Frequently Asked Questions

1. What does the acronym SPINOUT stand for?

Special Programs In Nurturing Our Untapped Talent

2. How do students qualify for the program?

Three different sets of data are looked at: cognitive ability scores (CogAT), achievement test scores (MAP), and teacher inventory (which may include student portfolio samples). IAR scores are not used for entrance since they do not measure above-level capabilities. Scores from all three sources are put into an identification matrix. The teacher inventory and possible work samples are also scored and ranked. Student acceptance is based on a point scale related to the matrix which allows for multiple pathways for acceptance to the program.

3. Is there just one overall test cutoff score?

No. As stated above, data from three sources is put into a matrix which is used as guide to gain a deeper understanding of a child’s learning needs. Since tests generally have a margin of error, just making a cutoff score does not guarantee admission to the program. A child is never denied or granted admission for the sole reason of missing or making a cut-off score by a point or two of one test. Furthermore, a high teacher inventory does not guarantee admission. The SPINOUT identification committee considers and discusses all three variables.

4. Does student behavior affect entrance or exit from the program?

This depends on individual circumstances. There are numerous negative characteristics associated with giftedness. These attributes should not have a negative influence on recommendation to the program. However, a student should show progress in the program; if behavior interferes with such progress, an individual plan of action will be created. The SPINOUT program seeks to find the right fit for the individual student.

5. Are scores and class performance looked at yearly?

All students enter on a trial basis which can last from twelve weeks to one year. In most cases it is one full calendar year. After such time, all student test data is collected and processed. SPINOUT teachers will complete a rating scale and identification matrix for students who show minimal growth and/or low test scores.

6. If a child does not get into the program one year, does that mean he or she will never be accepted to the program?

No. In some cases, students may be on a special watch which may require further testing or growth. Furthermore, all student data is looked at annually.

7. Is our entrance criteria comparable to neighboring districts?

With Fairview’s participation in the North Cook Gifted Advisory Board, we continually make comparisons with neighboring schools. Much of our identification procedure was created by looking at the best practices of various neighboring districts and academic research, which we adapted to the needs and structure of our district.

8.  Should I share test results with my child?

Fairview respects the right of parents to make decisions in the best interest of their children. If you do share such scores, it is important that your child has the responsibility and maturity to understand that the information is confidential.

9. My child is receiving differentiated materials in the classroom so doesn't this qualify my child for SPINOUT?

In a level of services model of advanced learning some teachers may provide enrichment or differentiated work to meet the learning needs of a student. However, this work may not be two years above grade level as required for SPINOUT classes. Some children may need some differentiation, but not a separate class that far ahead. 

10. If I have questions about the program, whom should I contact?

Questions should be directed to the school principal. The SPINOUT teacher will not discuss qualifications of an individual child until the SPINOUT teacher has worked with the child for an adequate amount of time once they are in the program.