Commonly Used Terms


Acceleration - Access to higher level learning activities and skill development than typically provided in regular education to students of the same age. The pacing, complexity and depth of planned coursework are modified as indicated by individual needs.


Ability Grouping - Arranging students by ability to meet various instructional purposes. These groups are specific to the educational goal to be achieved and can be flexibly formed and reformed as needed.


Compacting - Elimination of content that the student has already mastered allowing a faster paced learning progression based on the student's rate of acquisition/retention of new materials and skills.

Content - The specific information that is to be taught in the unit or course of instruction.


Differentiation - An organized, yet flexible way of proactively adjusting teaching content, process, product or environment to meet students where they are and help them to achieve maximum growth as learners.


Educational Placement – The overall educational environment in which gifted education is provided to a gifted student.

Enrichment - In-depth learning experiences that provide interaction with new ideas, skills and topics that enhance the curriculum. These experiences are based upon individual student strengths, interests and needs.

GIEP – Gifted Individualized Education Plan

A GIEP is an academic and strength based document developed by a student’s GIEP team, for a student who is found to be mentally gifted and in need of specially designed instruction. Each GIEP team must include persons who meet the following qualifications:

-One or both of the student’s parents

-The student if the parent chooses to have the student participate

-A representative of the district, who will serve as the chairperson of the GEIP team, who is knowledgeable about the availability of resources of the district and who is authorized to commit those resources.

-One or more of the student’s current teachers

-Other individuals at the discretion of either the parents or district

GMDT – Gifted Multidisciplinary Team

The GMDT will be formed on the basis of the student’s needs and shall be comprised of the following team members:

-The student’s parent(s) or guardian

-A certified school psychologist

-Persons familiar with the student’s educational experience and performance

-One or more of the student’s current teachers

-Persons trained in the appropriate evaluation techniques

-When possible, persons familiar with the student’s cultural background

-*A single member of the GMDT may meet two or more of the above roles

Gifted Multidisciplinary Evaluation - A systematic process of testing, assessment and other evaluative processes used by a team to develop a recommendation about whether or not a student is gifted for needs gifted education.

Gifted Student – A student who is exceptional under section 1371 of the school code (24 P.S. S. § 13-71) because the student meets the definition of “mentally gifted” in this section, needs specially designed instruction beyond that required in chapter 4 (relating to academic standards and assessment).

NORA – Notice or Recommended Educational Assignment

A Notice of Recommended Assignment (NORA) must be completed at the conclusion of each Gifted Individualized Education Plan review and any time that a significant change has been made to the Gifted Individualized Education Plan. (22 Pa. Code §16.61(2))

Pre-test - A test given before instruction to determine current level of performance in a specific skill area.

Process - How the student will acquire the content information.

Product - How the student will demonstrate their understanding of the content

School Code – The Public School Code of 1949 ( 24 P.S. §§ 1-101- 27-2702).

School Day – A day in which school is in session.

Specially Designed Instruction (SDI) – Adaptations or modifications to the general curriculum, instruction, instructional environments, methods, materials, or a specialized curriculum for students who are gifted.

Standardized Test - A form of measurement that has been normed against a specific population.


Tiered Instruction (also called scaffolding) - Use of varied level of activities to ensure that students explore ideas at a level that builds on their prior knowledge and prompts continued growth within the same unit, lesson or theme of instruction