• Gifted/Enrichment Students

    The Matawan Aberdeen Regional School District recognizes that all children have unique strengths and talents. We strive to provide opportunities to develop the social, emotional and academic abilities of each student. All teachers develop learning opportunities to meet these goals through individualized, differentiated learning activities across each content area.  

    The district recognizes that some students possess and demonstrate extraordinary levels of ability in one or more content areas when compared to their chronological peers. These students may require differentiated programming opportunities beyond what are already provided in order to maximize their potential. In accordance with the NJ Department of Education and the  "Strengthening Gifted and Talented Education Act", Matawan Aberdeen Regional School District has developed an Identification process for gifted and talented students that includes multiple measures to identify student strengths in various academic areas. 

    The high ability learner has needs that can be met in a multitude of ways. One way is through the effective differentiation of instruction in classrooms across the district. Another option to meet the needs of the academically gifted child is to provide an appropriate learning environment through inclusion and self-contained programs.

    The initial identification process begins in the spring of each year for the upcoming school year. However, each school reviews students’ information and data collected on a regular basis and reviews the information with the administration for an ongoing identification process. Multiple measures used for identification include assessment data, teacher and parent nominations. 


    Bright Child

    Gifted Learner

    • Knows the answers
    • Is interested
    • Is attentive
    • Has good ideas
    • Works hard
    • Answers the questions
    • Is in the top group
    • Listens with interest
    • Learns with ease
    • Needs 6-8 repetitions for mastery
    • Understands ideas
    • Enjoys peers
    • Grasps the meaning
    • Completes assignments
    • Is receptive
    • Copies accurately
    • Enjoys school
    • Absorbs information
    • Is a technician
    • Is a good memorizer
    • Is alert
    • Is pleased with his/her own learning
    • Enjoys straight-forward, sequential presentation
    • Asks questions
    •  Is highly curious
    • Is mentally and physically involved
    • Has wild, silly ideas
    • Plays around, yet tests well
    • Discusses in detail and elaborates
    • Is beyond the group
    • Shows strong feelings and opinions
    • Already knows
    • Needs 1-2 repetitions for mastery
    • Constructs abstractions
    • Prefers adults
    • Draws inferences
    • Initiates projects
    • Is intense
    • Creates a new design
    • Enjoys learning
    • Manipulates information
    • Is an inventor
    • Is a good guesser
    • Is keenly observant
    • Is highly self-critical
    • Thrives on complexity


    Identification of Gifted Students 

    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. 

    • 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

    Specials Teachers Nomination Forms, Parent Nomination Forms, ESL Teacher Nomination Forms, Teacher Observation Checklists- grades K & 1

    • Other Considerations

    Teacher Input, ESGI Screeners for Kindergarten, Fundations Assessments K & 1, Marking Period Grades, Writing Samples


    What are the different ways gifted students are served in the classroom?

    According to the National Association for Gifted Children:

    Because every child is different, NAGC recognizes that there is no “one perfect program” for teaching gifted students. Instead, the NAGC Pre-K-Grade 12 Gifted Programming Standards state that “a continuum of services must exist for gifted learners” at every level.

    What exactly does this mean? Essentially, a “continuum of services” provides administrators, teachers, parents, and students with a menu of educational options that are respectful of individual student differences and mindful of classroom and community resources. This range of services can be organized in a variety of ways:

    -Accommodations in the regular classroom
    -Part-time assignment to both regular and special classes
    -Full-time grouping with students of similar abilities
    -Acceleration or grade advancement



    MARSD Enrichment / G&T Policy

    District Policy


    Additional Resources for Families:

    NJDOE Gifted Portal


    National Association for Gifted Children 


    Board of Education Presentation