What do I do with the Referral Form?

    The Referral Form should be completed and returned to the gifted Resource teacher (Search, Spectrum) at your child's school. Please click here for information about the referral deadline. Please note the referral deadline is different for elementary students and middle schools students.

    What are the student-teacher ratios for students who receive Futura center classes?
    The staffing formula for Futura centers is the same as for general education classes when possible.
    How are teachers chosen to teach Futura? 
    All LCPS teachers must hold a valid Virginia Teaching License. Teachers are required to receive an endorsement in Gifted and Talented Education on their state license.

    How much homework can Futura students expect to receive?

    Because Futura is a one day a week pull out program, Futura students can expect homework and make-up work from the their regular classroom teacher. Futura teachers will give students “extensions” of the work they do at Futura and these can be completed at home if the student is interested.
    Please see the LCPS homework policy: Policy and Regulations; 5-14.

    Are there orientations for students who are eligible for Futura placement?
    Yes, information regarding orientations is given to Futura students during the first week of school.  Orientations occur in September.  The specific dates are determined by each Futura center school.

    What happens if my child is found eligible for the Futura program but chooses not to attend?

    Students found eligible for the Futura center program may defer eligibility by noting so on the parent/guardian Permission Form. Students may activate their eligibility status at a later date by submitting the Re-Entry Form to the Gifted Education Office.

    How do parents/guardians refer LCPS students for Futura or Spectrum screening?

    Parents/guardians of students currently enrolled in LCPS may initiate Futura or Spectrum screening by submitting the Parent/Guardian Referral Form to the Gifted Resource Teacher at the local school. This is the only action that is required to initiate the screening process. The referral form is available from the Gifted Resource teacher.
    What tests are used to screen students for Gifted Education services?
    The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) is administered to all LCPS second grade students during the Spring semester.  The Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT2) is administered to all LCPS third grade students in October/November.  Students in grades 3-8 who are missing an ability test score and have been referred for gifted services evaluation are also tested.  Group ability test results will only be accepted from LCPS and/or other school districts.

    What ability tests are accepted for screening for Futura and Spectrum Programs?

    ·        Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) given by a school division.

    ·        Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test given by a school division.

    What is the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT)?

    The Cognitive Abilities Test is a group ability test that measures general intellectual ability.  The test consists of three batteries: Verbal, Quantitative, and Nonverbal. Each battery is designed to assess a group of general abstract reasoning skills that research suggests are related to learning and problem solving. The Verbal and Quantitative Batteries require the student to use verbal and mathematical concepts that are acquired from experiences both in and out of school. The Nonverbal Battery uses geometric shapes and figures that have little direct relationship to formal school instruction.
    Do I need to do anything after I receive my child's CogAT scores?
    Once you receive your second grader’s scores for the Cognitive Ability Test or CogAT, you may have questions about these scores. If so, you are encouraged to contact the SEARCH (gifted) teacher at your child’s school. However, before you call, please read the following list of frequently asked questions. Click here for the Frequently Asked Questions document.

    What is the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test?

    The Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT2) is a group ability test that does not require English language skills and knowledge that is taught in school. This test allows students to demonstrate their ability to think and reason by figuring out problems that are presented through a complex series of geometric shapes and designs. The Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test allows students to demonstrate advanced levels of reasoning without word knowledge, mathematics, or reading skills. The content of the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test is completely nonverbal, the instructions are brief, and the questions may be solved using only the information that is presented in each diagram.

    What are the similarities and differences between the two tests?

    Both tests use a multiple choice format. The CogAT is timed and has three sections which yield three sub scores, one for each section. The NNAT is also timed and has one section and one score. The highest possible percentile score for each sub test of the CogAT and the NNAT is 99. The average score for each test is 50. Both the CogAT and the NNAT are nationally norm-referenced group ability tests administered as part of the LCPS testing program. The tests are given according to a child's grade level and the score is based on his/her age. In Loudoun County Public Schools, the tests are administered by classroom teachers, usually in multiple settings. Occasionally, other staff, such as the counselor, administrator, or testing coordinator may administer the tests.

    How can I prepare my child to take the tests? Can I see sample questions or practice sheets?

    Sample questions are practiced by students as part of the test preparation. These tests are not commercially available. The best test preparation is a good night's sleep and a healthy breakfast.

    What do the different terms that are found on the score report mean?

    Percentile Rank
    This shows the relative standing of a student in comparison with other students of the same age or grade. For example, 95th percentile means that a student scored higher than 95% of other students in the same age or grade taking the test during the same time of year (fall, winter, or spring).

    This indicates the student's relative standing in the national norm group and ranges from 1 - 9 with a mean of 5.
    Standard Age Scores (SAS) on the CogAT and Nonverbal Ability Index (NAI) on the NNAT 2
    These scores may be interpreted in terms of how many standard deviation units the score is above or below the mean for the age group. An SAS or NAI of 100 is zero deviations from the mean.
    The percentile score for the CogAT and the percentile score on the NNAT2 are used to select a third grade pool of candidates for the Futura center program. They are also reviewed as one of the criteria that must be submitted in a screening file.
    Can students be re-tested?
    Test scores of students enrolled in and attending LCPS remain valid for 3 years. Parents may present an approved group test or an individual intelligence test administered by a state licensed psychologist as new information in appeals.
    Approved Ability Tests:   Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT);  Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT2);  Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC V);  Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale, Riverside;  Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT) 8th Edition.

    How important are the test scores in determining eligibility for Futura placement?

    Test scores are just one piece of data considered when a file is reviewed for Futura placement. The Identification/Placement Committee, made up of LCPS teachers, specialists, and administrators, considers multiple criteria, including: ability test scores, information from the classroom teacher and Search teacher, student work and profile portfolio, and other optional information such as the Parent SIGS (Scale for Identifying Gifted Students).

    How do teachers contribute to the screening process?

    Teachers may refer students for Gifted Education services by completing and submitting the Professional Referral Form or the Parent/Guardian Referral Form. In addition, classroom teachers are members of the Division Level and School Level Identification/Placement Committees. Each I/P Committee reviews student work samples, anecdotal evidence of students' academic potential, and teacher input in order to complete the Eligibility Form.

    Teachers complete the Teacher SIGS (Scales for Identifying Gifted Students). Students are rated in seven categories: exceptional general intellectual (reasoning) ability, exceptional language arts ability, exceptional mathematics ability, exceptional science ability, exceptional social studies ability, exceptional creative thinking ability, and exceptional leadership ability. Teachers and educational specialists may provide relevant student work samples and anecdotal information that support the rating scale.
    Please note that because input from LCPS staff is included in Teacher SIGS, recommendations from individual LCPS teachers will not be accepted.

    How do parents contribute to the screening process?

    Parents may refer students for gifted education services by completing and submitting the Parent Referral Form.  In addition, parents can submit optional information to the school. This optional information would include examples of student work. Parent/guardian(s) may submit up to four pages (single-sided, 8 ½” x 11”) and a one-page narrative. Please do not submit original documents.  These should be submitted to the Gifted Resource teacher at your child’s school.

    When is notification of eligibility sent to parent/guardians?

    For spring screening, notification of eligibility of students referred by the referral deadline is mailed in late May or early June. Referrals for students new to LCPS, who submit a referral for Futura or Spectrum programs, should receive notification within 90 days after the Gifted Resource teacher receives the referral.


    Referrals for students new to LCPS are taken on a continuous basis, however, only those referrals received by the referral deadline will be processed before the end of the school year.


    How are students assigned to Futura centers?
    Futura center assignments are based on the student's base school.  Transportation to and from the center and the base school is provided by LCPS.
    What are the procedures for appealing an ineligibility decision?
    Parents/guardians of students not found eligible for gifted education services (Futura or Spectrum) may submit an appeal. Only parents or guardians may submit an appeal.  Appeals must contain new information not contained in the original screening file.  The new information, along with the Appeals Form, is submitted to the Supervisor of Gifted Education, Loudoun County Public Schools, 21000 Education Court, Ashburn, VA 20148.

    How is the appeals decision made?

    The new data is reviewed by the Appeals Committee. The Gifted Education Office notifies the parents/guardians and the local school of the Appeals Committee decision. The decision of the Appeals Committee is final.

    Can ineligible students be screened again?

    Yes, parents/guardians of ineligible students may refer their child for the Futura or Spectrum program after one year. Please note, test scores are valid for 3 years and students will not be re-tested with each new referral.

Last Modified on May 2, 2019