• Welcome to Gifted Education

  • What is "Giftedness?"

    The Tolleson Elementary School District identifies a gifted student as one who has demonstrated advanced cognitive abilities by scoring 95% or higher on the State approved CogAt in the area(s) of verbal, nonverbal, or/and quantitative.

    The Tolleson Elementary School District provides gifted services to those who have demonstrated superior intellect and/or advanced learning ability who are not afforded an opportunity for otherwise attainable progress and development in regular classroom instruction and who need appropriate gifted education services, to achieve at levels commensurate with the child's intellect and ability.

    Who is Eligible?

    Identification criteria consist of a referral by a teacher, a parent, or self. The evaluation process consists of a review of the state mandated assessments, a teacher rating scale, and the Cognitive Ability Test. The criteria for eligibility on standardized assessments are scores at or above the 95th percentile.

    Program Services

    The TESD Gifted Program Services K-8 Gifted and Talented Students By:

    • Clustering gifted students 
    • Regular education teachers differentiate instruction 
    • Communicating with teachers to incorporate grade level standards and integrate gifted standards
    • Implementing a pull-out program 1 hour a week per group

    Specific Gifted Instructional Strategies:

    • Project-based projects that include analytical problem solving, creativity, and complex/critical thinking
    • Social and emotional strategies/activities
    • Collaboration that allows students to draw on their strengths and work through their challenges

    Gifted Program Exit Criteria

    A student may exit the gifted program at the request of the parent or guardian per written documentation.



  • Contact

    Dr. Desiree Kennedy
    District Wide Gifted Teacher/Coordinator

    Gifted Education


    Gifted Student/Program Awards 

    Arizona Desert Odyssey of the Mind (Team 1) 1st Place - To State 2022  

    Arizona Desert Odyssey of the Mind (Team 2)  3rd Place - To State 2022 

    Arizona Desert Odyssey of the Mind(Team 3) 3rd Place - To State 2022  

    Sheely Farms Odyssey of the Mind (Team 1) 2nd Place - To State 2022

    Arizona State Gifted Grant 2020

    Desert Oasis Odyssey of the Mind 4th Place - 2020

    Arizona Desert Odyssey of the Mind 5th Place - 2020

    Fiesta Bowl Grant Recipient ($1,000) - 2020

    Westside Impact Grant Recipient ($800) - 2020

    Arizona State Gifted Grant 2019  

    Arizona State Gifted Grant 2018