Talented and Gifted (TAG) Identification
SSAISD assesses students for TAG services each year within a defined identification window. Students may qualify to participate in TAG services based on evidence of a remarkably high level of performance compared to their peers or their potential for a remarkably high level of performance compared to their peers.
Timeline for Identification
- September - October: Identification referral window (Please note that we will not be able to accept referral after October 29th)
- October - November: Identification testing window
- December: Identification committee meeting window
- January: Services begin for newly identified students
Parents, guardians, and staff are informed of the TAG referral window, assessment window, and service timeline through the TAG Program Guide, the SSAISD website, and informational meetings to be hosted online and/or in-person.
Eligibility for Referral
- Students must be currently enrolled in the South San Antonio Independent School District and must participate in the selected TAG assessments. Enrollment must continue until the TAG Identification Committee has made a final placement determination.
- Students may be referred for TAG services once per academic year.
- Students may only be referred during the TAG referral window in August and September.
- Parents or guardians who wish to refer a student must complete all questions in the parent/guardian referral form.
- Teachers, counselors, administrators, or other district staff who wish to refer a student must complete all questions in the staff referral form.
TAG Identification Committee
To qualify for TAG services, student data will be reviewed by a committee of at least three district or campus educators who have received training in the nature and needs of gifted/talented students as well as selected parents, guardians, and/or community members. This committee will make the final determination if TAG services are the best way to meet the educational needs of the student based on a preponderance of evidence as demonstrated on approved district assessments and activities.
Notification of Acceptance
Parents/guardians shall be notified in writing upon selection of the student for the TAG services. Written parental consent shall be obtained before any student can participate in TAG services. Parental consent to participate in TAG services is seperate from permission to test for TAG services eligibility. Participation in TAG services is voluntary and students, parents, or guardians who choose not to participate will be exited from the program.
Notification of Denial and Appeals
Parents/guardians shall be notified in writing upon denial of the student for TAG services. Parents or guardians may appeal the initial decision of the TAG identification committee regarding placement for TAG services. Appeals should be made in writing directly to the district’s Advanced Academics Coordinator. Appeals should contain new information supporting that one or more of the following appeal conditions exist:
● There is substantial new evidence to introduce that, when added to the existing information, creates a compelling ‘preponderance of evidence’ regarding the student’s need for program services.
● There is substantial evidence to show that an inconsistent or improper application of the identification process has occurred.
A written appeal must be submitted no later than 30 calendar days after the identification committee has communicated its decision. Any subsequent appeals shall be made in accordance with local board policy.
Students may qualify to participate in TAG services based on evidence of their potential for a remarkably high level of performance compared to their peers. When a student demonstrates this potential through district assessments and performance tasks, they may be placed in TAG monitored status by the identification committee.
TAG monitored status is a year in which students are placed in the same services as gifted and talented students and are closely monitored to see if they benefit from those services. Students who are placed in monitored status are not coded as gifted and talented, but receive the same services as those who are. At the conclusion of a year under monitored status, students are reviewed by the identification committee for placement.
The Talented and Gifted Identification committee may make two decisions for students who are under monitored status.
Place the student into Talented and Gifted Services
Place the student back into the general education classroom
If a student is placed into TAG services, the standard furlough and exit processes are utilized. If a student is denied TAG services, the standard appeal process may be utilized.
A furlough is a temporary "leave of absence" from TAG services designed to meet the individual needs of an identified student. A parent, guardian, student, teacher, counselor, or administrator may request a furlough. A student may be furloughed for a period of time deemed appropriate by the district TAG administrator with consultation from TAG staff and campus administration. At the end of the furlough, the student's progress shall be reassessed, and the student may re-enter TAG services, be exited from TAG services, or placed on another furlough. Furloughs are designed to be short-term and temporary and should not be used for an entire school year.
A furlough does not indicate a permanent exiting of the program. Furloughs may be utilized for a variety of extenuating circumstances which would inhibit or curtail the student's performance in TAG services and the mainstream classroom. A furlough provides the student an opportunity to attain performance goals established by the campus and is arranged to meet the individual needs of the student.
Parents/guardians shall be notified in writing of any change in status for TAG services furloughs.
If a student transfers into SSAISD and has been receiving TAG services in another district, SSAISD has the option to accept the TAG identification results from the previous school district. Reasonable effort will be made to use available information to maintain existing placement determinations. If the information provided is insufficient as compared to SSAISD accepted placement criteria, reassessment may occur at the discretion of the district lead for TAG services. Only the TAG identification committee has the final authority for a change in placement decisions.
Student performance in TAG services shall be monitored and a student shall be removed at any time the TAG staff determine it is in the student's best interest and after a furlough has proven inadequate. If a parent or guardian requests their child be removed from the program, the district TAG lead shall grant the request. Once a student is exited from the program he/she must adhere to the identification procedures and exhibit educational need to be readmitted.
Exiting of students from gifted/talented services is based on multiple criteria including student performance in response to services. Exiting a student at the request of staff may only be conducted by the TAG identification committee in response to the student’s educational needs. Parents/guardians shall be notified in writing of any exit from TAG services.