February 29, 2024

If your child loves going to school, engages successfully in an advanced curriculum, and demonstrates a strong sense of curiosity, your child may be showing signs of giftedness. Early identification of a child’s giftedness will give your child an early start with developing their unique talents in an academic environment that cultivates their potential.

The purpose of having a student evaluated for giftedness is to identify and support children who demonstrate exceptional intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership abilities that require specialized educational programming and enrichment opportunities.

A gifted intellectual evaluation focuses on cognitive abilities such as memory, visual-spatial perception, language skills, processing speed, and problem-solving skills. The school districts of Manatee County and Sarasota County both require a 130 IQ for a student to be part of a gifted program. In addition, the school will factor in the student’s grades and determine if the child is demonstrating gifted characteristics such as motivation and leadership, as well as the critical thinking skills necessary for successful placement in an advanced learning environment.

Gifted achievement testing typically focuses on the areas of reading and math. This testing is only required if you want your child to participate in a full-time magnet program within the Sarasota County School District. Please refer to the Sarasota County Exceptional Student Services website for more information (

Gifted magnet schools in Sarasota County are Fruitville, Venice, and Toledo Blade Elementary Schools; Booker, Sarasota, and Woodland Middle Schools; and Pine View School and Laurel Nokomis School. These schools require both intellectual and academic testing. They also have grade requirements and require a recommendation from your child’s school. Magnet programs typically have a separate application process and specific deadlines – be sure to contact the individual school for the most current information.

Entry into a full-time magnet program is not necessary for your child’s gifted needs to be met. Gifted needs are met in many different ways throughout Sarasota and Manatee schools. Be sure to check with your child’s school in order to understand how they will meet your child’s needs. C.O.P.E. is here to help you and your family navigate the gifted process and the educational programs offered in our area.

**It is important to note there are deadlines for gifted testing. Refer to the Sarasota County Schools and the School District of Manatee County websites for the most current information.

Gifted testing aims to:

  • Identify exceptional abilities by assessing the student’s cognitive abilities, including reasoning, problem-solving, memory, and creativity, to identify exceptional strengths and talents that may indicate giftedness.
  • Determine the need for specialized educational programming, enrichment activities, and advanced coursework that will meet the unique learning needs of gifted students and provide appropriate academic challenges.
  • Provide support, resources, and opportunities for gifted students to develop their talents, pursue advanced learning experiences, and engage in activities that align with their intellectual and creative abilities.

Inform educational planning and decision-making by identifying the specific strengths, areas of giftedness, and potential areas for academic acceleration or enrichment within the child’s educational profile.