The Gifted Multi-Disciplinary Team (GMDT)
The Gifted Multi-Disciplinary Team (GMDT) includes a certified school psychologist, the principal or District representative, the classroom teacher(s), a school counselor, and the parent(s)/guardian(s). The GMDT conducts a comprehensive evaluation that is sufficient to investigate information relevant to the student’s suspected giftedness, including academic functioning, learning strengths, acquisition and retention rates, intervening factors that may mask giftedness, and educational needs. If at any time the parent(s) decides to rescind permission to evaluate, the evaluation process will be stopped, as long as the parent’s request is in writing.
The GMDT has the responsibility of contributing information to the GMDE that:
- Assures that comprehensive data has been collected on the student to indicate academic instructional levels, thinking skills and other learning skill levels, rate of acquisition/retention for mastery of new content/skills, academic interests/strengths, and, as appropriate, developmental levels (young students) and career goals.
- Provides clarifying information about the ability of children who score below IQ 130 (within the standard of measurement for the test) and have strong indications of gifted performance.
- Determines if additional assessment, such as out-of-level academic testing, is needed. When normed and validated individualized standardized testing is used, a clear explanation of subtest results should be part of the Gifted Written Report (GWR). Such explanation may include:
- Mastery level
- Functional/instructional level and frustration level
- District performance criteria for competency
- Mastery and excellence of output
- Comprehensive developmental levels in subtests
- Implications in the learning process of the student
- Recommends whether a student is gifted and in need of specially designed instruction.
- Recommends appropriate integrated programming for a student if there is more than one area of exceptionality.
- Provides information about the student’s adaptive and social behavior if this is appropriate.
The GWR should be compiled based on a complete evaluation and carry the recommendations of all individuals participating, whether or not the individuals are in concurrence. “The determination of giftedness, i.e., eligibility under Chapter 16, resides with the GMDT, which includes the parents.” (Pennsylvania Department of Education Gifted Guidelines August 2010, pages 13-14)
The evaluation process must take into consideration any Intervening Factors Masking Giftedness. “Documented, observed validated or assessed evidence that intervening factors such as English as a Second Language, learning disability, physical impairment, emotional disability, gender or race bias, or socio-cultural deprivation are masking gifted abilities.” (22 PA. Code §16.21 (e) (5))