Early Entry to Kindergarten

Information for Parents and Families

Contact Information

Coordinator of Gifted Services
Director of Student Services
Thomas Lish-Brown

Gifted Intervention Specialist  
Wendy Buskirk

Gifted Identification

The State of Ohio defines a gifted student as one who “performs or shows potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared to others of their age, experience, or environment. The Student Services office is responsible for identifying and working to meet the needs of our gifted students. Ohio law requires that school districts test and identify students for giftedness. Liberty Union-Thurston Local Schools provides multiple opportunities for such testing throughout a student’s academic career.  

Whole grade testing is completed in grades 2 and 6.  All students are involved in the pre-assessment pool. By using the pre-assessment process, the district ensures equal access to screening and further assessment for all district children, including culturally or linguistically diverse children, children from low socioeconomic backgrounds, children with disabilities, and children for whom English is a second language. Opportunities exist for students to take these tests in their native language and for students with physical and sensory needs to take these tests with appropriate modifications.  Tests are administered by qualified educators.   
By using tests from the ODE approved list, the district ensures that the tests are valid for all special populations.  The district ensures that any child transferring into the district will be assessed within 90 days of the transfer at the request of the parent.   Outside testing data that follows the guidelines of ORC 3324.01-07and OAC 3301-51-15 shall be accepted for identification and service.    
Parents will receive written notice of all testing results. Referrals are taken for testing in both the Fall and Spring. The pre-assessment part of the process involves gathering student data from a variety of sources including teacher, parent, and peer nominations, grades, portfolios, observations, review of student records, and outstanding products or performances, etc.  
Referral forms can be found in all school building main offices. Identification appeals may be directed to the District Superintendent.


The district serves students in Grades 3-4 identified as gifted in the areas of Superior Cognitive Ability, Mathematics, and/or Reading within a cluster group in the regular classroom, taught by a regular classroom teacher.  The district also serves students in Grades 5-8 who are identified as Superior Cognitive Ability and/or Reading within a course specifically for students who are gifted, taught by a Gifted Intervention Specialist (GIS).  Students in Grade 8 who are identified as Superior Cognitive Ability and/or Math are served within an accelerated Algebra I class, taught by a regular classroom teacher. Honors, Advanced Placement, and College Credit Plus courses are available at our high school with services available for gifted students. Students may be eligible for services through early entrance, subject and whole-grade acceleration, or early graduation.  

All regular classroom teachers receive guidance and professional development in gifted education per the requirements of the revised Gifted Operating Standards.  

Acceleration referrals are addressed following the district policy and the Iowa Acceleration Scale.

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