Guide to Gifted and Talented Programs

  • What is "Gifted and Talented" (G/T)"?
    The state of Texas defines a Gifted and Talented student as a student who performs at or shows the potential for performing at a remarkably high level of accomplishment when compared to others of the same age, experience, or environment and who: (1) exhibits high performance capability in an intellectual, creative, or artistic area; (2) possesses an unusual capacity for leadership; or (3) excels in a specific academic field.

    How do I know a student is Gifted and Talented (G/T)? 
    It is important to note that there are not one or two characteristics that an educator can point to in order to say that a student is gifted and talented. It is a combination of characteristics. Some signs that a student might be gifted and talented include but are not limited to:

    • Extraordinary memory compared to peers
    • Highly curious
    • Highly creative
    • Exhibits abstract reasoning and problem-solving skills
    • Draws inferences and grasps underlying principles
    • Initiates projects
    • Discusses things in detail and elaborates


    What is the Gifted and Talented Program?
    The Gifted and Talented Program is designed for HISD's Gifted and Talented (G/T) students in grades K-12 who excel in general intellectual ability in combination with creative/productive thinking and/or leadership ability. Gifted and Talented programs provide services that are comprehensive, structured, sequenced, and appropriately challenging.  HISD curriculum is differentiated by modifying the depth, complexity, and pacing of the general school program, utilizing higher-level thinking skills, and developing independent research skills focusing on advanced-level products.

    Where are Gifted and Talented Program located?
    All HISD schools offer Gifted and Talented Programs.

    What is the difference between Gifted and Talented Neighborhood and Vanguard Magnet programs?

    • Gifted and Talented Neighborhood Programs are designed to provide G/T services on a campus for all G/T students who are enrolled at that campus.  With the exception of 15 Vanguard Magnet schools, all HISD schools offer a G/T Neighborhood program.
    • Vanguard Magnet Programs are designed to meet the needs of G/T students in Board-approved Magnet schools in accordance with the district and Magnet Guidelines. Vanguard Magnet schools provide services to their zoned G/T students and students on a Vanguard Magnet transfer.  There are 10 elementary Vanguard Magnet schools, 5 Vanguard Magnet middle schools, and one Vanguard Magnet high school.

    How to apply to a Vanguard Magnet Program?
    Students applying to a Vanguard Magnet school must submit an HISD Magnet application following the Magnet timelines and policies.

    How to apply to a Gifted and Talented Neighborhood Program?
    Students can apply for G/T services at their neighborhood (zoned) school by submitting the Gifted and Talented Neighborhood Programs application to their enrolled campus.

    How do students qualify for the Gifted and Talented Program?
    Gifted and Talented (G/T) identification in HISD is determined by points obtained based on various criteria: Achievement Test, Abilities Test, and other District Criteria. Scores are entered and converted into points on HISD’s G/T Identification Matrix.