West Central School District 49-5
District Mission Statement
“To prepare all students for learning and living in a changing world.”
Gifted students are those learners who give evidence of high academic achievement capability and who need services not ordinarily provided by the district in order to fully develop their potential.
“To provide optimal learning experiences for high ability learners.”
Because gifted learners typically learn at a pace and depth that set them apart from the majority of their same-age peers, they have the right to a challenging educational environment that requires services beyond what is offered in the regular curriculum.
The goals of the gifted education program are…
- To provide new and challenging learning experiences which are not ordinarily included in the regular curriculum.
- To help students become more independent and self-directed learners.
- To enable gifted students to interact with and challenge each other by structuring a format through which they are able to work with other students with similar abilities and interests.
- To develop students’ creative problem solving and critical thinking, reasoning abilities, and skills in decision-making and communication.
- To assist in developing personal growth, social skills, and self-esteem and in recognizing and responding to specific strengths and needs of self and others.
- To provide differentiated curriculum in the regular classroom.
- To utilize all available resources to enhance the learning opportunities for high ability learners.
Nomination, Identification, Placement
Nomination:Students in grades K – 8 can be referred for testing for the Gifted Education Program by a parent/guardian or teacher who believes that a student may meet the gifted criteria. Teacher and parent nomination forms are available from the gifted education coordinator.
The nomination process will be ongoing and testing will occur as needed.
Identification: The testing to determine eligibility for the gifted program includes an achievement test and an intelligence test (IQ).
Students are eligible for the gifted education program when they meet the following criteria:
- A score of 97 th percentile or above in reading, math or writing on an achievement test.
- An IQ test score of 127 or above.
Student assessment profile
A student assessment profile of individual strengths and needs will be developed to plan appropriate intervention. The record will include the following information:
- Student behaviors as documented by teacher rating scales, parent rating scales, and/or anecdotal records;
- Student performance as documented by authentic reading, writing and math assessments, portfolios and/or products;
- Student interests as illustrated through interest inventories, contest and competition participation and awards, extra-curricular activities, and/or other anecdotal evidence of area-specific motivation;
- Student achievement as documented by standardized achievement test and subtest scores;
- Student aptitude as documented by standardized verbal, performance and composite individual intelligence test scores.
When students are eligible to be placed in the gifted education program, a placement team will be formed including the building administrator, gifted education instructor, teacher, parents and other designated personnel. This team will meet to review the evaluation results and determine a personal education plan (PEP) for the student.
The placement team will evaluate information from multiple sources when determining whether nominees demonstrate a need for gifted programming.
- Multiple indicators of potential giftedness are collected including documentation of student behaviors, student achievement, student aptitude, student interests, and student motivation.
- A single criterion may reveal a need for services. However, no single criterion can eliminate a student from consideration.
Discontinuance of Participation
Parents or guardians may request discontinuance from participating in the gifted program at any time they believe the gifted program has met the needs of their child. The placement team will meet at the request of the parents or guardians for the discontinuance of services.
Parents or guardians, on behalf of their child, may appeal decisions regarding identification, participation or program options by following Policy File: KLD Public Complaints About School Personnel or Programs. Complaints and grievances are best handled and resolved as close to their origin as possible. Therefore, the proper channel of complaints for gifted program placement will be as follows:
- Teacher/classified employee
- Gifted Education Coordinator
- Director of Special Services
- Superintendent of School
- School Board
If a resolution is not reached through the proper channels then a written appeal can be made. The steps for this are identified in the policy high lighted above.
Implementation of Gifted Education Services
A variety of educational services will address the unique needs of gifted learners for kindergarten through eighth grade.
Curriculum and instruction will meet the needs of gifted students by modifying the depth, complexity, and pacing of the general school program.
Students eligible for gifted education services will be placed in cluster groups by grade with an otherwise heterogeneous mix. This placement will respond to the fact that gifted students benefit from learning together and need to work with intellectual peers who have similar areas of strength.
In grades six through eighth, students will be placed in clusters in language arts, math and science.
Along with cluster groups the curriculum will be differentiated in content, process and/or product. Content is differentiated in breadth, depth and/or pace. Processes for gifted students stress creativity and higher level thinking skills. Differentiated curricula will be modified to provide learning experiences matched to students’ interests, readiness and learning styles.
As differentiated curriculum is developed at each grade level and/or in each subject a well-defined curriculum scope and sequence will be developed to insure continued challenge for gifted learners from grade to grade and subject to subject.
This curriculum scope and sequence will articulate how curriculum differentiation at each grade level and within each given subject area is based on connections between previous and subsequent learning experiences.
In compliance with the National Association for Gifted Children’s Exemplary Standards, differentiation may include:
- Acceleration of instruction
- In-depth study
- A high degree of complexity
- Advanced content; and/or
- Variety in content and form
“Differentiation for gifted students consists of carefully planned, coordinated learning experiences that extend beyond the core curriculum to meet the specific learning needs evidenced by the student. It combines the curricular strategies of enrichment and acceleration and provides flexibility and diversity. Appropriate differentiation allows for increasing levels of advanced, abstract, and complex curriculum that are substantive and that respond to the learner’s needs. NAGC believes that the use of such differentiation is essential to maximize the educational experience for gifted and talented students. NAGC further believes that appropriate educational experiences for these students are more effective when differentiated materials and activities are planned in advance and easily accessible” (Position Paper: National Association for Gifted Children).
Flexible grouping will also be an integral part of the gifted education services. Flexible grouping allows gifted learners to interact with one another across grade levels and across disciplines. The groups may be within class, across class, or across grade level.
Additional suggestions for c urriculum modification include
- pull-out classes
- school wide enrichment such as a literary magazine, history day, Primary Spanish, etc.
- grade based acceleration
- exploratory classes
- advanced courses in the middle school curriculum
Additional opportunities for middle school
- on-line courses
- distance learning
- subject based acceleration
- ThinkQuest, Lego League
- Lunch sessions to discuss topics of concern to gifted students such as current events, course registration, and affective issues.
Enrichment opportunities outside the regular school schedule may include
- Saturday enrichment classes
- Summer enrichment classes
These curriculum modifications will challenge students’ abilities, allowing them opportunities to develop their skills at an advanced level.
The curriculum will encourage students to develop their talents in a positive way for themselves and others fostering cooperation and empathy that translates to real world living.
Monitoring and reporting individual student progress to parents
Students’ progress will be monitored through classroom observations, and product assessments. Products will be expected to demonstrate higher order thinking, and divergent and abstract thinking.
General Program Management
Staffing and professional development
All specialist teachers in gifted education should possess a certification or degree in gifted education.
Regularly scheduled planning time will be allotted to the gifted education teacher to assist classroom teachers with compacting and differentiating curriculum.
All school staff will be provided ongoing staff development in the nature and needs of gifted learners, and appropriate instructional strategies. A minimum of one in-service per year will be scheduled for this purpose. Additional training may take place in faculty meetings.
Responsibility of educating the gifted learner
Responsibility for the education of gifted learners is a shared one requiring strong relationships between the gifted education program and general education district wide.
Relationships between the gifted education program and general education will be fostered through staff development, partnerships in developing curriculum and on-going communication.
Socio-Emotional Guidance and Counseling
Recognizing that gifted learners have unique socio-emotional development needs, a scope and sequence curriculum containing personal/social awareness and adjustment, academic planning, and vocational and career awareness will be provided to gifted learners.
A diversity of resources such as parents, community, and technology should be available to support the gifted education program. There should be a growing network of these resources developed in cooperation with the general education district wide.
The gifted education program will be evaluated annually based on the student needs and best practices.
Communication of programming
The gifted education program will establish on-going communication with stakeholders including students, parents and faculty as well as other educational agencies vested in the education of gifted learners. These agencies include the West Central School Board, area schools for the purpose of networking and intermediate educational agencies.
Parents of gifted learners should have regular opportunities to share input and make recommendations about program operations with the gifted programming coordinator. These opportunities may occur in one-on-one meetings and/or information nights.
Honoring academic talent
Academic talent will be honored with a trophy case to showcase assignments and projects, articles in the district newsletter and newspapers and an academic letter for scholastic achievement.
Students transferring from another district must meet the same criteria required of currently enrolled West Central students.