Gifted Learning

Welcome to SUSD Gifted Programs

Gifted Pre-K Academy

Testing to begin for the Gifted Pre-Kindergarten Academy. Prospective students who will be 4 years old by September 1 may qualify.

To register for one of the following dates, click on the “Gifted Pre-K Testing Request” button to the right.

May 1 May 7 
May 16 May 29

Click the button below to request testing for the Gifted Pre-K Academy
Website Pre-K Test Button.PNG

SUSD's gifted education program is designed to provide appropriate services for students who require differentiated educational programs and/or services beyond those normally provided by the regular school program.

The program complies with Arizona Law that mandates that school districts identify gifted students as those scoring at or above the 97th percentile on a state approved test of cognitive reasoning ability. All students scoring at the 97th percentile or above on any one of the three batteries of the Cognitive Abilities Test or on any other appropriate test administered by Scottsdale District personnel will qualify for placement.

Vision & Goals

SUSD Gifted Programs provide challenging curriculum to gifted students through the use of differentiated instruction designed to best meet the academic and affective needs of the students. The gifted program is designed to teach students with meaningful learning experiences that foster an enriched and in-depth understanding of the core curriculum.  These best practices for gifted education guide and shape our gifted programs throughout the district. 

Program Vision:
Prepare SUSD students for a global and technologically advanced society.  Success requires advanced academic learning, appropriate social skills, emotional stability and ethical decision-making leadership. 

Program Goals:
Provide learning experiences that are responsive to the cognitive, creative and affective development of gifted students by applying education theory and research-based models of curriculum and instruction that are culturally relevant and designed to ensure specific student outcomes.

Gifted Program Testing Information

 Gifted Program Testing Information

Which Gifted Assessments are used?

The Scottsdale Unified School District uses the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) and the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Tests (NNAT2) as evaluation instruments for identifying students who are eligible for gifted education services.  Abilities measures are helpful for identifying children who may be gifted. These assessments are designed to be given only once in a calendar year. SUSD offers testing in the Fall and Spring for all students in addition to testing all second graders in the Winter. Specific dates are listed below. Other tests that SUSD will consider in the identification process are listed on the Arizona Department of Education's website. Gifted test data from other schools or licensed psychologists will be given full consideration for eligibility for SUSD gifted services. 

The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) is an assessment that consists of three batteries which measure three reasoning abilities: sequential reasoning, inductive reasoning, and quantitative reasoning. The assessment of general reasoning abilities reflect the overall efficiency of cognitive processes and strategies that enable individuals to learn new tasks and solve problems, especially in the absence of direct instruction  (CogAT Form 6, A Short  Guide for Teachers, Riverside Publishing).

The Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT2) is a brief, nonverbal measure of general ability.  The items presented to students are considered nonverbal because designs requiring spatial analysis are used and verbal knowledge and skills are not required.  The approach provides a reliable and valid evaluation of any student’s ability despite cultural or linguistic diversity.

When does testing occur?

Testing is offered multiple times a year for school effectiveness and placement efficiency. Gifted Testing is used to identify students whose unique learning profile requires a specialized learning environment to reach their full potential. Students not enrolled in SUSD may test for $120 testing fee. Results are only available by email. If a student enrolls in a SUSD school within 10 days of receiving the results, the testing fee can be reimbursed upon request. 

Parents will receive notification of specific testing dates for each site prior to the test administration. Notification of individual test results will be posted 30 days after the close of each testing window on ParentVue or email or sent by US postal mail only by request at Students can be assessed only once per calendar year. 

This year the District will be offering gifted testing during the following times:

Fall Testing
Grades 1, 3-8: September 7th, 2017 - September 26th, 2017
Registration Deadline Passed
Unfortunately, late registration cannot be accepted.

2nd Grade Blanket Testing
All 2nd Graders: January 29th, 2018 – February 23rd, 2018
In order to best serve all of our Scottsdale students, we offer the Cognitive Abilities Test B to all students. All Second graders will be tested at their home schools during these weeks.

Testing Week






Jan 29-Feb 2






Feb 5-9





Desert Canyon

Feb 12-16




Copper Rdg 


Feb 20-23


Echo Canyon




For more information, you can contact your child’s teacher or the gifted specialist at your school.

Registration not required, parents must complete the Opt-Out form if they do not want their child tested. Informed consent documents will be sent to each family prior to testing.

Spring Testing
Grades K-1: April 19-27, 2018
Grades 3-8: April 30-May 8, 2018
Registration Deadline: April 8, 2018
Late registration cannot be accepted.

Click Here to register for testing

Click on the button below to register your child for testing:


Comprehensive Gifted Program

Click on the button below for the Comprehensive Gifted Program Application:
Website CGP App Button



Gifted Pre-K Academy

The Gifted Pre-Kindergarten Academy (GPA) is designed for identified young children who have superior verbal and quantitative abilities. We provide an enriched environment developed on the theme of Global Explorations that nurtures potential including musical instruments and a world language. SUSD believes that the earlier we can intervene with children the greater the achievement impact on their learning trajectory.  The GPA will quicken the love of learning to last a lifetime.

 Gifted Pre-K Academy FAQs

Q: How can my child be tested for the GPA?

A: There are multiple ways to determine if your child is eligible to join the GPA.

SUSD provides placement screening at Redfield Elementary for next fall’s GPA class. The testing window opens in December and is available twice a week.  A nonrefundable fee of $120 is due at the time of testing. All students must be 4 years old on or before August 31st. (SUSD reserves the right to determine what assessments will be used.) The link to sign up for testing is:

Licensed Psychologist reports using any age appropriate instrument identified on the ADE “State Approved Test List for the Identification of Gifted Students in Arizona” can be submitted for review to . Generally results such as the WPPSI, Stanford Binet or Woodcock-Johnson Test of Cognitive Abilities are accepted in SUSD. The link to submit testing scores is:

Q: What is the selection process to be eligible for the GPA?

A: The selection process is:

  1. Fill out the Community Education registration here: This will establish your place in line for membership. For more information about registration for community education pre-kindergarten programs call 480.484.7900
  2. Parents will be directed to the Gifted Services link to provide scores from outside IQ testing or sign up for testing with SUSD. 
  3. Invitations to enroll are sent by email after outside testing reports are reviewed or testing is completed with SUSD.
  4. Print your invitation letter and go to the Community Education Office to pay a non-refundable $50 registration fee and the first month’s tuition of $750 to accept your membership in the GPA.  The parent has two business days from the time the email is sent to pay.  This completes the selection process.  If after two days and the registration is not complete, then the membership may be offered to the next in line.
  5. Selection is based on multiple factors:
    • Gifted and High Potential Indicators
    • First Come First Serve
    • Residence in-district SUSD boundaries and the SUSD Open Enrollment priorities
    • Balance for gender
  6. Parents will be notified by email if their child is 1) fully accepted and invited, 2) probationary acceptance with a later possible follow-up invitation, or 3) does not qualify for GPA and is eligible for the standard Community Education Pre-Kindergarten programs at your local schools.
  7. Wait Lists are determined by the factors mentioned above.

Q: What is unique about the GPA compared to other pre-schools?

A: Scottsdale’s GPA is designed to provide advanced and rigorous academic curriculum while sparking curiosity, igniting creativity and nurturing talent.  Students have access to advanced materials in reading and mathematics based on individual student mastery levels.  Curiosity if peaked with a unique exposure to world language and cultures.  Creativity is supported in music, visual arts and physical skills with teachers who specialize in those areas providing a wide base of expression.  Our Music Instrument Exploration is founded on regular and sequential skill development with violins.  The plasticity of the young brain is capitalized on through early Mandarin language and Chinese culture exploration.

Q: If I sign up for the standard pre-school with SUSD Community Education will the fees transfer to the GPA enrollment?

A: Yes, fees are transferable. Additional fees may be required as amounts differ between programs. 

Q: Are there Information Meetings or Tours of Redfield Elementary School?

A: The Redfield Cardinals offer tours every Wednesday from 9:00-10:00am. Specific Gifted Pre-Kindergarten Academy tours and meetings are posted on the school’s website. For more information go to Redfield’s website:

Please call 480-484-4000 to RSVP for a tour.

Q: What are the contacts for this program?

Community Education
8500 E. Jackrabbit Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85250
Phone: 480.484.7932
Lisa Duncan, Student Support Coordinator

Gifted Learning and Acceleration Department
8500 E. Jackrabbit Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85250
Phone: 480.484.5014

Redfield Elementary School
9181 E. Redfield Road, Scottsdale, AZ  85260
Phone: 480.484.4000
Christine Bonow, Principal

Click here to learn more about the Gifted Pre-K Academy:

Comprehensive Gifted Tour


Gifted Services

Dr. Mai-Lon Wong  
Director Gifted Learning Services

Administrative Support Coordinator

Kelly Acridge
District Gifted Enrichment Specialist - ES

Aimee Sulit
District Gifted Enrichment Specialist - MS

Elementary Gifted Specialists

Click to Expand
  • Anasazi - Cathy Constantinescu
  • Cherokee - Jill Schadt
  • Cheyenne Traditional - Andrea Dersch
  • Cochise - Sandy Abbott
  • Copper Ridge - Kim Vallejo
  • Desert Canyon Elementary - Nancy Laak
  • Echo Canyon - Karen Arbour
  • Hohokam - Kari Kurland
  • Hopi - Abby Brown
  • Kiva - Jennifer Liebhaber
  • Laguna - Stephanie Shamy
  • Navajo - Peter Ney
  • Pima - Colleen Felix
  • Pueblo - Alicia Majercin
  • Redfield - Maria Richardson (Cluster Model)
  • Sequoya - Deedy Payne
  • Tavan - Marilyn Williams
  • Tonalea (K-8) - Laura Matera
  • Yavapai - Ashley Sorice

Middle School Gifted Coaches

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  • Cheyenne: Regina Morgan
  • Cocopah: Mary Pasco
  • Copper Ridge: Linda Boepple
  • Desert Canyon: Julie Cieniawski
  • Echo Canyon: Jennifer Sagoo
  • Ingleside: Stacey Greene
  • Mohave: Jennifer Sagoo
  • Mountainside: Julie Shappert
  • Tonalea: Aimee Goodman

CGP Teachers

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  • Redfield Elementary School 
    • 2nd Grade: Beth Parsons
    • 3rd Grade: Brynn Sorenson
    • 4th Grade: Debbie Newman
    • 5th Grade: Ashley Pantier
  • Desert Canyon Middle School
    • Social Studies: Shannon Stapley
    • Math: Pam Morfitt
    • English Language Arts: Kelly O'Rourke
    • Science: Lindsey Meewes
  • Hopi Elementary School
    • 4th Grade: Amanda Rand
    • 5th Grade: Debbie Voris
  • Ingleside Middle School
    • 6th-8th Grade Social Studies: Brittany Kriesman
    • English Language Arts 6th - 8th Grade: Stacey Greene
    • 6th Grade ELA: Ashley Williams
    • Math: Sandra Downey
    • 6th-8th Grade Science: D'Anne McDaniel
  • Mohave Middle School
    • 6th Grade English Language Arts and Social Studies: Rick Sharp
    • 7th and 8th Grade English Language Arts and Social Studies: Mary McBride
    • 6th Grade Science: Janeva Mammina
    • 7th Grade Science: Bert te Velde
    • 8th Grade Science: Joel Tutnick

Teacher Gifted Endorsement