What about gifted in Broward County Public Schools?
The gifted process is somewhat different in Broward County Public Schools. The school district universally screens all students in 2nd grade for gifted with brief tests (these are not full intelligence tests). Based on the results of the screening test, some students will be identified for full intelligence testing. Broward schools also follow the traditional criteria for gifted eligibility above: IQ of 130+, gifted characteristics, and need for a special program. However, Broward has a strict 130 score requirement; they do not use the margin of error for scores close to 130. Their Plan B also consists of a matrix system but requires a minimum of 10 total points and Full IQ scores between 115-129. In Broward, children need to be of low socioeconomic status, receive free/reduced school lunch, or be in the ESOL program, in addition to demonstrating gifted characteristics, and a need for a special program to be gifted eligible under Plan B. However, Broward Schools will automatically consider a child as ‘gifted’ if a child completed the gifted process and has an Educational Plan (EP) from another Florida county (even if that county’s scores are lower than Broward’s requirements). The same holds true if the child is coming from outside of Florida. Broward Schools would confirm with the child’s most recent school about the child’s gifted status.
Can gifted evaluations be done in the child’s home?
Generally speaking, no. Gifted testing should be done in a clinical environment. That’s because IQ tests need to be administered in the same way every time so that the results are accurate and reliable. Private homes are often full of distractions and interruptions that can’t be avoided. Psychologists are also ethically and legally bound to protect the IQ test’s integrity and copyright, which isn’t possible in private homes where test questions and activities can be overheard, seen, or recorded. In fact, many schools won’t accept the results of gifted testing done in homes unless there’s a justifiable reason for doing so (e.g. the child is home-bound due to paralysis or illness, etc.).
All About Re-Testing
Yes, you can re-test a child that doesn’t meet the criteria for gifted again. However, here are some important things to consider:
- Due to high demand, children are only eligible for re-testing by a school district psychologist 2 years after their original date of testing in Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
- If a parent wants to re-test sooner, they’ll have to pay for a private gifted evaluation. The only catch is that the same IQ test cannot be re-administered during the practice effects timeframe. A practice effect timeframe is the period of time during which a test can’t be re-administered because the results will be inflated because the person remembers the test questions and materials from previous recent exposure to the test material. This period of time varies by IQ test but usually ranges from 6 months to 1 year.
- If a parent decided to re-test their child privately, they should tell the licensed psychologist performing the gifted assessment the name of the previous IQ test used so that a different IQ test can be selected for re-testing. The school will not accept the child’s re-test score if the same IQ test is repeated so it’s important to be honest.
Does insurance cover a gifted evaluation?
No, because gifted testing is for an educational purpose and isn’t considered a medical necessity. Also, having high intelligence doesn’t result in any medical condition. Without a medical condition, there’s no diagnosis, and without a diagnosis, insurance companies don’t pay. However, some previous clients have been able to successfully use their HSA/FSA accounts to cover the costs of gifted testing in Florida.
The Difference Between a School’s Gifted Test and a Private Gifted Assessment
There’s no difference in the IQ tests themselves. However, there are three major differences:
#1 Most school psychologists in Miami-Dade schools do not administer the entire IQ test due to limited time and high demand. They complete enough subtests to calculate verbal, nonverbal, and overall IQ scores. By not completing all the subtests important, but subtle, information about a child’s cognitive abilities may be overlooked.
For example, an attentive private psychologist may notice during the course of testing if a child is reversing patterns or letters, confusing word sounds, or struggling with attention. The psychologist is in a position to alert parents about next steps to consider. (I can’t begin to count the number of kids that I referred for a checkup that ended up needing eyeglasses, earwax extractions, or additional testing for ADHD or learning disorders!)
#2 A private evaluation allows the psychologist to administer enough subtests to have the data needed for advanced statistical analysis of the child’s performance. If needed, they also have enough time to administer additional subtests to calculate supplemental IQ scores that could qualify a child for gifted. School-based psychologists don’t often do these things due to their time constraints.
#3 Psychological testing in schools is often done in libraries, cafeterias, or other places that are considered “quiet” but not 100% free of distractions and interruptions. For IQ tests to be valid, they need to be administered the same way every time. Private gifted evaluations are conducted in clinical settings which are ideal testing conditions for the child’s optimal performance.
#4 The other difference is getting results. Results can take weeks (or even months) with school testing. Private testing results are usually available within 1 week or less. Some even offer same-day results (like us).
Learn more about our gifted assessment with same-day results here. If you’re interested in having your child complete a private gifted assessment, feel free to give us a call at (305) 501-0133 or schedule a free 15-min Clarity Consult. We’ll be happy to answer all your questions and concerns.