• Identification of Gifted Students / Criteria 

    Identification of Gifted Students in the Matawan Aberdeen Regional School District utilizes multiple pathways including: Ability, Achievement, Creativity, Teacher-Parent Input and other Considerations. A student shall not be required to meet all measures in order to qualify for Enrichment. The identification process must include all students including ESL & special Education Students.

    • Ability: Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT). 

    CogAT measures abilities across the symbol systems that are most highly correlated with fluid reasoning, problem solving, and success in school. With its separate measures of Verbal, Quantitative, and Nonverbal reasoning, this research-based and proven test provides multiple perspectives on student ability. Administered to all students in Grade 2 and Grade 4

    • Achievement: iReady, LinkIt, & NJSLA. 

    i‑Ready Diagnostic is an adaptive assessment designed to provide teachers with actionable insight into student needs. It offers a complete picture of student performance and growth, eliminating the need for multiple, redundant tests. By adapting to student responses and assessing a broad range of skills—including skills above and below a student’s chronological grade—the i‑Ready Diagnostic pinpoints student ability level, identifies the specific skills students need to learn to accelerate their growth, and charts a personalized learning path for each student.

    LinkIt! Benchmark Assessments in Reading and Math are used to measure students' mastery towards their grade level standards. 

    The New Jersey Student Learning Assessments (NJSLA) are statewide assessments that assess students’ progress toward the New Jersey Student Learning Standards in ELA, mathematics and science. English language arts (ELA) assessments will focus on writing effectively when analyzing text. Mathematics assessments will focus on applying skills and concepts and understanding multi-step problems that require abstract reasoning and modeling real-world problems, precision, perseverance, and strategic use of tools. Science assessments will focus on students’ understanding and explanation of scientific phenomena and scenarios. 


    • Creativity/Teacher- Parent Input *** (beginning January 2021)

    Torrance Test of Creative Ability (all K-3 students)

    Teacher Nomination Forms (ESL, Specials, & Homeroom teachers)

    Parent Nomination Forms

    Teacher Observation Checklists- grades K - 4


    • Other Considerations

    ESGI Screeners for Kindergarten

    Fundations Assessments K & 1

    Marking Period Grades

    Writing Samples 


    Parents may nominate their children. The nomination form will be sent to parents of all students grades K-5 and will be accessible on the district website.

    Students will be screened and recommended for the Enrichment Program each year, however the identification process is ongoing.


    Learning Behavior Checklists include the following:

    Kindergarten- Grade 2


    • Advanced vocabulary for his/her age or grade
    • Ability to articulate ideas in speaking and/or writing
    • Asks questions about words (in print and oral language)  


    • Curiosity about why things are; needs to understand
    • Is attentive to details about surroundings.
    • Understands new concepts and applies more easily than other students
    • Learns new things quickly with minimum repetition


    • Has creative (unusual and divergent) ways of solving problems (i.e. abstract thinker)
    • Imaginative thinking ability
    • Offers insights beyond age-expected knowledge


    • Sustains attention to task
    • Has internal motivation to follow through in work


    Grades 3 & up


    • Student has advanced vocabulary for their age and grade level
    • Student asks intellectual question with an urgency to understand
    • Student demonstrates leadership skills in a group setting



    • Student has a high expectation of self and others
    • Student learns new things quickly with little need for repeat instruction
    • Student applies and puts into practice new concepts with understanding with ease



    • Student demonstrates a sense of humor beyond age level and understands subtle adult humor
    • Has creative (unusual and divergent) ways of solving problems (i.e. abstract thinker)
    • Imaginative thinking ability
    • Offers insights beyond age-expected knowledge



    • Student demonstrates a commitment to task
    • Student pursues independent interests and topics of learning without adult prompting



    • Student demonstrates a passion and/or independent interest in art
    • Student’s creations demonstrate high artistic skill
    • Student demonstrates innovative ideas
    • Students have intuitive use of art materials and expertise with selecting materials that lend themselves to the subject 
    • Masterful drawing ability to draw from observation or memory with effortless accuracy.



    • Student demonstrates a passion and/or independent interest in music
    • Students have innate timing and a strong sense of rhythm and/or pitch and tonal memory
    • Students have intuitive ability to improvise
    • Students play with musical expression
    • Students are eager and willing to participate in performing