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Universal screening process to identify more gifted and talented students earlier

A new resource for Adams 12 Five Star Schools will help educators readily identify gifted students districtwide. On September 21st  all second-graders will participate in a new 30-minute screening process known as the Naglieri Non-verbal Abilities Test (NNAT).

The universal screening process uses progressive matrices to allow for a culturally neutral evaluation of students’ nonverbal reasoning and general problem-solving abilities, regardless of the individual student’s primary language, education, culture or socioeconomic background. The short assessment will let educators easily see how students compare with peers nationwide.

The results of the NNAT will be used as a component in a student’s overall body of evidence in the gifted identification process, which also considers factors like student achievement, characteristics and demonstrated performance.

Implementing a district-wide screening process for second-graders is a widely valued best practice for identifying gifted students early in their academic career. This allows educators to adjust their instruction to meet the needs of gifted students sooner.

The universal screening process was identified as a recommended next-step in our district’s recent Colorado Department of Education Gifted Education Review and it also meets state requirements defined in legislation passed in 2014. The National Association for Gifted Children also recognizes the importance of a universal screener in their Gifted Programming Standards.

For further information on the universal screener process, please visit