Gifted Program

  • What is Giftedness?

    Children are gifted when their ability is significantly above the norm for their age.

    Giftedness may manifest in one or more domains such as; intellectual, creative, artistic, leadership, or in a specific academic field such as language arts, mathematics or science.

    It is difficult to estimate the absolute number of gifted children in the U.S. and the world because the calculation is dependent on the number of areas, or domains, being measured and the method used to identify gifted children. However, in Pinellas County Schools children who are in the top 10 percent in relation to a national and/or local norm to be a good guide for identification and services.

    It is important to note that not all gifted children look or act alike. Giftedness exists in every demographic group and personality type. 

    Even though giftedness can look different in each child, there are certain set characteristics to look for including:

    • Rapid learner; puts thoughts together quickly
    • Excellent memory
    • Deep, intense feelings and reactions; Highly sensitive
    • Highly developed curiosity
    • Interest in experimenting and doing things differently
    • Puts idea or things together that are not typical
    • Keen and/or unusual sense of humor
    • Vivid imaginations


    There may even be some unfavorable characteristics that could be exhibited:

    • are bored with routine tasks and refuse to do rote homework
    • seem unwilling or unable to move into another topic
    • are critical of self, peers and teachers and impatient with failures
    • often disagree vocally with others and with the teacher
    • not interested in details; hands in messy work or none at all
    • refuse to accept authority; may appear nonconforming or stubborn
    • tend to dominate others
    • difficulties in social relationships with age peers; tendencies to appear bossy and demanding


    If you notice some of these characteristics and are interested in nominating your child for gifted testing, follow this link to see how the Gifted Identification Process works.

    What are Talent Groups?

    We recognize that all children are talented in different ways.  Here at John M. Sexton, we offer students the opportunity to participate in our Talent Groups.  Speak to your child’s teacher about the various groups offered.


    Beyond the school day.

    If your child does not qualify for Gifted or is not in a Talent Group, we offer several afterschool enrichment opportunities.  We have dance, drama, STEM, drumming, Art Club and many more.  Speak to your child’s teacher to get signed up.


    What does Gifted look like at Sexton?

    Our gifted students attend gifted daily during our intervention/enrichment block.  Each day the students focus on different academic and creative activities that help them explore the world around them.

    Students work independently and in small groups using AVID strategies and Personalized Learning activities to develop communication techniques, leadership skills, and group dynamics. They further improve their Gifted skills through problem-solving, interpreting, sequencing, reading, research, creative writing, Advanced Mathematics, and affective journaling, as well as CoRT thinking (Grades 3-5) and Thinking Hats (Grades K-2nd).  Gifted students are also encouraged to compete in academic competitions such as Creativity Olympics and Math Meet.

    Gifted students explore culture through literature, personal experiences and community service. Students complete hands-on projects which require in-depth research and present these projects to their peers using quality public speaking skills.  At the end of the year, students participate in student-led conferences to share with their parents all they’ve done throughout the year.