Gifted & Talented Education

Gifted & Talented Program at Sacaton Elementary School District

The SESD Gifted and Talented Program is continuing to build and develop a curriculum to meet the needs of its high achieving students. Our curriculum will incorporate STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics into a project based learning model and other differentiated learning opportunities.

Definition of a Gifted Child 

"Gifted pupil" means a child who is of lawful school age, who due to superior intellect or advanced learning ability, or both, is not afforded an opportunity for otherwise attainable progress and development in regular classroom instruction and who needs appropriate gifted education services, to achieve at levels commensurate with the child's intellect and ability. ARS §15-779.02

Mandated Services for Gifted Children in Arizona

Gifted education is mandated for all public school districts. All school districts must both identify gifted learners and provide appropriate educational programs and services for gifted learners that are an “integrated, differentiated learning experience during the regular school day” in all grades K-12. ARS §15-779.02

High Achieving Students

Students that are high achieving may also qualify to receive services.  These students are identified based on data gathered from: district testing, teacher observations, performance in classroom which indicates the student is working above grade level when compared to their peers.


Sacaton School District uses one test: Cognitive Abilities Test or CogAT 8.
CogAT tests students in three areas:

  • Quantitative – mathematical thinking processes

  • Verbal – language thinking processes

  • Non-Verbal – visual spatial thinking processes 

Transfer students will be appropriately placed as soon as program criteria are verified. 

Testing is offered three times per year: 
1st Quarter: October   
2nd Quarter: January  
3rd Quarter: March  

Parents and Legal Guardians

If you think that your child is gifted, please request that your child be tested. Please visit the front office at the Middle School or Elementary School to obtain a Referral Packet. Return it to your child’s classroom teacher. Transfer students will be appropriately placed as soon as program criteria are verified.  

3-8 Gifted Program Offerings 

In order to support their emotional and academic needs, the gifted curriculum is designed for students to be spending most of their learning time using learning processes that are more complex and abstract than that of their peers.  

Our program is designed for classroom and curriculum support services for 3rd-8th grades; classroom teachers are equipped to provide differentiated learning opportunities for our gifted and talented students.