• Gifted students have an exceptional ability to reason and learn, and Tempe High School recognizes that there can be a significant disconnect between the special needs of gifted students and the pace and complexity of the general instructional program. Since we strive to meet the needs of all of our students, we are committed to providing any gifted student with an excellent and fulfilling educational experience that is appropriately matched with their intellect and ability.

    What is a gifted student?

    As a general concept, there is no precise or universal definition of giftedness since intelligence, skill, creativity, and talent are qualities that depend greatly on circumstance, culture, and context. That said, individual US states have defined giftedness within their respective statutes. In Arizona, ARS 15-779 states: "Gifted pupil" means a child who is of lawful school age, who due to superior intellect or advanced learning ability, or both, is not afforded an opportunity for otherwise attainable progress and development in regular classroom instruction and who needs appropriate gifted education services, to achieve at levels commensurate with the child's intellect and ability.

    Tempe Union High School District recognizes students as gifted who score at or above the 97th percentile on the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) in one or more areas of reasoning. These areas are verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and non-verbal reasoning, and they may correlate to increased aptitude in language arts, mathematics, and science.

    Where can I find more information about being gifted?

    The National Association for Gifted Children maintains a very helpful website that provides information about giftedness and gifted education.

    How are the needs of gifted students addressed at Tempe High School?

    Rigorous and advanced coursework on its own is not gifted education. Tempe High School, in recognition of this, offers these services to gifted students:

    • Acceleration placement options
    • Differentiated instruction in the classroom, including:
      • Curriculum compacting
      • Tiered lessons
      • Learning contracts
      • Group investigations
      • Independent study
      • Modifications to content
      • Modifications to a demonstration of mastery
    • Information provided to teachers as to which students are gifted and in what areas
    • Rigorous, honors-level coursework in both core (mathematics, language arts, experimental sciences, social sciences) and non-core (second languages, music, visual arts) courses
    • Availability of an Individualized Learning Plan
    • Specialized counseling and academic advisement for advanced students
    • Opportunities to explore personal development through volunteering, clubs, sports, and other extra-curricular activities

    The IB Program

    The IB Diploma Program is an excellent option for gifted students as it addresses the needs of the whole student. Students study six major content areas (including a second language and fine art) built around a central philosophical core while also participating in extracurricular activities and completing individual research on a topic of interest to them. Gifted students benefit from some of the unconventional teaching techniques and the deep study of international culture, language, and the nature and limitations of human knowledge. IB learners strive to be:

    • Inquirers
    • Knowledgeable
    • Thinkers
    • Communicators
    • Principled
    • Open-minded
    • Caring
    • Risk-takers
    • Balanced

     We believe these attributes of the IB program to be of particular benefit to gifted students:

    • Rigorous honors curriculum that emphasizes critical thinking, language and culture
    • Recognized by universities across the globe for course placement, credit, and scholarships.
    • Emphasis on inquiry and reflection in every class
    • Curriculum with a global perspective
    • Writing is emphasized in all courses
    • Excellent college preparation
    • Learning a fine art such as music or painting is required
    • Multilingualism is required
    • Extra-curricular activities such as volunteering, participating in clubs, or playing sports are required

IB Contacts

Gifted Education - Program Eligibility

  • Testing for the gifted and talented program on a state-approved test is offered three times during each school year. Any student scoring a 97th percentile or above qualifies for differentiated instruction provided through numerous service options.

    Gifted Test Registration

    For TUHSD schools, a testing session takes place on the campus of McClintock High School on:
    July 20, 2024

    Students should arrive no later than 8 AM.