What Do Gifted Programs Look Like in CPS?


By Betsy Singh, Coordinator of Gifted Programs

As a progressive, diverse school district, Cincinnati Public Schools serves students of a wide spectrum of talents and abilities. Some of the students CPS serves are gifted, which the Ohio Department of Education defines as one who “performs or shows potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared to others of their age, experience, or environment.”

In order to be identified as gifted, a student must achieve a defined score on a cognitive ability test, an achievement test, a test of creativity or a test of arts, all of which you can learn about on the district website.

Gifted programming provides an opportunity for students to engage creatively with learning material both on an individual level and with peers, building social and emotional connections.

So why do gifted students need gifted programming? Gifted programming continually challenges and engages students by presenting them with opportunities to fulfill creative accomplishments, leading to a positive effect on literary achievement and scientific-technical innovation. Gifted programming helps students maintain interest and involvement in creative, productive work and can positively influence their post-secondary pathways and achievements. Lastly, gifted programming provides a forum for social and emotional connection with like-minded peers.

There are some myths and misconceptions about gifted education. The Gifted & Talented Association of Montgomery County, Md., is a great resource that explores those myths in this video.

Gifted enrichment occurs in a variety of ways in our district. Students in grades K-12 may be provided:

  • Differentiation in the regular curriculum
  • Acceleration in a subject or grade level
  • Early entrance to kindergarten or first grade
  • Support from a gifted intervention specialist
  • Honors/AP/College Credit Flex classes
  • Gifted magnet schools, such as Spencer Center for Gifted and Exceptional Students and The Cincinnati Gifted Academy West at Cheviot School.

In the coming weeks, the IamCPS blog will share more information about the different ways CPS engages gifted students to help them succeed academically. You’ll hear from our gifted intervention specialists and even some of our students about our different programs and examples of on-site support.

There are also numerous opportunities in our schools for students to be involved in high-level enrichment, whether or not they are identified as gifted. One example is district’s Brain Bowl teams for students in grades four-six to compete in academic matches. The 2018 District Brain Bowl Tournament is the culmination of their season, occurring on March 17, 2018, at Walnut Hills High School, starting at 8:30 a.m. The final match will likely take place around 2:00 p.m. The winning team will take home the trophy, with medals being awarded to second- and third-placing teams.


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