South Pasadena Unified School District

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Gifted Student Identification & Model

Gifted Student Identification:

The Gifted student identification process begins in 3rd grade. All 3rd graders have the opportunity to be tested. New 4th and 5th grade students, not previously tested, may also choose to be tested.  Students are assessed using the Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT). The OLSAT is a standardized test that assesses a student's verbal, nonverbal, and quantitative abilities. It is one of many possible tools and measures educational institutions used to differentiate instruction to meet the various needs of students.

Below is a sample of a student's OLSAT score report. The score report has additional context about student results and a description of the various scores listed. Focus areas on the report include:
  1. GATE Score Report Sample
    Percentile Rank Scores: Total, Verbal and Non-Verbal Age Percentile Rank scores are listed here on a scale from 1 to 99. 
  2. Age Percentile Rank: Total Age Percentile Rank and description of the metric.
  3. Total OLSAT Performance: A graphical depiction of a student's OLSAT results compared to like-aged children. Similar to an Intelligence Quotient (IQ) test, the average performance score is 100 (50%).

Gifted Student Participation in School-wide Cluster Grouping Model, ALL ARE SCHOLARS:

Gifted student identification assists with the implementation of our School-wide Cluster Grouping Model, called All Are Scholars, in fourth and fifth grade.  This inclusive model allows Gifted students to learn together all day, every day. Please note that students do not need to be identified for Gifted students to enroll in middle and high school Honors and Advanced Placement programs.

In this model, instruction is tailored to meet the unique needs of Gifted students and takes into account the variety of learning styles and the unique sets of strengths, interests, and needs of these students. The instructional approach will endeavor to accommodate these aforementioned factors and to challenge these children to help them realize their full learning potential. 

For more information, see School-wide Cluster Grouping Model Frequently Asked Questions linked below.

Local Organizations to support parents of gifted children:

The Institute for Educational Advancement

Summer Programs/Opportunities for Gifted students:

There are many summer opportunities designed specifically for gifted and talented students in the elementary, middle, and high school grades. The web links below are sponsored by the California Association for the Gifted, the National Association for the Gifted, and the Texas Association for the Gifted. Inclusion of these links and the companies mentioned within does not imply endorsement by the South Pasadena Unified School District. If you have specific questions about summer opportunities, please contact the companies noted in the links directly, or you can contact the sponsoring organizations via phone or email:

Institute for Educational Advancement (IEA- located in Pasadena, CA) - free monthly parent meetings/speakers
[email protected]


California Association for the Gifted (CAG)

(916) 441-3999

Email:  [email protected]


National Association for the Gifted (NAGC)

Parent Resource Link:

(202) 785-4268

Email:  [email protected]


Texas Association for the Gifted (TAGT)

(512) 499-8248

Tracy Weinberg, Associate Director: t[email protected]

Gifted  Information Locker