Every HISD school offers a Vanguard program for G/T students. There are two types of program designs: Vanguard Neighborhood and Vanguard Magnet.
HISD Vanguard (G/T) programs are designed for students who either perform at or show the potential for performing at a high level of accomplishment compared to other students of the same age, experience, or environment. These students require differentiated educational programs and/or services beyond those normally provided by the regular school program. All HISD Vanguard programs share these characteristics:
G/T identification is required for participation in all Vanguard programs, whether it is at a Vanguard Neighborhood (zoned) school or in a Vanguard Magnet school. In HISD, students can apply for identification as G/T as early as age 4, prior to entering kindergarten. All students who are identified as G/T, they maintain their eligibility through the end of twelfth grade. There are a variety of ways in which students are nominated for G/T eligibility. A student in any grade can be tested based on teacher recommendation, parent application, and/or self-nomination by the student. Additionally, there are testing times when all HISD students in Kindergarten or 5th grade are assessed to ensure program access to all children. Beginning in November 2008, the following tests will be used in identifying eligibility:
Students in all grades (or those new to the district) can apply for Vanguard services in the Neighborhood (zoned) school through the Vanguard (G/T) application. The application process for identification as G/T involves the following:
The Advanced Academics Department Website http://www.houstonisd.org//Domain/8034 contains general information about Vanguard (G/T) programs, the application process, the G/T Identification criteria and matrices, applications, and links to related Web sites.
The Texas Education Code, section 29.121. requires all schools to provide G/T services for eligible students. School districts are charged with establishing their own criteria for identifying G/T students, but must measure giftedness with both qualitative and quantitative measures.
Identification as G/T is determined by points obtained on various criteria: achievement test, abilities test, grades, teacher recommendation, obstacles, and (in the case of the very young) parent recommendation. Points are entered into a G/T Identification Matrix, which can be viewed at http://www.houstonisd.org//Domain/8034.