Academic Support for Gifted and Talented


The mission of gifted education is to maximize the potential of gifted and talented learners by providing programs and services which match their unique characteristics and needs.

We believe...

The gifted have a right to an appropriate education grounded in the recognition of individual differences and unique learning needs.

The gifted need a curriculum responsive to their individual learning rate, style, and complexity. The gifted learn best in an instructional environment that encourages and nurtures inquiry, flexibility, and critical and creative thinking.

General Information

In November of each year, the State Department of Education provided testing for students in grade two to determine their eligibility for Gifted and Talented Programs. The Iowa Test of Basic Skills, an achievement test, and The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT), and aptitude test, are administered. As soon as results are available in mid-January, parents are notified of their child’s performance on these tests.

Beginning in grade three, students who meet the state criteria may be placed in the academically gifted and talented program. This program is called "Challenge" in Greenville County.

At the elementary level, Challenge is a pull-out program. In third grade, students attend Challenge for at least 125 minutes each week. Students in grades four and five attend Challenge for at least 200 minutes per week.

Each school receives a Challenge teacher based upon the number of qualified students in that school. Students are taught in classes with a teacher-pupil ratio of 1 to 20 or less.

At the middle school level, the Challenge program serves students through Language Arts instruction. Challenge Language Arts is a daily scheduled class with a teacher-pupil ration of 1 to 25 or less.

Honors math and English courses serve identified gifted and talented high school students. These classes meet daily with a teacher-pupil ration of 1 to 25 or less.

Curriculum Goals & Objectives

  • To support mastery of core areas of learning at a pace and depth appropriate for gifted and talented learners
  • To develop an understanding of the concepts, themes, and issues which are fundamental to the disciplines and an appreciation for interrelationships among the disciplines
  • To develop independent learning skills
  • To develop critical and creative thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills To develop effective communication skills To develop creative expression and aesthetic valuing


The School District of Greenville County provides programs for Gifted and Talented Students to challenge them with rigorous, complex class work and research. Gifted students may demonstrate high performance ability or potential in academic areas. Administrators, parents, teachers, and students may make referrals for students to be screened. 

However, students must meet the state criteria before being placed in the Challenge program. Identification in academic areas will be made using multiple criteria. Students who meet the criteria in two of the three dimensions are eligible for placement. All students currently in the program will continue to be served.

Students may qualify automatically with an extremely high aptitude or IQ score at 96th percentile or higher for their age group. If students do not qualify solely on aptitude, this process will be used for screening:

  • In Dimension A - Reasoning Abilities Students must demonstrate high aptitude (93rd national age percentile or above)in one or more of these areas: verbal, nonverbal, quantitative and/or a composite of the three.
  • In Dimension B - Academic Achievement Students must demonstrate high achievement (94th national percentile and above or advanced status) in reading and/or math as measured by a nationally normed or South Carolina statewide assessment instruments.
  • In Dimension C - Intellectual/Academic PerformanceStudents must demonstrate a high degree of interest in and commitment to academic and/or intellectual pursuits, or demonstrate intellectual characteristics such as curiosity/inquiry, reflection, persistence/tenacity in the face of challenge and creative, productive thinking. Rising third, fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students may be eligible to take the Performance Task Test in March if they have already met the criteria in Dimension A or Dimension B. Beginning with grade 7, students must have a 3.75 GPA on a 4.0 scale to meet the criteria in Dimension C.

    Students must meet the criteria in two of these three dimensions to participate in the Gifted and Talented Program.

Results of private testing will not be accepted for placing students in the Challenge program.


Jane Snyder
Academic Specialist for Gifted & Talented and Academic Challenge

Secretary: Amy Aiken

Address: Gifted and Talented Programs
301 E. Camperdown Way
Greenville, SC 29601

Phone: (864) 355-4820 or (864) 355-4821
Fax: (864) 355-4884