Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Free screening to reveal gifted students

BROOKSVILLE — For parents who always thought their child was quite a bit above average, it's a good time to be in Hernando County.

On July 15 and 16, the school district will be offering a free screening for children whose parents believe they're qualified to attend the county's first gifted education center.

The Quest Academy for Gifted Education, slated to open in August at the new Explorer K-8 in Spring Hill, was projected to enroll around 383 eligible students in grades K-8.

Fewer than half that number had signed up at the beginning of June, with some families expressing frustration over the district's decision to move all gifted services to a single location.

But around 27 additional families have since signed up, and the number is growing with each passing week, said principal Dominick Ferello.

The free screening — along with an effort to contact the families of some 400 Hernando children who earned a perfect score on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test — is designed to further boost enrollment at the center and ensure that all who qualify have a chance to attend, he said.

"If the parent just has a gut feeling their kid is unique, they should call and make an appointment to do this," Ferello said.

There is a catch, though. Admission to the gifted center is restricted to students who meet the state's definition of "gifted."

Typically that means scoring at least two standard deviations above the mean score on an IQ test, and qualifying in at least one category on a state checklist. Students from low-income or minority groups can also qualify with a lower IQ score if they meet other criteria for giftedness.

Ferello said parents who aren't sure if their children meet that criteria should watch for signs of unusual talent, such as a sophisticated vocabulary, a deep interest in numbers, or any interests that are "far beyond the child's years."

Some of those signs are counter-intuitive, he added. Some gifted children are very social and like to be among older kids, while others are bookish or prefer computers to play dates.

One gifted child might be the type "who finishes work quickly, might be a perfectionist," Ferello said. "Or the opposite extreme, a kid who is bored, doesn't see the point."

Gifted or not, any parents who are interested in the free screening can take part, as long as their child has not been screened previously for giftedness, he said. The initial screening is by appointment only and takes around 45 minutes. Children who show signs of giftedness will receive additional testing.

To make an appointment, call Lisa LaBelle at the Exceptional Student Education office, (352) 797-7022.

Tom Marshall can be reached at or (352) 848-1431.

Free screening to reveal gifted students 07/02/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 9, 2008 10:41am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Epilogue: Tony Scaglione served Ybor delicacies and laughs


    Tony Scaglione's childhood dream was to own his family's restaurant.

    Tony Scaglione - the longtime owner of Tony's Ybor Restaurant - has died.  He was 87. Credit: Larry Scaglione
  2. What you need to know for Friday, July 21


    href=""> Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during minicamp this summer. He said the Bucs could be "a bad--- football team." [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Final sign positions should cut danger where trail crosses interstate ramp


    I am concerned with the yield signs I saw recently installed for the new bike and pedestrian trail along either side of Roosevelt Boulevard between Carillon Parkway/28th Street and Interstate 275. These yield signs seem to be pointing to the drivers, one side as they exit the interstate northbound, the other as they …

  4. Trump's lawyers seek to undercut Mueller's Russia investigation


    Some of President Donald Trump's lawyers are exploring ways to limit or undercut Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, building a case against what they allege are his conflicts of interest and discussing the president's authority to grant pardons, the Washington Post reported, citing people familiar …

    President Donald Trump is said to be irritated by the notion that the special counsel's investigation could reach into his and his family's finances. [Associated Press]
  5. North Tampa shooting leaves one man dead


    Times staff

    TAMPA — A man was fatally shot Thursday afternoon after an argument with another man escalated, police said.