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Process for Gifted Documentation of Dual Exceptionalities and Caseload Assignments

22 Pa. Code § 16.6 (a), (c)
22 Pa. Code § 16.7
22 Pa. Code § 16.22 (j), (d)
22 Pa. Code § 16.32 (d) (1-6)
22 Pa. Code § 14.123 (b)
22 Pa. Code § 14.124 (b)

Date of Issue: March 11, 2020


This circular provides guidance for (1) completing documentation for students identified with dual exceptionalities, and (2) caseload assignment for gifted and special education.

Background and Authority

Educational programs for students identified as gifted administered within this Commonwealth are considered to be under the general supervision of the Department of Education and must meet the provisions of 22 Pa. Code § 16.6 (a). Per 22 Pa. Code §16.6 (a), State Board of Education’s Committee on Gifted and Special Education completed a 4-year review of Chapter 16 in the Fall 2018 after conducting roundtable discussions with stakeholders in Norristown, Pittsburgh, and Harrisburg. In March 2019, the State Board of Education released recommendations based on the roundtable discussions.

During the State Board of Education’s review of Chapter 16, certain stakeholders commented that 22 Pa. Code Chapters 14 (related to special education services and programs) and 16 should work in tandem to allow evaluations to be conducted concurrently when dually exceptional students are involved.  Specifically, it was suggested that the timeframes in Chapter 14 and Chapter 16 be amended to provide for 60 days total for both evaluations.

In response, the State Board of Education issued the following recommendation: The Department of Education should create guidance on the implementation of the Evaluation and Reevaluation provisions at 22 Pa. Code §14.123(b) and §14.124(b) and the Gifted Multidisciplinary Evaluation and Gifted Multidisciplinary Reevaluation provisions at 22 Pa. Code §16.22 (j) and §16.22 (d) as they pertain to students who may be dually exceptional. The guidance should encourage school districts to follow best practice in conducting both evaluations during a simultaneous 60-calendar day period.

Regulatory language does not exist in either Chapter 14 or Chapter 16 to mandate school districts to conduct evaluations for students with dual exceptionalities during a single 60 calendar day period. That said, the Department of Education provides this guidance to encourage school districts to adhere to this best practice.

Three compliance questions have been consistently raised across the state during gifted monitoring, gifted network liaison meetings, and at informational sessions with stakeholders. The questions and the Department’s responses to each are as follows:

  1. What components of a Gifted Individual Education Plan (GIEP) are required to be included in the development of the single Individual Education Plan (IEP)?

22 Pa. Code §16.32 (d) provides:

(d) The GIEP of each gifted student shall be based on the GMDT’s written report and contain the following:

(1) A statement of the student’s present levels of educational performance.

(2) A statement of annual goals and short-term learning outcomes which are responsive to the learning needs identified in the evaluation report.

(3) A statement of the specially designed instruction and support services to be provided to the student. For a student with disability identified as eligible under 34 CFR 300.8 (relating to child with a disability), this would include accommodations and modifications in accordance with 34 CFR 300.320 (a)(4) (relating to definitions of individualized education program).

(4) Projected dates for initiation, anticipated frequency, location and anticipated duration of gifted education.

(5) Appropriate objective criteria, assessment procedures and timelines for determining, on at least an annual basis, whether the goals and learning outcomes are being achieved.

(6) The names and positions of GIEP team participants and the date of the meeting.

  1. Who is responsible for writing the IEP, and what is the Gifted Teacher’s role in the process?

    Regulatory language specifies that if a student is dually exceptional, the procedures in Chapter 14 take precedence. (22 Pa. Code in § 16.7 (d))

    The gifted teacher becomes a mandatory member of the IEP team and will update Present Levels of Educational Performance (PLEP), write goals based on PLEPs, develop measurable Short Term Learning Outcomes (STLO), Specially Designed Instruction (SDI) and support services. 22 Pa. Code § 16.7 (b) specifies the needs established under gifted status in this chapter shall be fully addressed through the procedures required in Chapter 14.

  2. On what caseload is the student with dual exceptionalities counted?

    The student will be counted on both the gifted caseload and the IEP caseload.


When a student is determined to be dually exceptional, school districts are strongly advised to incorporate the following steps in the identification process:

In cases when gifted and disabilities are jointly the reason for the initial referral:

  1. Complete a single Prior Written Notice (PWN) for Initial Evaluation and Request for Consent Form for an initial evaluation.  The PWN will include gifted and the disability in:

  1. The statement for the reason for the proposed evaluation section.

  2. The section for the proposed types of tests and assessments.

  1. The Evaluation Report (ER) will contain all the essential components of a Gifted Written Report (GWR) under Chapter 16 and all the essential components of an ER under Chapter 14.

  2. The timelines to complete this single evaluation is 60 calendar days from the date of receipt of the signed PWN for Initial Request and Consent Form.

  3. If the student is found to be dually exceptional, the teacher of gifted becomes a required member of the IEP team.

  4. An IEP is developed within 30 calendar days from the issuance date of the MDT’s written report.

  5. The IEP will address all the essential components of the requirements in Chapter 14 and Chapter 16.

  6. Cyclical re-evaluations required in Chapter 14 will be followed and all the essential components of a gifted reevaluation will be updated within cyclical reevaluation reports. It is not necessary to repeat IQ and Achievement testing in a gifted re-evaluation. Gifted re-evaluations are conducted by the GMDT team. It is necessary to include a review of records, updating Present Levels of Educational Performance (PLEP), identifying academic strengths, progress on previous goals, instructional needs based on the strengths of the student’s GIEP, a determination of which instructional activities have been successful, and recommendations for the revision of the GIEP.

  7. District will issue a single Notice of Recommended Educational Placement/Prior Written Notice (NOREP/PWN) and will include gifted support in all the areas required in a Notice of Recommended Assignment (NORA).

In cases when a student is referred for a mentally gifted evaluation and is already an identified student with special needs under IDEA, school districts will follow the re-evaluation process as required in Chapter 14. Items 2-8 above apply in this situation and item 1 is the issuance of a PWN for Re-evaluation Request and Request for Consent Form.

In cases when a student is already identified as mentally gifted and is now referred for an evaluation under special education, school districts will issue a PWN for Initial Request and Consent Form following steps 1-8 as outlined above.  In this scenario, school districts will incorporate current essential gifted information in the ER; however, would not be required to conduct gifted eligibility testing.


22 Pa. Code § 16.6 (a), (c)
22 Pa. Code § 16.7
22 Pa. Code § 16.22 (j), (d)
22 Pa. Code § 16.32 (d) (1-6)
22 Pa. Code § 14.123(b)
22 Pa. Code § 14.124(b)

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