Gifted Education

Welcome to the MRESC’s Gifted Services page. You have the power to shape a gifted child's intellectual future through your awareness of gifted students’ needs and by providing appropriate services to best meet their needs. According to the Ohio Content Standards, "Students who can exceed the grade-level indicators and benchmarks set forth in the standards must be afforded the opportunity {to advance} and be encouraged to do so."  To help facilitate this opportunity, the MRESC offers professional consulting and coordinator services for school districts as they identify and serve gifted students. 


Through Gifted Services, the MRESC provides gifted identified students with opportunities to excel, both during school hours and through extension and/or enrichment programs.


Through educational leadership and support, extension opportunities, parent-teacher-student support, access to summer opportunities, enrichment ideas, and connections with both national and local gifted organizations, we provide multiple avenues for students to grow their gifts and talents and pursue excellence.



Director of Student Achievement:  Erica Baer


MRESC Gifted Intervention Specialists
Shelby County (serving Botkins & Fairlawn Local):   Roberta Young
Shelby County (serving Hardin-Houston):   Heidi Sherman
Logan County (serving Indian Lake Schools):   Cammie Honaker
Logan County (serving Riverside):   Andrea Watts


District Gifted Enrichment Providers (non-GIS):
Fairlawn Local Schools:   Sonya Phillips


District Gifted Intervention Specialists
Benjamin Logan Local Schools:   Amy McCormick
Fort Loramie Local Schools:   Brad Turner
Jackson Center Local Schools:   Nancy Meyer
Russia Local Schools:   Heidi Sherman


Identification Category

According to Ohio Revised Code 3301-51-15, all districts are required to screen all students students for potential giftedness – once in grades K-2, and again in grades 3-6 --  using an assessment from Ohio’s Chart of Approved Assessments with cutoff scores determined by Ohio’s Department of Education. (Most districts screen in grades 2 and 5.) Upon completion of the whole-grade screening, students who score close to the cutoff score become eligible for re-testing.  (The re-testing range is pre-determined by the district as set forth in its Gifted Policy and plan, accessible on the district’s website.

Once testing is complete, districts – along with their Coordinator and gifted intervention specialists – use the data obtained to help determine appropriate educational services for students who identify as gifted. While serving gifted students is not mandated, all districts are required to notify parents about the type and nature of services in the following ways:

          * copies of the district’s gifted policy and plan, as well as all district forms, must be accessible to parents through the district’s website and/ or as hard copies available in the district’s office;

          * parents must receive notification about gifted identified students’ services – either via a Written Education Plan (WEP) or, if the district does not provide gifted services, through a No Services letter sent to the parents by mail.

          * copies of the district’s gifted services, policies, and plans must be accessible to parents upon request.


Under Ohio Administrative Code 3301-51-15, the state of Ohio requires all school districts to screen students for possible gifted identification twice during elementary school.  Schools must screen all students for possible identification in the three areas below:

Superior Cognitive Ability
Students gifted in superior cognitive ability have scored two standard deviations above the mean minus the standard error of measurement on an intelligence test; perform at or above the 95th percentile on a basic or composite battery of a nationally normed achievement test; or attain an approved score on an above grade-level standardized, nationally normed test.

Specific Academic Ability
Students gifted in a specific academic ability perform at or above the 95th percentile at the national level on a standardized achievement test of specific academic ability in that field. A child may be identified as gifted in more than one specific academic ability field.  (Screenings in math and reading are required; screenings in social studies and science are encouraged as well.)

Creative Thinking Ability
Students gifted in creative thinking score one standard deviation above the mean minus the standard error of measurement on an intelligence test and attain a sufficient score, as established by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), on a test of creative ability or a checklist of creative behavior.

In addition, the Ohio Department of Education encourages all districts to offer a time, at least once per year, for students gifted in dance, drama, music, or visual arts to identify as gifted as specified below:

Visual or Performing Arts Ability

Students gifted in the arts demonstrate to a trained individual through a display of work, an audition, or other performance or exhibition superior ability in a visual or performing arts area and attain a sufficient score, as established by ODE, on a checklist of behaviors related to a specific arts area.

Commonly Asked Questions

In what areas are students eligible for acceleration?

Acceleration most often occurs in these four common areas: early entrance to kindergarten, acceleration in specific subject areas, whole grade acceleration (grade-skipping), and early high school graduation.

Who should (and should not be) accelerated?
(Taken from the Ohio Department of Education)

While actual decisions about acceleration should always be guided by a thorough evaluation of the student using a research-based evaluation process, most good candidates for acceleration will display some of the following characteristics:

  • Demonstrate above average general cognitive ability;
    • Achieve academically in one or more subject areas a grade level or more higher than the norm for his or her age;
    • Express a desire for more challenging instruction;
    • Are socially mature enough to adapt to an environment serving older students;
    • Respond positively to the possibility of acceleration.

Acceleration may not be a good option for students with some of the following characteristics:

  • Has an older sibling in the same school in the grade level to which the student may be accelerated;
    • Is sufficiently challenged by the curriculum at his or her current grade level;
    • Would be significantly less emotionally mature than typical students at the grade level to which he or she may be accelerated;
    • Responds negatively to the possibility of acceleration.


Further, one type of acceleration for a student might be appropriate when another would not be. For example, a student who is very advanced in reading and writing ability but struggles in math (and is of average ability in science and social studie)s might be an excellent candidate for subject acceleration in reading and language arts, but a poor candidate for a whole “grade skip.”

What do I do if I would like my child to be evaluated for potential acceleration?

The first step is to complete the acceleration referral form and return it to the MRESC Director of Student Achievement. If you have more specific questions, please feel free to contact Erica by sending an email HERE.