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* Offers Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) special program
** Offers Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) & Gifted Academy special programs
*** Offers Adult Education program

How do I Apply for Gifted?

Gifted Eligibility Test Information

CogAT TestingThe Winter Registration for Gifted Eligibility Test has opened.

The Winter Registration has opened and will close on Sunday, March 10, 2024. If missed, please view the Gifted Testing Calendar below for more test dates information. No gifted eligibility testing will take place outside of the posted schedule. Seats are offered to eligible students after each round of testing. If you have any questions about testing registration, please contact

Testing Site Location:
Weekday Testing is at Thurgood Marshall Middle School
Saturday Weekend Testing is at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School

Notice: All tests administered within the 2023-2024 school year is to determine seat eligibility for the 2024-2025 school year. 

Gifted Academy Testing

​​The Gifted Academy program in Rockford Public Schools affirms the need to identify students with potential at any point in their educational career and to provide the kinds of educational services which will enable them to demonstrate a level of achievement commensurate with their potential.​

Based on research and common understandings about gifted programming, we welcome any student who lives within the boundaries of Rockford Public Schools to participate in our eligibility testing. We encourage anyone who sees potential in a child to contact the Gifted Academy for more information: a parent, a teacher, a school administrator, community member, even the student himself/herself.


Districtwide Screening ​for Gifted Program

All district Kindergarten students will be screened for eligibility for the Gifted Academy using the Naglieri NonVerbal Ability Test and the MAP and/or STAR test. This process takes place during fall and winter at all district elementary schools. Families are notified of results in late March.


Students with testing accommodations documented on an IEP or 504 Plan will need to contact Joanna Nelson​​​, assistant principal, to discuss your child's specific accommodation needs. The IEP/504 Plan ​will be reviewed and testing options will be discussed. The Special Education and Psychology Departments may be consulted to develop the best plan for the student.​ The need for accommodations should be indicated on the online registration form.


Testing and Eligibility

In accordance with Board Policy 7.55

  • If you are a current resident, in order to be eligible to be tested for this special program, students must:
    • Be enrolled as a resident student in one of the Rockford Public Schools OR
    • Reside within the RPS 205 boundaries
  • If you are a non-resident: 
    • Any student who resides MORE than 25 miles from the District's outer boundaries AND who is considered relocating his/her residence to the District may apply for eligibility testing to this program.
  • Any non-enrolled student admitted to this program will be required to submit proof of residency BEFORE enrolling.


The Cognitive Ability Test

CogAT; Form 7 - The Cognitive Ability Test for the gifted program is conducted community-wide to identify student eligibility.

Eligible students are identified through a comprehensive testing matrix. No single assessment or its results denies student eligibility. The testing matrix includes an abilities assessment covering verbal, quantitative and nonverbal components. Seat offer to the program is based solely on a blind review of the student's scores on the testing matrix. Student MAP scores and/or other data may also be considered as part of the matrix. 

Eligibility testing is conducted in the year prior to enrollment. Any student wishing to apply for the program must participate in a scheduled testing session and supply, upon request, other information pertinent to the applicant's grade level. Students are only allowed to test once during a school year, which begins with the fall testing cycle and ends with the summer testing cycle.

​Testing Regulations​   CogAT Brochure   CogAT Information

Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test

NNAT3 - Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test For the 2023-2024 school year: 
During the 2023-2024 school year, the Gifted Academy conducts district wide screening at the kindergarten level. The Naglieri online assessment is administered in every district elementary school. ​Students who are offered seats in the gifted program based on this testing, and whose parent or guardian accepts the seat, will begin in the 2024-2025 school year.  ​ 


There are currently no elementary students on the Gifted Academy Waitlist. 

Questions about Testing?  

All testing and eligibility questions should be emailed to Gifted Academy