Leander ISD’s Gifted & Talented (GT) services are designed to meet the needs of identified gifted students who have demonstrated above-average ability in the following area of giftedness as defined by the Texas State Plan for the Gifted: high general-intellectual ability.

QUEST, which stands for Quality Utilization and Enrichment of Student Talents, is our enrichment service in elementary and middle school. It is developmental in scope, with the curriculum addressing core content areas through projects and units that cross multiple subject areas. GT students have the opportunity to investigate topics of interest to them in greater depth and complexity. Students expand their academic abilities to apply critical thinking, creative thinking, communication, and research skills through individual and group projects, studies and problem-solving units.

Critical Characteristics of Talent Development Framework For Gifted and Advanced Learners*

  • Potential Competence to Expertise to Distinction in Achievement/Creative Productivity
  • Identify potential in early stage of Talent Development (TD)
  • Emphasis on achievement and productivity in later stage of TD (early stage is general intellectual development)
  • Giftedness is relative to a comparison group (campus level)
  • Mission to prepare talented individuals for outstanding creative productivity or high levels of contribution to a domain and to our world
  • Assist in critical transition of general ability into specific talent areas (allow student self-selection of strengths)
  • Cultivate motivation and provide learning opportunities for high academic achievement

*adopted from National Association for Gifted Children Talent Development Task Force Report to the Board of Directors, November 2015


Leander ISD’s elementary GT services include cluster grouping, QUEST, campus designed enrichment, learning extensions, collaboration opportunities, and independent study. All elementary GT services are defined in the Leander ISD Elementary Gifted and Talented Service Design.

Middle School

Leander ISD’s middle school GT services include the QUEST Studies elective, acceleration (HS courses in middle school and exams for acceleration for above grade level placement), Advanced courses, extensions embedded in the core content curriculum, collaboration opportunities, and independent study. Middle school GT students must participate in the QUEST Studies elective OR at least one of the additional service listed in the Leander ISD Middle School Gifted and Talented Service Design.

Advanced Courses

All LISD learners have access to advanced courses in middle school, including language arts, math, fine arts, and STEM classes. GT learners are encouraged to explore their unique strengths as well as stretch themselves academically by participating in the array of learning options available at each middle school.

High School

Leander ISD’s high school GT services include acceleration options (highs school credit courses in high school – AP, IB, Dual Credit – and exams for acceleration), Advanced course, curriculum extensions, collaboration opportunities, and independent study. The array of services provide multiple pathways for students to produce products and performances of professional quality as part of their program services. High school students create a four year plan during the 8th to 9th grade transition. Gifted learners will work with their counselor to self-select the plan that develops their individual strengths and gifts and will update the plan annually. Our goal is to ensure all students are able to self-select a product/performance to share as part of their individual learning plan prior to graduation. High school services are detailed in the Leander ISD High School Gifted and Talented Service Design.

Advanced Courses

High school GT students are encouraged to participate in Advanced and Advanced Placement courses. Students should also consider special program offerings such as the AP Capstone Program, INCubator, International Baccalaureate program as well as specialized Career Tech and Fine Arts courses. An array of Advanced Programs courses are offered at each district high school to help students self-select the path best suited to their individual needs.

GT District Advisory

Leander ISD’s Gifted and Talented (GT) Advisory Committee allows GT parents, teachers, counselors and administrators to support and assist the district in gifted/talented service planning and improvement.  Student input is collected and students are invited to select meetings based on topic and committee needs.

The LISD GT District advisory Committee will review district GT policies and procedures to make recommendations to district leadership that improve policies and procedures as related to the topics of the Texas State Plan: Service Design, Student Assessment, Curriculum and Instruction, Professional Learning, and Family and Community Involvement.


Members of the LISD GT Advisory will include representatives from each feeder pattern and will include teachers, administrators, counselors, students, and parents of GT identified students.  At least one parent of each feeder pattern and at least one staff member of each feeder pattern will be included but not more than two parents and two staff members from each feeder pattern will be included.  

A minimum number of 15 members will include representation from the following:

  • One GT Parent from elementary or secondary for each feeder pattern.
  • One GT trained teacher or administrator/counselor from elementary or secondary currently serving LISD GT learners for each feeder pattern.
  • One GT Identified student from each level – Elementary, Middle, and High School.

A maximum number of 30 members may be asked to serve as long as representation is balanced and meets the minimum requirements described above.

Selection of Members: Members are selected by application through a Google form – LISD GT District Advisory Interest Form.  Interested parents, staff, and students will apply using an application that asks for campus affiliation and reason for serving. All members will acknowledge that they can attend all meetings scheduled for the school year.  A committee of two or three members from the district will review applications and select members based on feeder pattern, level, GT program identification, rationale for application, and commitment to attend all meetings. 

Meeting Dates: A minimum of three meetings will be held annually. Dates for 24-25 include:

  • October 7, 2024      6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.; Location  – Online
  • December 9, 2024    9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. OR 3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.; Location – Online
  • February 10, 2025    6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.; Location – Online
  • April 14, 2025           6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.: Location – In-person – TBD