Program Overview

University Park Elementary School has been recognized by the Maryland State Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education as an Excellence in Gifted Education School. University Park currently has over 100 talented and gifted students in grades 2 through 6. TAG students are clustered together with at least seven or more TAG identified peers in the general education classroom with a teacher who has received extensive training on how to meet the instructional, social, and emotional needs of gifted students.

 Our TAG in the Regular Classroom Model provides instruction that challenges every learner to reach his or her highest potential. The TRC teachers continuously set high academic standards for all students  and  provide an advanced, enriched, and rigorous educational experience that is designed to meet the unique and specialized needs of highly able learners.

 The gifted education practices and standards recommended by the National Association for Gifted Children serves as our guidepost for cultivating a rigorous and highly engaging environment for the talented and gifted population. TRC teachers are committed to fostering a climate that promotes problem solving, real-world application, and in-depth learning where students can develop their exceptional abilities and talents. Kaplan's Depth and Complexity Critical Thinking Model, Concept Attainment, and Concept Formation are incorporated into all TRC classroom activities to guide students' thinking to a deeper and more complex level. A Shared Inquiry Method for discussions utilized in the TRC classrooms also promotes critical thinking in all subject areas. To support students in making interdisciplinary connections, the schoolwide universal themes of change in kindergarten through third grade and relationships in grades 4, 5, and 6 have been adopted. Students link ideas by relating generalizations about change across the curriculum.

 University Park, represented by many different cultures,  is a world language school with a full-time Italian teacher. Chinese after school classes along with a Chinese Summer Academy are offered to our gifted students. The schoolwide thematic unit, cultural diversity, was instituted to develop cultural awareness and appreciation. All teachers incorporate cultural diversity across the curriculum including current events, problem solving, research, and art appreciation.

 Opportunities also abound for self-exploration and the pursuit of personal interests beyond the classroom, which include Destination Imagination, Science Bowl, Write-A-Book, and John's Hopkins Center for Talent Development. Additionally, gifted learners regularly attend after school clubs such as Chinese Star Talk, Problem Solvers, and the Debate Club in order to enhance the curriculum and enrich their lives.

  Pre-assessments guide instruction at University Park Elementary and serve to determine which students need explicit instruction or are ready for curriculum compacting. The assessments are also utilized to create flexible groupings that are appropriate for each student. The pacing of the curriculum in all subjects is closely matched to the ability of students. When students demonstrate mastery of a single subject or competency of an entire grade level, they are placed in a higher grade for either subject or full-time acceleration, as evidenced in SIT notes. Post assessments are administered as well to measure academic growth. Teachers also display Data Walls in their classroom so students can monitor their own progress.

 The extensive training of the TRC staff reflects their dedication and commitment to the University Park TRC program. The entire staff is trained in TAG best practices and the characteristics of gifted learners, including the twice exceptional. The TAG student body consists of  6 twice-exceptional students. A highly trained professional staff  means that teachers are able to meet the unique needs of gifted learners and ensures that students are identified from all subgroups including underrepresented ones.

Not only do the administrators monitor the effectiveness of the TAG program on an ongoing basis, but TRC teachers also engage in self-reflection and peer observations to examine their teaching practices. Student data is disaggregated and analyzed to assist teachers in determining students' weaknesses and strengths. Data Utilization meetings and collaborative planning are scheduled to analyze students' performance and share insights and strategies to improve student achievement and instruction.

 

 

 How We Help Gifted Learners Meet and Exceed Our High Expectations

 

·         Identification  

All first and third graders attending a Prince George’s County school are administered an ability test (Otis-Lennon School Ability Test). Global testing is done in order to give every student the opportunity to be identified as TAG. This testing, along with grades and teacher and parent checklists are blended together in a matrix to determine who is TAG. Parents and teachers may also nominate students in grades 2 and 4 through 7.

 

·         Grouping

TAG students are clustered together in classes with at least seven or more TAG identified peers in order to meet with other students with similar ability and interests.

 

·         Learning Style and Interest Surveys

 Activities are designed to match each student’s interests and achievement levels.

 

·         Differentiated Instruction

·        Tiered Assignments

·        Curriculum Compacting

·        Advanced Learner Extensions

·        Interest and Learning Centers

·        Acceleration

·        Independent Study

·        Advanced Author Study

·        Flexible Skill Grouping

 

·         Reading Enrichment for Differentiation

·         Junior Great Books

·         Jacob's Ladder Reading Comprehension Program

·      Advanced Author Studies


   

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·         Enrichment Opportunities

·         Sumdog

·         Field Trips

·         Choir

·         Band

·         Annual Musical

·         Competitions and Contests

·         Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth Program

·      Destination Imagination

·     Science Bowl

·     Clubs


 


·      Technology and Multimedia

Technology and multimedia, important digital learning tools for the 21 century, empower students' learning. Teachers at University Park infuse instruction with technology in order to enhance problem solving abilities and creativity as well as to provide opportunities for enrichment. Technology and multimedia enable gifted students to reach the appropriate depth and breadth of lessons that enhance the curriculum. The Internet is an interactive and exciting tool for research. It allows students to delve deeper into topics of interest and to access information beyond the content of textbooks.  Computers are integrated in their daily lessons and educational  videos augment science, social studies, and math instruction. Technology enables our teachers to deliver instruction which meets the needs of all of our students, especially our TAG population.

·         Ongoing Teacher Training and Professional Development

 


 Schoolwide Mission

To provide a SUPERIOR educational community that empowers all students and staff to thrive.

Schoolwide Vision

University Park Elementary School will provide our diverse community with an outstanding education to ensure lifelong learning and college and career readiness.


TAG Program Mission

To identify students with outstanding capabilities and to ensure that they learn and achieve at levels commensurate with their exceptional abilities to empower them to become lifelong scholars.

TAG Program Vision


To provide exceptional, advanced educational opportunities to ensure that our high achievers become college and career ready in order to meet the challenges of today and the future.

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                        

 

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