FAQ About SAGE
What is SAGE?
SAGE is the Deer Valley Unified School Districts program of Gifted and Talented students in grades 3-8. Students receive instruction in the area of math and reading daily. Below is a brief description of the Districts 3-6 program. In grades 7 & 8 students can receive instruction in Advanced Placement classes in all content areas.
Enriched with problem based learning units Accelerated at least 1 grade level higher
3-6 Language Arts
Differentiated through literature studies and units of study from the College of William and Mary. Processes include critical and creative thinking skills, discovery learning, open-ended problem solving, choice of learning activities, small group interaction, greater variety, evidence of reasoning daily
Is there a lot of homework in the SAGE classes?
No, when students use their time wisely there is only about 15-30 minutes in math daily and probably about the same or less in language arts.
How does a students qualify for the program?
Students qualify by scoring in the 97 percentile or Standard Age Score of 132 on the Cognitive Abilities Test or another test accepted by the Arizona Department of Education for gifted identification. Deer Valley will accept students scoring 95th percentile in verbal or quantitative provisionally for one subject area. Deer Valley Schools provide testing using the Cognitive Abilities Test three time during the year. Students may be referred by teachers, parents, or themselves for testing. More information can be obtained from classroom teachers.
How can I prepare my child for the test?
You can't. Because this is a test of reasoning skills there is no way to prepare. Just make sure they are rested and relaxed.
If my child is in SAGE do they retest each year?
No. Once a student qualifies with the above criteria they do not retest.
Testing DVUSD Students
DVUSD offers testing for gifted identification three times per year at all K-6 and K-8 schools. We honor parents requests for gifted testing but recommend that parents first read Characteristics of Gifted Students. Should you decide to have your child tested, contact the SAGE teacher or Gifted Coach at your school. For more information about the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) and the testing process, visit DVUSD's Gifted Services page.
Testing Students Not Enrolled in a DVUSD School
DVUSD provides testing for a fee for students enrolled in a charter or private school or neighboring district schools. We will schedule out of district students for testing at the DVUSD District Office. Please call 623-445-5000.
DVUSD accepts any gifted identification assessment that is approved by the state board of education and administered by a trained and qualified administrator. Submit your report to Mrs. Ellis and it will be submitted to the district for verification.
Students New to DVUSD
When you enroll your student in a DVUSD school, it is important that you notify the office staff and of your child’s gifted status. Services can continue without delay if you provide documentation of gifted test scores. With a verified gifted identification report, your child will be placed in a gifted cluster classroom upon enrollment.
If you are new to the state and your child was tested using an identification tool that is not acknowledged in Arizona, you will need to refer your child to take the Cognitive Abilities Test. Please bring any documentation that you have, and communicate with the school's registrar and SAGE teacher or Gifted Coach regarding your child’s status and history with gifted identification.
What If Your Child Does Not Qualify for Gifted Services?
Test administration guidelines require that 12 months pass before the same test is administered again. It is generally recommended to wait two years before retesting. If the student scores are in the high 80’s to mid 90’s, parents and teachers may consider retesting in the future. Retesting a child more than twice usually does not provide drastically different results. Keep in mind that high grades and/or high scores on standardized achievement tests are not necessarily indicators that a student is gifted. You may find the following article informative:
The High Achiever, The Gifted Learner, The Creative Thinker.