Overview of Foundations for Gifted Education in Wisconsin


Several legal and professional documents serve as the foundation for gifted education in Wisconsin. These include Wisconsin State Statutes, Wisconsin Administrative Rules, and the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Pre-K-Grade 12 Gifted Programming Standards. We have woven the tenets and requirements of all of these guiding documents together to provide comprehensive guidance and resources for serving the needs of students with gifts and talents. A brief summary of each of these pillars is included below. Subsequent webpages contain the documents themselves and/or additional details about them.

Statutes: Two Wisconsin Statutes provide the legal basis for gifted education in Wisconsin. Section 121.02(1)(t), Wis. Stats., commonly referred to as Standard (t), was mandated in 1985 and requires school districts to provide appropriate programming for gifted and talented students in Wisconsin public schools. The standard is consistent with the philosophy that Wisconsin school districts shall provide all children and youth with a quality education. Section 118.35, Wis. Stats., defines key elements and provides additional direction to school districts.

Administrative Rules: Two Administrative Rules are also important. Section PI 8.01(2)(t)2, Wis. Admin. Code, provides details for developing gifted and talented education plans. As you consider the future, you will also want to be familiar with Section PI 34, Wis. Admin. Code, that provides for two supplementary licenses for gifted education: one for a G/T teacher and the second for a G/T coordinator.

National Standards: The NAGC Pre-K-Grade 12 Gifted Programming Standards were developed to define student outcomes for effective gifted education plans. They helped inform the language of Wisconsin State Statutes and Administrative Rules and provided guidance for resources related to Response to Intervention.

Philosophical Underpinnings for Gifted Education in Wisconsin


In addition to statue, rule, and standards, gifted education in Wisconsin is anchored in a philosophy about the field. These beliefs are reflected in the legal requirements, but in two documents, What is Giftedness? and Key Characteristics of Gifted Education Plans, as well. Read more below.

What is Giftedness?

The concept of giftedness has varied over the course of educational, philosophical, and psychological history. Educational approaches to meeting the needs of students with gifts and talents have been based on our understanding of giftedness, so they have varied as our conceptualizations have shifted. We now accept that intelligence is not a single entity, but multifaceted. Guidelines for developing gifted education plans in Wisconsin are anchored in this broad notion of gifts and talents. Click here to learn more about what giftedness is and the implications for gifted education in your school.

Key Characteristics of Gifted Education Plans

Is your school district developing or revising its gifted education plan? Engaging in conversations is an important part of developing a G/T plan. Through shared vision and collaborative discussions, local school district teams can make decisions that respond to the needs of their students and maximize the resources in their communities. The notion that "one size does not fit all" applies to gifted and talented plans as well as to classroom instruction. This means that gifted education may look different from school district to school district. With this in mind, however, there are nine key characteristics that should frame your planning. Click here to access a copy of those characteristics.

For questions about this information, contact Chrystyna Mursky (608) 267-9273