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On June 1, 2005, the State Board of Education readopted with amendments N.J.A.C. 6A: 8, Standards and Assessment for Student Achievement, which includes more specific requirements for gifted and talented programs.


The regulations define gifted and talented students as:

“Those students who possess or demonstrate high levels of ability, in one or more content areas, when compared to their chronological peers in the local district and who require modification of their educational program if they are to achieve in accordance with their capabilities.”

Available Gifted and Talented Resources for Students:

Mercer County Technical Schools (MCTS) offers the following gifted and talented program for learners:

  1. Honors classes for recommended students grades 11 and 12.
  2. Access to college courses for recommended students grades 9-12.
  3. Access to the Career Prep Program for students at the 12th-grade level.


MCTS identification procedures include standardized test scores; achievement test scores; ability test scores; classroom performance; teacher and student recommendations and nominations; parent input; as well as other appropriate measures developed which apply to all populations, including under-represented groups and Special Education students.  All identification measures will be assessed on objective terms.  It is important to note that no one single measure will automatically include or exclude a student from our programming. Identification measures, test subsets, and classroom performance are used to most accurately measure a student’s domain-specific aptitudes.

Identification processes do begin in ninth grade; however, identification may be deferred in the primary grades based on developmental readiness with programming provided through targeted enrichment of activities within the general education classroom.  All candidates and their needs will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. All grades in our district (9-12) receive some form of services, support, and guidance from the building administration based on the student’s developmental needs. Some program components available in our schools are designed to meet the needs of students with exceptional strengths in a specific area who may not meet the criteria for the general academic Gifted and Talented programming.  We do not have one gifted program in our district, but rather a variety of programming and services that can be adapted to meet a student’s individual needs at a specific time.  Also, differentiated instruction and project-based learning allow for learners to be consistently challenged.


Honors courses are offered in English. The material covered will be done so in greater depth and at an accelerated pace as compared to a regular course. Students must meet minimum requirements established by the district in order to be recommended for honors courses.

Admission Criteria for Honors Program:

  • A grade of 90 or above in CP level courses, qualifies the student to appeal for admissions to an honors level course.
  • A grade of 85 or above in previous honors classes qualifies the student to automatically gain admission to the honors course.
  • Students may be required to submit a writing sample or other assessment where applicable.