Gifted and Talented


At Metro Nashville Public Schools, we strive to ensure that extraordinary academic talent is recognized and nurtured. It is the shared responsibility of teachers and parents to make certain that gifted and talented students are connected to stimulating academic programs.

Signs That Your Child Is Gifted & Talented

You can request that your child be tested or screened to identify advanced academic talent. You can ask about this at your child’s school or contact the Encore Office directly. Parents, guardians, pediatricians, child care professionals, certified school personnel and other students are all eligible to make these recommendations.

According to the National Association for Children (NAGC), a typical gifted child often exhibits some or all of the following traits:

  • Unbridled curiosity
  • Eagerness to know “how” and “why”
  • Exceptional memory
  • A vast wealth of general knowledge
  • Keen understanding of the way humans interact
  • Sensitivity to the emotions of others
  • Able to grasp abstract concepts
  • Pays attention to details when making observations
  • Good sense of humor; “gets” and tells jokes
  • Early ability to hone in on specific interests
  • Committed to projects
  • Expansive vocabulary, both in speaking and in writing
  • Ability and preference to hold conversation with adults
  • Able to learn quickly (within 1 to 2 repetitions)
  • Impatience with repetitive tasks
  • Frequent elaboration in artwork and writing
  • Perfectionist tendencies
  • Able to make unusual connections

You can learn more about what sorts of characteristics are common indicators of uncommon academic talent through the links below, provided by the National Association For Gifted Children (NAGC), both in English and Spanish.


About Encore: The Metro Schools Gifted & Talented Program

The Metro Schools Gifted & Talented Program is called Encore. Students gain eligibility for Encore based on excellent classroom performance, superior results on a nationally-normed or criterion referenced achievement test and/or evidence of higher-level thinking as measured by assessment of abstract reasoning and logical thinking.

The Metro Schools Encore Program offers an instructional experience designed specifically for intellectually gifted and academically talented learners. The curriculum is hands-on, interactive and problem-based with a focus on developing students' critical and creative thinking abilities. Instruction is interdisciplinary and aligned with Tennessee content standards, Encore classes meet weekly in your child's school.


For children younger than kindergarten, please contact the Office of Exceptional Education at (615) 687 - 4551, x665702. For children in kindergarten through eighth grade at Metro Schools, there are three pathways to qualify for Encore services:   

Three Qualification Pathways for K-8 Students

1. ANNUAL ENCORE ASSESSMENTS: Encore typically assesses eligible 4th – 6th grade students in the fall using the Cognitive Abilities Test™ (CogAT®) Screening Form. Encore typically assesses eligible Kindergarten students in the spring using the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test® – Second Edition (NNAT2). Kindergarteners are referred for this screening by school data teams based on benchmarks in reading and math or gifted characteristics. Qualification for Encore services is determined based on a comparison of overall student performance on these assessments by grade level.

2. SECOND GRADE UNIVERSAL SCREENER: New for 2017 - 2018, every 2nd grade student in a traditional MNPS school will be screened for Encore in late October with the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test® – Third Edition (NNAT3). Qualification for Encore services will be determined based on a comparison of overall student performance on these assessments by grade level.

3. SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGY: Parents, guardians, pediatricians, child care professionals or certified school personnel can request that students be screened for Intellectual Giftedness. If you are concerned that your child’s advanced academic needs are not being met in the general classroom, then start a conversation with the classroom teacher to request a Support Team Meeting . If your child meets the criteria for Intellectually Gifted, then he or she will also qualify for Encore services.

If you have further questions about the K-8 qualification pathways, please contact Claire Wescott, Advanced Academics Teacher Lead, at: or (615) 333-5175 ext. 2000.


Young Scholars of Nashville, or YSN, is the name of the talent development program for MNPS students in Kindergarten through 8th grade. The goal of YSN is to identify and nurture advanced academic potential in elementary and middle school students. For 2017 - 2018, YSN classes are expanding to multiple schools.

YSN classes are taught during the school day by the school’s Advanced Academics Resource Teacher (AART).The YSN program focuses on nurturing critical and creative thinking abilities embedded within content areas. Students gain eligibility for YSN classes based on demonstrated advanced thinking potential. 

If you have any questions about the Young Scholars of Nashville (YSN) program, please connect with the Advanced Academics Resource Teacher (AART) at your child's school.

A similar talent development program to nurture advanced academic potential is available at the four Early Learning Centers: Cambridge Early Learning Center, Casa Azafrán Early Learning Center, Davis Early Learning Center, and Ross Early Learning Center. Early Learning Center students are identified for talent development based on advanced thinking potential. 

Other Resources For Parents

It is important that our parents have access to the resources they need in order to gain a better understanding of what our Encore program includes. If you have any comments, concerns, or opinions about the Encore program, please complete our Parent Feedback Form. Submissions through this form are monitored regularly by our staff, and taken very seriously. Additional resources and information for parents can be found through our Encore Resources Page. If you have any other concerns, or inquiries, we encourage you to speak with your child’s teacher! You can also connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.