Gifted & Talented Services

The goal of gifted services in Alief ISD is to meet the diverse needs of gifted learners by providing differentiated instruction and opportunities for students to elaborate, think originally, think flexibly, and produce new ideas as they become self-directed learners who are competent in thinking, research, and communications. Services provided to staff, students, and parents through Alief's Gifted & Talented services are designed to support the goals of this program and the district focus on instruction and learning.

Continuum of GT Services:


Gifted Services Provided


Pull out, Push-in, Full-time Inclusion


Intermediate AIMS Program 


Alief AAC and AP courses

Mission Statement:

The mission of the Department of Advanced Academics is to affirm that gifted and talented education in Alief is a high priority and is supported by the goals of the District Improvement Plan (DIP). The process for the full implementation of Alief's Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students includes the following:

  • Consistent implementation of nomination, screening, and identification procedures that fairly represent all populations;

  • Collaboration with content coordinators in the four core academic areas to create curriculum documents that provide a balance between depth, complexity, and pacing as an additional layer to the required TEKS based instruction;

  • Support for campuses in fulfilling their responsibilities as outlined in the district guide and in the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted and Talented Students;

  • The understanding that the regular curriculum will not fully meet the unique needs of gifted students and that a differentiated curriculum is necessary to meet the needs of these students.

Program characteristics:

  • Available to all student populations in the district.

  • Inform parents of opportunities for students.

  • Base program on a strong theoretical foundation focused on the needs of gifted learners.

  • Provide an array of appropriately challenging learning experiences that emphasize content from the four core academic areas for gifted/talented students in grades K-12.

  • Provide a continuum of learning experiences that leads to the development of advanced level products and/or performances.

  • Use curriculum compacting methods for acceleration and mastery.

  • Use differentiation to ensure depth and complexity.

  • Provide opportunities for gifted/talented students to work together as a group, work with other students, and work independently during the school day as well as the entire school year.

  • Meet the social and emotional needs of the GT learner.

  • Provide teachers who have had an initial 30 hours of training in gifted education, plus a 6-hour yearly update that includes professional development in the areas of nature and needs of gifted students, assessment and identification of gifted students, and curriculum and instruction for gifted students.

  • Conduct a yearly program evaluation at the campus and district levels.

More information in our Alief ISD - GT Handbook.

List of Campus GT Specialists

For questions regarding gifted services including GT screening at your child's school, contact the campus GT Specialist. List of Campus GT Specialists.

Contact Us

Dr. Brandi Brotherton
Director of Advanced Academics and Post Secondary Outcomes
Email Dr. Brandi Brotherton

Jossie Graterol
Advanced Academics Testing Specialist
Email Jossie Graterol

Angela Polk
Advanced Academics Specialist
Email Angela Polk

Natali Navarrete
Email Natali Navarrete 
4250 Cook Rd.
Houston, TX  77072
281-498-8110, ext. 29070



The purpose of the AIMS program is to provide a rigorous program for 5th and 6th grade identified gifted students at all intermediate campuses. Research shows that when gifted students are grouped together they excel at a faster pace academically and are more socially well-adjusted.  AIMS classrooms group gifted students into an environment in which content from the four core academic subjects are differentiated to provide the rigor and intensity necessary to meet the academic needs of gifted students. 


We believe that gifted and talented students have advanced academic abilities and unique social and emotional needs, which are developed to the highest potential through collaboration with the school, family, and community. Students in the AIMS program have a unique opportunity to interact daily with their gifted peers, in and across grade levels, at a rigorous pace, focusing on instructionally motivating and complex studies.

AIMS Provides Opportunities for:

  • Creative Thinking Skills

  • Research Skills

  • Problem Solving Skills

  • Problem Solving Applications

  • Content Acceleration

  • Guided Discussion Groups

  • Independent Study

  • Mini-courses

  • Instructional Complexity

  • Motivating Study

  • Depth-seeking Exploration


  • Compact basic skills so they are mastered in a shorter period of time.

  • Provide differentiation with respect to pacing, materials, process, product, environment, and assessment.

  • Provide interdisciplinary studies through integrated academic connections and real world problem solving and experiences.

  • Provide opportunities for group and independent research.

  • Provide opportunities to produce and present advanced-level products for a variety of audiences.

  • Work within the application, analysis, evaluation, and creation levels of Blooms Taxonomy.

  • Use technology as a resource and a productivity and communication tool.

  • Provide tools for life-long learning such as:

  • literacy strategies

  • communication skills

  • research skills

  • study skills

  • time management skills

Parent Involvement

We believe that the parents of AIMS students play a vital role in the success of the program.  Parents are asked to:

  • Participate in teacher/student conferences

  • Attend presentations by the AIMS students

  • Volunteer

  • Attend AIMS Parent Night

Exiting the AIMS Program:

All 5th and 6th grade G/T students at intermediate campuses participate in the AIMS program at their home campuses.  There is no application process or requirement. Recommendations and requests for students to exit the program are processed at the Central Administration Office.

Identification and Assessment Information


The purpose of the gifted identification, referral and screening process is to identify students who perform or show the potential for performing at a remarkably high level of accomplishment when compared to others of the same age, experience, or environment and who:

  1. exhibit high performance capability in an intellectual or creative area; or

  2. excel in a specific academic field

Eligibility for Gifted Testing:

All students currently enrolled in Alief Schools are eligible for testing for the gifted programs. Students who are not currently enrolled will not be tested.

Selection Committee:

Each campus elects a GT Campus Committee to review the referral, identification, and selection process, as well as the instructional design and delivery of the program. This committee should be composed of at least three people. Suggested members include an administrator, teacher, counselors, and specialists. Members of the committee must be current in the required GT training.

Referral Procedures:

The district will set a referral window each school year.  During this window, students may be referred by teachers, counselors, administrators, parents, or themselves. As group test scores become available, campuses will review the data to identify potential students for the program.  Permission to test must be obtained from parents before the screening process may begin.

Referral window: 

  • Kinder: Universal Screening - No referral needed

  • 1st grade to 11th Grade: September

Parent Referral and Consent to Test Form: 

Screening Procedures:

Screening will be conducted once a year.  Screening results are evaluated by the campus gifted committee before placement is determined.  Summer testing will be provided for students who were not in attendance at an Alief school during the screening window.

  • Quantitative screening tools include, but are not limited to, a measure of cognitive ability (CogAT), academic ability (Iowa Test of Basic Skills), and creativity (Torrance).

  • Qualitative screening tools include, but are not limited to, student work, portfolios, evaluation forms, and observable behaviors. 

GT Resources

Is My Child Gifted?- A research-based resource on identifying characteristics of giftedness in children.

Understanding the Gifted Child- A webpage for parents dedicated to understanding and meeting the needs of gifted children from the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented

Hoagies' Gifted Education Page: A resource guide for the education of gifted children with links to many gifted education resources available on the Internet. 
National Association for Gifted & Talented: The website of this non-profit organization of parents, teachers, educators, community leaders and other professionals who unite to address the unique needs of all children and youth with demonstrated gifts and talents.
Texas Association for the Gifted & Talented: The website of the state organization that both teachers and parents of gifted students may join. Many valuable resources. 

Texas Education Agency:  Gifted and Talented information and materials for all things GT in Texas.  

The Davidson Institute for Talent Development: This site has extensive resources for highly gifted students (and their parents). 

Education in Action: Education in Action's experiential learning programs empower young Texans to be informed and active leaders in their communities. Check out the Lone Star Leadership Academy Program. Gifted & Talented: This easy-to-use site features information on identifying traits and developing abilities, as well as an “Ask an Expert” feature so you can ask questions important to you!
GT World: An on-line support community for parents of Gifted and Talented childre

GT Awareness For Parents

Learn about referral, identification, assessment, and services of GT Students in Alief ISD during our GT awareness session for parents on September 6,2023 from 5:00 - 6:00 pm. This session will be in person and presented in English and Spanish. Registration is required. To Register.

Obtenga información sobre referencias, identificación, evaluación y servicios de estudiantes GT (dotados y talentosos) en Alief ISD durante nuestra sesión informativa sobre GT para padres el 6 de septiembre de 2023 de 5:00 a 6:00 p.m. Esta sesión será presencial y presentada en inglés y español. Es necesario registrarse. Para registrarse.

Parent Advisory Committee

To sign up as a volunteer, please fill out the form: 

Parent Advisory Committee Interest Form

Meeting dates:



To provide parents with information and insight into Alief's GT program with the goal of enhancing services and opportunities for students identified as gifted/talented.