Students with Disabilities and Gifted and Talented 

We are committed to serving all students who qualify for a Gifted & Talented (G&T) program, including students with disabilities. Students with disabilities who qualify for a G&T program will receive special education services and supports in the G&T program.

Can students with disabilities participate in Gifted and Talented programs?

Yes. All students—including students with disabilities—entering kindergarten through third grade are encouraged to participate in the G&T admissions process. Students with disabilities who qualify for a G&T program will receive the services and supports they need in the G&T program. A student’s disability will not prevent their access to G&T programming, and being in a G&T program will not prevent their access to special education services.

Does the G&T admissions process consider disability status?

Students receive G&T offers subject to:

  • Performance on eligibility measures
  • Seat availability

These offers are made whether or not students have an:

  • Individualized Education Program (IEP)
  • Individualized Education Services Program (IESP)
  • 504 Accommodation Plan

What happens when a student with a disability accepts a placement in a G&T program?

When a student with an IEP or IESP accepts a placement in a G&T program, the IEP team at the receiving school:

  • reviews the student’s IEP or IESP
  • considers the student’s strengths and weaknesses, and
  • works with the family to meet the student’s needs.

Students with IEPs and 504 Plans in G&T programs are educated alongside their general education peers in the least restrictive environment to the greatest extent possible.

IEP teams will take into account how the high-level instruction the student will receive in the G&T program will meet the student’s academic and social-emotional needs when determining what special education services and supports the student requires in the G&T setting. IEP teams will also ensure that any supports that are put in place to help the student with the transition to a G&T program are documented in the IEP. If changes to services and supports are being considered, schools will update evaluations to reflect the student’s current needs.


How are students with disabilities supported in G&T programs?

The DOE provides students with disabilities the services and supports they need in the G&T program. G&T programs vary across schools in terms of instructional strategies and materials. Students with disabilities are not denied any of these supports because they are in the G&T setting, and they may receive additional supports to help them with the transition to G&T.

Can students be evaluated for special education services once in G&T?

Yes. All teachers must identify students who may require special education services and supports, and all students must have access to pre-referral services and evidence-based literacy interventions before a referral for special education services is initiated.

A student in G&T who is suspected of having a disability should be referred for an evaluation. Parents may make this referral. The student’s school is responsible for evaluating the student and, if found eligible, developing the IEP. If the student is eligible for special education services, the student may continue in the G&T program and receive special education services and supports.