West Central Public Schools

"To prepare all students for learning and living in a changing world."

Gifted Education

West Central School District 49-7

  Humboldt/Hartford, SD

District Mission Statement

“To prepare all students for learning and living in a changing world.”


A gifted student is one who performs at or shows the potential for performing at a

remarkably high level of accomplishment when compared to peers of the same age,

experience or environment.

Mission Statement/Philosophy

“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. Classroom teachers who have identified gifted students work with our

district Differentiated Instruction Coach to differentiate for their students by the variety of

abilities, talents, interests, and learning styles.


The goals of the gifted education program are…

• To provide differentiated learning experiences which enhance the regular


• 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 utilize all available resources to enhance the learning opportunities for high

ability learners.

Identification Process

Students in grades kindergarten through eighth 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.

The testing to determine eligibility for the gifted program includes an achievement test

and an intelligence test (IQ). Once testing is requested district personnel will administer

the KTEA, an achievement test for math, reading comprehension, and writing. If scores

are above the 97th percentile in one or more areas, then the WISC-IV test will be given.

This measures the student’s intelligence quotient. A score of 127 or above would

qualify your child for the Gifted Education Program.

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.

Appeal Procedure

Parents or guardians, on behalf of their child, may appeal decisions regarding

identification or participation 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

• Differentiated Instruction Coach

• Director of Special Services

• Principal

• 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


At the elementary level, students in the gifted program receive support through the

collaboration of the Differentiated Instruction Coach and their classroom teacher in

clustered groups. The teacher and Coach are able to provide extended learning

opportunities to the group. Cluster grouping provides an effective component to our

gifted education program for this age of learners. They also benefit from time together

as a small group, so the Differentiation Instruction Coach will rotate through the grades

(k-5) to ensure each grade level has time for gifted projects. These projects are based

on the classroom curriculum at that time and are planned together with the classroom

teacher. These clusters move together during grades 1-5. Students’ progress in K-5

will be monitored through classroom observations, and product assessments. Products

will be expected to demonstrate higher order thinking, and divergent and abstract


In grades six through eighth, students will be placed in a heterogenous mix. The

Differentiated Instruction Coach works with teachers to help them differentiate the

curriculum for the students. The Coach is available to come into classrooms and to

meet with teachers at team meetings to provide ideas and suggestions to best meet the

individual needs of the gifted learner.

At the High School level, the Differentiated Instruction Coach works with high school

teachers to differentiate in general education classrooms. The Differentiated Instruction

Coach will also work with students and the guidance counselor to help students make

course decisions as needed. Students also have the opportunity to take Honor’s,

Advanced Placement and Dual Credit courses during their high school years.

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 differentiated instructional strategies. 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


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



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.

Program evaluation

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


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