• Plano Academic and Creative Education (PACE)

  • What is Gifted and Talented?

    The Texas State Definition of Gifted and Talented…. Gifted and talented students are children or youth who perform at or show the potential for performing at a remarkably high level of accomplishment when compared to others of the same age, experience, or environment and who: (1) exhibit high performance capability in an intellectual, creative, or artistic area; (2) possess an unusual capacity for leadership; or (3) excel in a specific academic field. The PACE program's emphasis is on general intellectual ability.

  • What is PACE?

    The mission of the Plano ISD gifted program, PACE, is to provide a challenging learning environment that nurtures the unique potential of gifted and talented students so that as citizens they can contribute ethically and productively in ways commensurate with their abilities.

  • Identification

    Placement in PACE (Plano Academic and Creative Education) is based upon demonstrated need, whether that need be shown through quantitative means (test scores and academic performance), qualitative means (observable behaviors in the classroom), or a combination thereof. In any case, the campus placement committee looks for a "preponderance of evidence" that reveals the need for additional academic services. All decisions are made by a trained committee, and no single source of information is used to make placement decisions. Because every form of giftedness and every talent can not be accommodated in a school environment, the district does not search to identify students as being gifted or talented, but instead searches to place students into the program who show a need for services beyond those offered through the general education curriculum. Some gifts and talents are best served through advanced fine arts classes and opportunities rather than through advanced academic course work. Participation in those classes and opportunities is not contingent upon placement in PACE.

    There are three steps in making placement decisions: - referral - assessment - placement

  • Testing Schedule


    A talent pool approach is implemented in kindergarten during the fall semester. All kindergarten students are part of the talent pool and participate in a series of assessment activities. Testing and formal identification occur early in the spring semester. The students begin working a minimum of 30 minutes per week with the team teacher of the gifted in March. The pullout program begins in first grade.

    Grades 1-5

    The elementary gifted experience consists of two educational environments: (1) students placed in the PACE program are grouped a portion of each day with a specially trained PACE classroom teacher, and (2) identified students are 'pulled out' of their regular class a portion of each week to work with the gifted specialist.

    PACE grade level teachers are responsible for adapting and differentiating the general education curriculum which may include: acceleration to move students through materials at a faster rate, rewriting activities to emphasize depth and complexity of content, honoring individual student interest when appropriate, and/or adjusting the students’ schedules. The PACE team leader / gifted specialist fulfills two instructional roles: developing units of study that correlate to and extend the organizing ideas of the general education curriculum and developing and implementing opportunities for study beyond the general education curriculum. The latter includes: frequent divergent instruction; extension of prior learning; advanced critical thinking skills; problem-solving; creative interpretation and expression; advanced oral, written and visual presentation skills; and self-directed study. PACE units of study are an integral part of the challenge gifted and talented students receive and are neither "more nor extra" work.

  • PACE logo