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How to Create a Gifted Individualized Education Plan

gtchat GIEP


Creating a Gifted Individualized Education Plan is hard work. It is a formal plan that delineates the accommodations a student will have in place for an academic year. Even if your locality does not recognize GIEPs or IEPs, they can be useful as a framework to advocate for a gifted student. GIEPs need to be prepared and submitted well in advance of the year in which they are expected to be implemented. They should be detailed and specific to ensure academic progress and talent development.

Gifted IEPs are a good idea for gifted students because a written and agreed to plan is easier to implement and monitor over the course of the school year. When written with specific goals and appropriate terminology, they have  a greater success rate than verbal agreements. Beyond academic objectives, Gifted IEPs can address a child’s social adjustment with peers and learning preferences.

Parents, gifted education teachers, regular education teachers, guidance counselors,  and school psychologists can all be involved in the GIEP process. The student should be consulted throughout the process as well. If the gifted student does not ‘buy in’ to the final agreement, the chances of success are slim. Often schools form multidisciplinary teams to review education plans.

What should be included in a GIEP? An excellent example can be found here. Assessment  and testing data will usually be presented in the GIEP. Present Levels of Educational Performance (PLEP) provide a baseline to aid in showing annual growth of a student. Specific goals and expected outcomes related to the student’s strengths and interests; specifically designed instruction to be provided; and support services like transportation needs, teaching strategies, collaborative time for gifted and regular education teachers should be included. Areas of weakness (academic, social, emotional, motivational) to be remediated may also be considered.

Resources for completing a comprehensive Gifted Individualized Education Plan may be found in the links provided at the end of this post. A full transcript can be found on our Storify page.

Thanks to Leslie Graves, Jerry Blumengarten, Jen MerrillAmy Harrington, Jeremy Bond and Rhonda Boyer for additional links included below.


Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S., Midnight in the UK and Saturdays 11 AM NZST/9 AM AEST to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our new Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime advocate for gifted children and also blogs at Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at:



Sample GIEP from PA (pdf)

A Parents’ Guide to Gifted Education in PA (pdf)

How To/Resources for Writing a GIEP

Davidson Institute for Talent Development Database on GIEP Meetings

Kids’ Health Gifted Education: IEP – P. 2

Designing & Developing Programs for Gifted Students (Amazon)

Re-Forming Gifted Education: How Parents & Teachers Can Match the Program to the Child (Amazon)

Tier & Compacting: Differentiating Instruction for Gifted Learners (Slideshare)

The Care & Feeding of Gifted Children

Present Levels of Educational Performance (PLEPs)

Developing an Educational Plan/Curriculum

Instructional Management/Individualization

Instructional Management/Acceleration Subject Acceleration

Instructional Managemnt/Acceleration Grade Acceleration

Instructional Management/Grouping

Gifted Journey: Individualized Education Plans

Cybraryman’s IEP Page

Cybraryman’s Individual Learning Program Page

Cybraryman’s Personalized Learning Page

Motivation, Engagement and Student Voice

IDEA Applies To ‘Twice Exceptional’ Students Too

Twice-Exceptional or Misdiagnosed?

Parent’s Unofficial Guide to Gifted IEPs and Gifted IEP Meetings

Berkeley Parents Network Advice about IEP and 504 Plans

Wrightslaw How Can I Fight for a Gifted Child?

Glenforest Secondary School IEP Gifted Plan

The IEP and the Gifted Learner

Blue Valley Schools Sample IEP File

Advocacy/Special Education: Getting What Your Child Needs from Schools

Tip Sheet for Developing the IEP for Gifted

Your Gifted IEP (YouTube 3:12)


GIEP Resources by State:

Arizona Department of Education Explains Non-use of IEP for Gifted

Connecticut The Student Success Plan

Kansas Gifted File Review Worksheet

Louisiana’s Educational Rights of Gifted/Talented Children in Public Schools

Louisiana’s IEP Handbook for Gifted/Talented Students (2002) (pdf)

Michigan Department of Education Talent Development (Local Initiatives)

Missouri Department of Education Gifted Education Programs Procedure Manual (No IEP)

New Jersey FAQs on Gifted Education

New Mexico IEP Requirements for Gifted – P. 71 (pdf)

Oklahoma Report on Gifted & Talented (pdf)

Pennsylvania Department of Education Gifted Education (Available GIEP – Online)


Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

An Interview with Dr. Donna Y. Ford

donna fordDr. Donna Y. Ford

This week, Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented welcomes Dr. Donna Y. Ford to discuss Multicultural Gifted Education on Friday at 7/6 C.

Dr. Ford is Professor of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University. She is the former Betts Chair of Education and Human Development, and currently holds a joint appointment in the Department of Special Education and Department of Teaching and Learning. Dr. Ford has been a Professor of Special Education at the Ohio State University, an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Virginia, and an Assistant Professor at the University of Kentucky. A full bio may be found here.

Dr. Ford’s latest book is Recruiting and Retaining Culturally Different Students in Gifted Education from Prufrock Press. She was a 2014  NAACP Image Award Nominee for Literature-Instruction. 

Ford Recruiting

Below is an interview we recently conducted with Dr. Ford.

Moderator: How did experiences in your early life lead you to gifted education?

Dr. Ford: I was identified as gifted in elementary school. So I have always been interested in gifted education and students. I could share many reasons for my interest and passion, but will concentrate on one. My interestpeaked when my son was identified as gifted but started underachieving in the second grade. This was a terrible time for him — he and the teacher had a very poor relationship. He started hating school and doing poorly on assignments. This is when two areas of interest become a passion for me: (a) Black students’ under-representation in gifted education and (2) why gifted students in general, but gifted Black students in particular, underachieved. I decided to concentrate on gifted in my doctoral studies at this time. My dissertation in 1991 and first book (1996) focused on underachieving gifted Black students. Let me say that my work in gifted education is both personal and professional.

Moderator: How has your work in special education impacted your approach to gifted education?

Dr. Ford: I am convinced that many Black students in special education are gifted, and this is particularly so for our males. While I do not focus my work on twice exceptional students, I am pleased others are. This dual issue of over-representation in special education and under-representation in gifted education must be interrogated. Both result in lost potential. Both are a form of miseducation.

Moderator: What lessons have you learned from a mentor that you consider of greatest value?

Dr. Ford: Actually, I am often the mentor rather than mentee. This is not meant to be arrogant but to say that I learned early in life to be self-sufficient and make wise choices. This said, when mentoring, I stress the value of having a strong work ethic. Effort trumps ability in my experiences. Work hard and with integrity is a winning combination.

Moderator: Do you think gifted organizations could do more to promote diversity?

Dr. Ford: Absolutely!! Organizations have no choice but to be proactive and culturally responsive. To ignore or downplay culture and diversity is a disservice to children, students, families, and communities. At least half of students in P-12 settings are non-White. There is no rationale to ignore 50% of our students.

Thank you Dr. Ford for taking the time to talk with us! We look forward to discussing this critical issue with you.


Can Personalized Education Be Achieved in Public Schools?

personalized edu

Photo: Courtesy of MorgueFile 

In our inaugural chat on a Sunday, we discussed whether or not personalized education could ever be achieved in public schools. Questions considered included what exactly personalized education was, barriers to it being implemented, the role of the teacher and technology, and what could be learned from homeschoolers. A full transcript can be found here.

Due to the time change, many more participants from the UK and EU were able to join the chat. It was decided that going forward we will be holding at least one chat a month on Sunday.


Hybrid Learning’s Promise for Personalized Education

The Promise of Personalized Learning

Personalized Learning, Big Data and Schools fromEdutopia

A Personalized Future for Education

Personalized Education

Personalized Education Plan (w/samples for gifted students)

Personalized Learning: 5 Future Technology Predictions from IBM (video)

Personalized Education and the Role of Genius Hour in the Classroom

Creating Adaptive, Personalized, Effective & Addictive Education System for the Next 

The Next Big Thing: Personalized Education (April 2009) from Howard Gardner

Gifted Homeschoolers Forum

GHF Online from @GiftedHF

Personalized Learning (history – Wikipedia)

Assessing the Early Impact of School of One

How New York City is Using Technology to Teach Math One-on-One

The Best Way for Each Student to Learn (Vimeo)

Don’t Expect Schools of the Future to Be Here Tomorrow

From Cybraryman “Personalized Education Plans

Creating Personalized Education Opportunities

More Than Outside the Box” by Krissy Venosdale

The 21st Century Classroom” (YouTube)

TEDx video “Revolutionizing Education with Personalized Learning

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