implementation of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for eligible students identified as gifted and needing special instructional support. 


Best Practices in Gifted Education

  • Services to gifted students should be a balance of instructional time with their gifted peers and their non-gifted peers.
  • Enrichment opportunities provided by the general education and gifted teachers within the classroom benefit both gifted and non-gifted students.
  • Attention should be paid, and instruction given to gifted students, related to their social and emotional needs.
  • Training related to the needs of gifted students for all school staff is necessary to dispel many of the myths of “giftedness” and to understand the unique characteristics of the gifted.

Eligibility Determination

The initial evaluation must include a variety of assessment tools and strategies to gather relevant functional, developmental, and academic information. This includes information provided by the parent that may assist in determining whether the child is a child with an exceptionality, the educational needs of the child, and the content of the child’s individualized education program (IEP), including information related to enabling the child to be involved, and progress in the general education curriculum to participate in appropriate activities (K.S.A. 72986(b)(1)). 


When interpreting evaluation data for the purpose of making an eligibility determination, the team must ensure (1) that the child meets the definition of the gifted exceptionality and, (2) as a result of that exceptionality, needs special education and related services (KAR 91-40-1(k)(w); 34 CFR 300.8). This is known as the two-prong test of eligibility. If a child meets the definition of an exceptionality category, but does not need special education and related services, they will not be determined to be eligible. If the child has a need for special education and related services, but does not meet the definition of an exceptionality category, they will not be determined to be eligible.


A child may be found eligible as having both giftedness as defined by KAR 91-40-1 and as having a disability area under IDEA.  The child must meet the eligibility criteria for both the disability and giftedness.  If a child is identified for both gifted and a disability, the disability should be entered as the primary exceptionality in the MIS system. Children who are identified as both a child with a disability and gifted may receive any related services for which there is a documented need.  


Children identified only as gifted may receive only the related services of counseling services, parent counseling, school psychological services, school social work services, and transportation.  Even if the child shows a weakness in an area (such as written language), the child cannot be provided with a related service to address the weakness unless the child meets the eligibility criteria for a disability under IDEA. 



Dr. Jennifer Harrington

General Director of Special Education and Special Services
624 S.W. 24th St.
Topeka, KS 66611
[email protected]

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