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General Information About Giftedness

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Maryland Gifted Resources


While Maryland defines and offers some regulations to support gifted education, little to no funding is made available to local school boards to develop or implement gifted programming. Nonetheless, being familiar with state regs can help families negotiate educational planning for their highly and profoundly gifted child.

  • Legal definition of a GT student
    To the benefit of underachieving gifted students, the definition allows for the "showing the potential for performing" and "exhibiting high performance capability".

  • Identifies the need for different services
    While this is not a directive mandating differentiation for GT students, it can aid your argument for "services beyond those normally provided by the regular school program".

  • Encouragement for the development of GT programming
    Mostly a feel-good measure, the State Board is directed to "encourage" the development and implementation of GT programming. Since no funding is tied to this Article, it's not an enforceable mandate.

  • Funding for teacher training relating directly to GT students
    The catch-all phrase is "to the extent funds are provided in the State budget or are available from other sources". When funding is available, this Article can be used by grassroots GT parent activists to become part of the budget process for earmarking GT funds for new and innovative practices.


  • High School graduation and diploma
    Section (b)(1) may help reluctant administrators understand that no one particular course is required for high school graduation.

  • Regulated definitions of specific terms relating to high school graduation
    Take particular note of "credit", which is defined as the successful demonstration of a specified unit of study. No mention is made of seat hours or the taking of a final exam. This definition allows for on-site interpretation of how a principal chooses to grant credit for a high school course.

  • Enrollment period for high school
    Provides for the exemption to four (4) full years of high school enrollment.

  • Credit requirements for a high school diploma.
    This section of COMAR stipulates the minimum 21 credit requirement needed before a public school student can be awarded a MD high school diploma. While the list enumerates how many credits are needed by subject area and specific content areas needed within a subject (for example, one science credit must be biology), parent should note that COMAR does NOT require any student to complete a specific class within a specific year. In other words, no student is required to complete 9th grade general, honors, or GT biology. A highly/profoundly gifted student has the option of enrolling in AP Biology in their 9th grade year without fear of not meeting state graduation requirements.

  • Other provisions for earning high school credits
    Allows high school credit may be granted for online courses, dual enrolled college course, credit by examination, internships, independent study, and tutoring.

  • Student service learning hour requirements for public school students
    Requires the completion of 75 hours of service learning hourse, which may begin to accrue during middles school.

  • HSA testing requirements
    Public high school students must take and pass biology, English, government, and algebra High School Assessment exams. The Maryland State Department of Education maintains a list of acceptable alternative exams, such as certain AP exams, that a student may take in place of the HSA.

  • More MD state graduation requirements
    This regulation is no longer effective after the 2007-08 school year.

  • More diploma requirements
    Distinguishes between requirements for a high school diploma and a Maryland high school certificate.

  • Allowance for a 3 year high school graduation plan
    Allows for gifted students to enter college after three (3) years of high school, under special circumstances where the student completes their 4th year of high school concurrently with their 1st year of college.

  • Allows for alternative graduation paths developed by local school districts
    Gives local school districts the opportunity to develop alternative means for individual students to fulfill graduation requirements, inclulding a 4th year enrollment waiver.

  • General provisions for high school graduation requirements for transfer students
    Allows for special provision for senior year transfer students, including waivers from HSA requirements. This regulation is specifically geared to non-public school students which is a student status NOT granted to Maryland homeschoolers.

  • GED requirements
    Provides legal definitions used in the GED regulation.

  • Alternative ways for earning a high school diploma in MD
    Sets out some of the requirements for obtaining a GED.


August 20, 2017


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