Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions:



  • What is the definition of Gifted?


“Definitions provide the framework for gifted education programs and services, and guide key decisions such as which students will qualify for services, the areas of giftedness to be addressed in programming (e.g., intellectual giftedness generally, specific abilities in math), when the services will be offered, and even why they will be offered.  There is no universally accepted definition of giftedness” <–



  • Why Schools and District differ in their definition of Gifted?



As noted in the above definition, often districts base their definition and identification of Gifted on the available resources. This means that a student may be considered Gifted in one district or school and not in another. However, the needs of the student do not change as the student may still require enrichment in some way.



  • How Do I know if my Child is Gifted?

Does my Child Exhibit the Characteristics of a Gifted Learner?



  • Are Gifted Students considered “At Risk”?



The word “As Risk” implies that a learner may have difficulty in some areas of the curriculum or school life. Research shows that Gifted students can have many different needs.



  • In the HWDSB, when does a student get identified as Gifted?



Board-wide gifted screening occurs in grade four.  Grade four students complete a classroom-based assessment measure called the Canadian Cognitive Abilities Test (CCAT).  Students who score highly on the CCAT, as well as those who are nominated by school personnel are then invited to participate in one-to-one cognitive testing that takes place between February and May.  Results of this testing are then compared against HWDSB’s Gifted Identification Criteria to see whether the student is eligible to be identified as gifted.



  • What if a student is highly talented or Gifted before Grade Five?



Most gifted programming takes place in the regular class, and is based on an understanding of a student’s individual learning profile.  Individualized, classroom-based programming relies on school staff understanding the needs of all learners.  School-based supports and resources are not dependent on a student being formally identified.  



  • How have the criteria changed over the last few decades?




  • Why does my Gifted struggle with Social Skills?




  • What are the most common myths about Gifted Learners?



  • Are Gifted Students different today?


. All learners are different in the 21st Century. Means and Methods of learning have  changed and Gifted students have a wider variety of opportunity and tools to express themselves, seek out new learning and engage in a wider community of learners.



  • How can my Gifted Child be served in the classroom?


*Learning Contract:

*Contact with Teacher

* Staying current with research

* Being part of the IEP process

* Being Open-Minded to different ways of learning/teaching





At HWDSB-> Tied Model as outlined here:

  • What does the future hold for these students?  


  • I was told that my GIFTED child was not RECOMMENDED for a Gifted Class/Self Contained Placement. Why?


Students who are not being successful in the regular class and whose needs are not being met in the regular classroom and at the Enrichment Centre, may be offered Self-Contained Gifted Placement at one of six Self-Contained Gifted Special Class. Special Class Placement for Gifted is for Grade 6 through 8.  

  • How do I inspire my child/student to dream big dreams, channel their energy, and have strong work ethic?


  • How do you encourage gifted students to add detail to their work?


  • At the parent coffee house last year there was a great discussion about how many gifted students are introverts. Given that the students meet at the centre only 5-6 times per year and therefore do not have much opportunity to develop close and trusting relationships with each other, how are the socio-emotional needs of introverts proactively addressed in their time at the centre?


  • What new and additional program or steps are taken to provide additional challenges and  enrichment to gifted students versus regular class  to tap their potential and challenge their minds to achieve better and not make their minds idle?


Provincial Organizations

Haut Potentiel Québec (Gifted Child’s Association of BC) (Action for Bright Children: Calgary Society) (Association for Bright Children of Ontario) (Association for Bright Children, New Brunswick Chapter) (Provincial listings of organizations for the gifted and talented)

Gifted Resources from MENSA CANADA