Gifted Services






Courtney Brown Supervisor of Gifted Services
(615) 893-5815
ext. 22037
[email protected] 


Services for Intellectually Gifted Students

Definition: Intellectually Gifted students are those whose Intellectual abilities and potential for achievement are so outstanding that special provisions are required to meet their needs.

Who is served by Gifted Services? 

  • Rutherford County students who meet Tennessee criteria as intellectually gifted receive gifted services according to Individual Education Programs (IEPs).


How are students identified as intellectually gifted? 

  • Teachers, parents, guidance counselors, or others may refer individual students for screening. Rutherford County screens all second graders for intellectual giftedness.


What are some indications of intellectual giftedness that may result in a student being referred for evaluation? 

  • A history of outstanding achievement as evidenced by grades and other accomplishments
  • Achievement test scores above the 90th percentile in multiple areas (especially with some at the 95th percentile or above)
  • Advanced vocabulary
  • Creative thinking, often with a keen interest in a particular area
  • High level of curiosity, persistence in questioning
  • Unusual sense of humor
  • Good problem-solving ability
  • Heightened intensity--emotional, cognitive or physical
  • Innovative and/or abstract thinking


What happens after a student is referred for screening? 

Parents will be informed of their rights, and they will be asked to give written permission for their child to be screened or evaluated. The referral process begins with “screening,” which means collecting information from parents, teachers, and the student’s school record. A team of educational professionals will consider screening information, and parents will be notified if a comprehensive evaluation is recommended.

The referral process may end with screening, or it may continue through a comprehensive evaluation, depending upon individual student needs. After the process is completed, the team will determine whether the student meets criteria and if the student is eligible for Special Education Services through Spectrum or if the student’s needs can be met in the regular classroom.

What constitutes eligibility for gifted services as intellectually gifted? 

  • Multiple criteria in the areas of academic performance, gifted characteristics, and cognition are used to determine eligibility.

How frequent is the incidence of intellectual giftedness? 

  • Research shows that 3%-5% of children possess exceptional learning traits. Intellectual giftedness crosses all economic and cultural boundaries.


Additional Resources:

Tennessee State Department of Education
Gifted Development Center
National Association for Gifted Children
Tennessee Association for the Gifted 
Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted