New Jersey Administrative Code 6A:8-3.1 defines students who are gifted and talented 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.

The N.J.A.C. requires that students be compared to their chronological peers in the local school district. The New Jersey Department of Education has not established state-level criteria for identifying students who are gifted, such as mandated tests or assessments, grade point averages, or IQ scores. Local school districts must use multiple measures (see below) to identify students.

The Academic Gifted and Talented Program/UPAL Program at Lakeland Regional High School identifies, acknowledges and provides students with a variety of academic challenges in order for our Gifted Students to reach new levels of competencies. These exceptional students participate in various activities with students from other school districts in an effort to promote self-confidence, respect for others, academic and personal growth and the necessary skills needed to succeed in our very competitive society.

Students are selected through the following nomination process:

Step 1:

For incoming students: 

For students who are in Grades 9, 10, 11:

  • Academic teachers are surveyed in December/January of each academic year.  Teachers are asked to nominate students using the following criteria:
    • Possess knowledge of subject(s) which is advanced for a student of his/her age and grade level
    • Possess a quick mastery and recall of factual information
    • Be a keen and alert observer
    • Becomes absorbed and truly involved in certain topics
    • Self-motivated to follow through with work
    • Possesses a great deal of curiosity about a variety of things

Step 2:

  • A list of all nominated students is sent to the academic faculty asking all teachers to evaluate their current students.

Step 3:

All nominated students are reviewed using the following criteria:

  • Advanced academic courses
  • Parent/student/teacher recommendation
  • Grades
  • NJSLA-Assessments
  • STAR Testing
  • Teacher evaluations
  • Class rank
  • GPA

Timeline for admission to UPAL available at this link

Continuum of Services:

  • University Program at Lakeland courses
  • Creative Problem Solving
  • Field Trips
  • Participation in AP courses 
  • CLEP testing
  • Enrichment Activities
  • College/Career Presentations
  • Curriculum Compacting
  • Cluster Grouping 
  • Differentiation in Instruction
  • Independent Studies


What should a parent/guardian do if they not satisfied with the services that their child is receiving?

A parent/guardian may want to begin by reviewing the information that the district has provided regarding the gifted and talented services that it offers. To ask questions or discuss the services currently being provided, a parent/guardian may want to reach out to his/her child's teachers or school counselor. If there are further concerns, he or she can contact a school or district administrator. If the issues are still not resolved, a parent/guardian can put the concerns in writing to the district administration with a copy to the county superintendent.