Handbook

4.0  Community Involvement

 

4.01  Ongoing opportunities for community awareness.

The Riverside School District shall ensure that information about the District’s gifted and talented program is available to parents, students, and community members.  This will be implemented by; putting information in the local newspaper, sending out newsletters, and letters.

 

4.02  Parents and community members are informed annually of program opportunities.

The Riverside School District’s Gifted and Talented Program shall ensure that information about the District’s gifted and talented program is available to parents and community members.  They will be informed of the program at the public meeting in the fall of each year, through newspaper articles, handbook, and newsletters provided by the gifted and talented coordinator.

 

4.03  Parents and other community members are included on an advisory committee for the gifted program.

Parents and other community members are included on an advisory committee for gifted education that meets annually with the option of additional meetings as needed.  List of members, names of attendance, agendas, are on hand for general public viewing. 

 

5.0 Staff Development Plan

 

The Gifted/Talented facilitator/teacher(s) receive specialized training by attending courses in gifted education suggested for certification, as well as being updated through participation in conferences and workshops. (Example: AGATE, AAGEA and Crowley’s Ridge Cooperative meetings.)

 

Every attempt will be made to train certified personnel in a sequential and continuous program development to enable them to assist in the identification, selection, and programming needs of the gifted and talented program.  Staff development is based on local education needs of gifted students and altered accordingly.  Gifted education is funded at least in part by school districts or educational agencies.  Release time should be allotted to teachers for the development of differentiated educational programs and related resources.

 

The gifted program will be a part of the yearly district community meeting in order to make the community aware of the program options.

5.01 Written plan for gifted talented staff development.

The Riverside School District will provide ongoing opportunities for growth in the area of Gifted and Talented Education by organizing a flexible and varying program to meet the needs of the school personnel.  Areas of training appropriate for the entire school staff will be provided, which may include:

 

·         Characteristics and needs

·         Teaching strategies

·         Utilization of community resources

·         Identification procedures

·         Creativity

·         Program Evaluation

 

It is the gifted and talented facilitator’s responsibility to provide a less formal means of staff development such as:

 

·         Adding books and journals to the school’s professional library.

·         Sharing articles and other professional information.

·         Providing information on gifted and talented workshops

·         Providing short in-building staff meetings.

·         Sharing identified students’ products with staff

 

Jr. High and High School teachers will be trained in Pre-Advanced Placement (PreAP), Advanced Place 9AP) or Secondary Content for Gifted Education by the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE).  Educators serving the gifted are expected to attend training sessions and utilize higher order thinking strategies.  New educators to the district will be asked to attend sessions offered at the end of the year or at the beginning of the next school year as needed.  It is the responsibility of the Principals to assure proper training is acquired and certificates are sent to the Gifted Education Facilitator for documentation.  Teachers certified in Advanced Placement should renew their certification every five years and submit a certificate to the Gifted Administrator for the district.  Teachers serving through secondary content must obtain training every three years.

 

5.02 Opportunities to increase knowledge of the education of gifted students are provided.

 

Opportunities to increase knowledge of the education of gifted and talented students are provided on a regular basis for school board members, school and district administrators, teachers, and support staff.  The gifted facilitator/teacher will be encouraged to attend regional, state, and national workshops and conferences, which will provide staff development opportunities for the gifted teacher and other staff members.  The Gifted and Talented Facilitator will attend meetings sponsored by Crowley’s Ridge Educational Co-op, AGATE and/or AAGEA to keep updated in current trends and receive specialized training in gifted education.  Arkansas State University’s Gifted Education Department will be utilized for assistance with professional growth, as well the CREC’s Gifted Education Program and Supervisor.  Staff members will also be encouraged to attend sessions provided by the educational cooperatives to assist with special training in gifted education.

 

The Gifted and Talented Handbook, as well as the Arkansas Department of Education Rules and Regulations will be distributed to administrators, parents, and educators.  Requests to obtain copies may be submitted after the October 15th Program for Program Approval Application report has been completed.  The report is also available by contacting any Riverside School District Administrator.

 

Personnel 6.0

 

6.01 Persons who teach  identified gifted students

 

The person who will teach the homogeneously grouped identified students must hold a current Arkansas teaching license, pass appropriate state approved assessments, and meet performance standards as set by the state of Arkansas.  Facilitators/Coordinators will keep all certificates and transcripts on file.  Educators trained in the PreAP/AP/Secondary Content must receive appropriate training and submit certificates to the curriculum coordinator and Gifted and Talented Facilitator/Coordinator.

 

The Riverside Superintendent or their designated representative will maintain and keep updated records of certified personnel including records for the Gifted/Talented Program staff.  It shall be the duty of the each Gifted/Talented Program staff member to provide to the pertinent staff member the following:

 

·         A current teaching certificate issued by the Arkansas Department of Education

·         Transcripts of all college work completed

·         A signed contract

·         Teacher retirement election of participation form

·         Form W-4

·         Social Security Number

 

6.02  Persons who coordinate a program for gifted students

Personnel who facilitate/coordinate the program for gifted students (K-12) must hold a current Arkansas teaching license, pass appropriate state approved assessments, and meet performance standards as set by the State Board of Education through the Arkansas Department of Education, Professional Licensure Department for add-on endorsement in gifted education and in gifted education administration.  The facilitator will promote and maintain the administration/coordination of programs and services for Riverside gifted students in kindergarten through grade twelve.

 

Qualifications for the position of facilitator/teacher of the Gifted Program shall include a degree, pass appropriate state assessments and receive endorsement in gifted education with experience in teaching.  Qualified candidates must meet the performance standards as set by the State Board of Education through the Arkansas Department of Education, Professional Licensure Department for add-on endorsement in gifted education and in gifted education administration.  The position demands that the facilitator/teacher be flexible with time and resources.  In addition to time spent in planning the overall structure of Riverside’s gifted program and direct services to gifted students; the facilitator/teacher will perform a variety of duties that promote integration of the gifted program with the regular education program.

 

These duties include but are not limited to:

 

·         Working with classroom teachers, counselors, administrators, and other personnel

·         Locating resources and preparing materials and methods for teaching the gifted

·         Developing an appropriate curriculum for teaching the gifted students

·         Arranging in-school and out-of-school experiences

·         Facilitating special projects and events within the gifted program

·         Attend workshops and conferences to keep informed of new rules, regulations, etc.

·         Compile screening and referred information regarding students and keeping ongoing records of the students/identification of the gifted

·         Contact parents and staff about placement results

·         Conduct or arrange staff development activities under the supervision of the principals

·         Meet with the identification committee and advisory board at least once a year

·         Prepare the Application for Program Approval for the State Department of Education

·         Update policies and procedures for the gifted education department

·         Purchase and contract services and supplies for the Gifted/Talented budget

 

 

 

 

The Riverside administration will be responsible for finding and filling any teaching position required for providing services for Riverside’s gifted students.  They will find the candidate who best meets qualifications through normal hiring practices with consideration of personal characteristics associated with gifted educators according to the district’s school policy.  These characteristics should be considered by the school district as they relate to program goals and objectives:

 

·         A sincere concern for gifted children and youth

·         Enthusiasm for gifted programming

·         The ability to be flexible in time, pace, materials, instructional patterns, etc.

·         Confident and skillful public relations

·         Accepting or diverse ideas and behaviors and can deal with student criticism

·         Possessing a high degree of professionalism

·         Willingness to meet Arkansas certification requirements for gifted education

·         Successful teaching experience

·         Willingness to attend workshops and conferences related to Gifted/Talented education

·         Willingness to assist with extra-curricular programs as needed

·         Valid Arkansas teaching license

 

Teaching style should include:

 

·         Student, not teacher centered

·         Give student choices and responsibilities

·         Provide for individual differences by using a variety of resources

·         Emphasis on independence, not conformity

 

6.03 Persons who administer a gifted program K-12th grade

Persons who administer a program for gifted and talented students K-12th grade must hold a current Arkansas Standard Teaching licensure, pass appropriate state approved assessments, and meet performance standards as set by the State Board of Education through the Arkansas Department of Education, Professional Licensure Department for add-on endorsement in gifted education.

 

6.04 Process for selection of administrators/coordinators and teachers of the gifted.

All prospective employees must fill out an application form provided by the district, any resume or any additional information will be placed in the personnel file of those employed.  If the employee provides false or misleading information, or if he/she withholds information to the same effect, it may be grounds for dismissal.

 

Selecting personnel for the gifted education department demands much thought with emphasis on many skills.  Consideration of prospective candidates must be given to their ability to meet the following criteria; flexibility in meeting the demand and rigor of the program, be skillful in organization and planning ability, and be willing to maintain an on-going demand for innovative and new educational curricula.

 

The administration shall be responsible for finding the candidate who best meets qualifications through normal hiring practices with consideration of personal characteristics associated with gifted educators.  Following are a few of the characteristics that should be considered:

 

·         Confident and skillful public relations

·         Concern and enthusiasm for gifted students

·         Ability to be flexible in time, pace, materials, instructional patterns, etc.

·         High degree of professionalism

·         Accepting of diverse ideas and behaviors

·         Willingness to assist with extra-curricular programs as needed

·         Valid Arkansas teaching licensure

·         Student centered, not teacher centered

·         Emphasis on independence, not conformity

·         Willingness to attend workshops and conferences related to gifted education

 

 

The Riverside School District is an equal opportunity employer and shall not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, or disability.  In the event of an opening in a position in the Riverside Gifted Department the superintendent or his/her designee shall interview prospective employees that are certified in the respective fields and make recommendations to the board for hiring.

 

 

 

Criteria for teachers of the gifted must meet the minimum standards of:

a)      Six graduate hours in gifted education completed by June 1st of first year

of teaching gifted/talented students

b)      Twelve graduate hours in gifted education completed by June 1st of

second year of teaching gifted/talented students

c)      Eighteen graduate hours in gifted education completed by June 1st of

the third year of teaching gifted/talented students.

d)      Must be recommended by the building principal to the superintendent of

schools for final hiring procedures.  This recommendation will be based on:

 

·         A willingness to accept responsibilities of a teacher of the gifted as

stated in job description

·         Must be a good communicator with parents, teachers and students

·         Must be committed to teach to independence and not conformity

 

Procedure for hiring:

 

The gifted/talented position is advertised; application is accepted; applicant is interviewed; recommendation is made for hire by the superintendent to the board; board hires applicant.

 

6.05 Job Descriptions are developed for administrators/coordinators.

Job descriptions are developed for administrators, coordinators and teachers of the Riverside Gifted Program.  A written job description for administrator/coordinator/facilitator and teacher will be kept on file within the Gifted and Talented Program as well as in the Superintendent’s office.

 

The coordinator/facilitator will perform a variety of duties that promote integration of the gifted program with the regular education program.  Riverside’s Gifted/Talented Program is staffed with only one person responsible for the facilitating, implementation, and administration of the program.

 

The facilitator/coordinator/teacher of the Gifted and Talented Program shall plan, implement, and evaluate the school’s program for students in grade kindergarten through twelfth grade and keep adequate records according to the “Rules and Regulations” set forth by the ADE.  The educator must have knowledge in the enrichment, pull-out resource for identified students, Pre-AP/AP program, and Secondary Content.  The G/T facilitator/coordinator/teacher will be open to communication with the AP coordinator and administrators to aid in the development of a quality program that will meet the needs of our gifted population.

 

The Gifted/Talented Program facilitator/coordinator must take care of all administrative paperwork, reports and correspondence relating to Riverside’s Gifted Program.  In addition, the facilitator/coordinator will obtain the necessary documentation of the implementation of the Pre-AP/AP program provided by the Riverside District.  The Gifted/Talented Program facilitator/coordinator’s job descriptions include:

 

The Facilitator/Coordinator of the Riverside Gifted/Talented Program reports directly to the Superintendent, and Building Principals.   He/She directs the daily management of the gifted program and enforcement of the policies of the district.  Duties and responsibilities of the facilitator/coordinator of the Gifted/Talented Program include, but are not limited to the following:

·         Conduct in-service in Gifted/Talented Education

·         Attend Gifted/Talented workshops and meetings

·         Be a liaison between parents, school, regular classroom teachers,

special teachers, administrators, and community

·         Facilitate gifted and talented classes

·         Serve on identification committee

·         Prepare administrative paper work such as budget, program approval,

·         and monitoring

·         Other duties as assigned by Superintendent

The teacher of the Riverside Gifted/Talented Program collaborates with the Superintendent and each building principal.  The teacher implements a differentiated educational program to promote gifted and talented thinking skills.  Duties and responsibilities of the gifted/talented teacher include, but are not limited to the following:

 

·         Facilitate Gifted/Talented classes

·         Serve on Advisory Board

·         Serve on identification selection committee

·         Schedule Gifted and Talented services to students

·         Develop a flexible, individualized, enriching curriculum appropriate to

·         meeting gifted students’ needs

·         Provide professional development to colleagues and parents of gifted learners

·         Evaluate the district’s program

·         Attend workshops and in-service pertaining to Gifted/Talented education

·         Keep documentation of activities of the Gifted/Talented Program

·         Provide documentation required for monitoring by the ADE

·         Other duties as assigned by Superintendent and Building Principals

 

The job description of the AP Coordinator include, but are not limited to, the following:

 

·         Attend AP workshops

·         Present AP materials and information to appropriate staff members

·         Administer/facilitate the AP test offered by the College Board

·         Monitor the AP audit process

·         Complete the annual financial report on funds received for the AP Program

·         Other duties as assigned by the Superintendent/Principal

 

The job description of the AP Teacher include, but are not limited to, the following:

 

            Attend AP training programs

            Submit to an audit process of the syllabus for a given subject area

            Teach the students and prepare them for the test offered by the College

            Board for AP courses

            Other duties as assigned by the Superintendent/Principal

 

6.06 Regularly scheduled time is provided for administrative duties.

Regularly scheduled time is provided for administrators, coordinators and teachers of the gifted who perform administrative duties beyond direct services to identified students.  The schedule is used to show when planning time is scheduled for the gifted/talented personnel.

 

Riverside’s Gifted and Talented Program has one staff member designated for the facilitating and instruction of the program.  This staff member is responsible for all administrative duties as well as direct services to students.

 

7.0 Identification

 

The Riverside School District utilizes a comprehensive identification process to identify and serve gifted and talented students in the District.  This identification will include a screening process that assesses and measures both intellectual and creative ability.  This process will include; nomination, data collection, screening and placement.

 

 

7.01  Process for Identifying

 

The Riverside School District seeks to identify those students who possess exceptional abilities and potential for accomplishment that require gifted and talented programs to meet their educational needs.  The purpose of identification is to determine which students will benefit from the services provided in the district’s gifted and talented program.  Procedures are in place to provide an ongoing, comprehensive, and systematic review of students to attempt identifying gifted/talented students.

 

The process for identifying students has several stages.

 

·         Referrals are sought from a wide variety of sources to ensure that all

potentially gifted and talented students have an opportunity to be considered.

·         Data is collected on nominated students to aid in making decisions for

placement of students in need of gifted services.

·         Placement of students is made in an appropriate program option.

 

Procedures for Identifying Gifted/Talented Students

 

·         All students comprise the initial screening pool of potential recipients of gifted education services.

·         Nominations for the gifted and talented program are accepted from any source (e.g., teachers, parents, community members, peers, students, etc.

·         The nomination process is ongoing.

·         Student assessment data comes from multiple sources.

·         Instruments used for student assessment to determine eligibility for gifted education services measure diverse abilities, talents, strengths, and needs.

·         A student assessment profile of individual strengths and needs is developed to plan appropriate placement.

·         A selection committee determines the appropriate placement of students.

Riverside School District

Gifted/Talented Program

Identification

 

7.02  Identification procedures clearly stated and Communicated to staff.

 

The identification process for Riverside School District consists of three steps:

·         Referral

·         Assessment/Testing

·         Selection/Placement

 

I.                    Referral

·         Students may be reffered by parent, teacher, counselor, administrator, peers, self, or any person familiar with student’s ability.

·         Referral forms must be completed and parents must give consent before student can be evaluated. (Teachers, parents, and community members are made aware that referral forms may be obtained from the gifted/talented coordinator. Teachers are made aware through email and discussions, parents and community are made aware during the public meeting, parent conferences, open house, etc.)

·         Nominations can be made anytime during the year.

II.                  Assessment/Testing

·         Students will be assessed by intelligence, achievement, creativity, Arkansas Benchmark, teaching rating, Kingore Observation Inventory, and parent rating. (Assessment data will be explained to parents (upon request). This will be explained in a letter to the parent upon placement or non-placement advising them they have the opportunity to discuss the assessment data.  The regular classroom teacher will also be given an opportunity to discuss the gathered data.)

III.                Selection/Placement

Selection is based on the minimum of two subjective and two objective measures obtained on each student.  Students should exhibit evidence of above average intellectual ability, task commitment and/or motivation, and creative ability.  No single criterion or cut off score is used to include or exclude a student.  Objective measures include; intelligence, achievement, creativity, and benchmark exams.  Subjective measures include; parent ratings and teacher ratings.

Gifted and talented children are those of high potential or ability whose learning characteristics and educational needs require qualitatively differentiated educational experiences and/or services.

Possession of these talents and gifts, or the potential for their development, will be evidenced through an interaction of above average intellectual ability, task commitment and/or motivation and creative ability.

 

Collected data will be placed on a data sheet and the student’s information will be used for placement:  This data should reflect the following:

·         Intelligence:  The student should score in the above average or advanced area.

·         Achievement: The student should score in the above average or advanced area.

·         Creativity:  Students will take the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking to measure creativity and should score in the higher percentiles.

 

IV.                Notification

Parents are notified of placement or non-placement by letter.  Teachers are also notified of placement or non-placement of students.  Parents are notified that they may request an evaluation conference to discuss the placement or non-placement decision. 

 

 

 

7.03 A committee of at least five members will screen for placement.

 

The Riverside Gifted/Talented Program ensures that the screening committee will consist of at least five members chaired by the gifted/talented coordinator/teacher.  Each of the four campuses; West elementary, East elementary, Jr. High, Sr. High will have their own committee.  The committee members will be rotated periodically to ensure that teachers within the district understand the selection process.  This committee will be required to analyze and evaluate the collected data in order to make an informed decision concerning placement of students into the gifted/talented program.  The committee (on each campus) will consist of:

·         Gifted/Talented Coordinator/Teacher

·         Principal

·         Counselor (Optional)

·         Regular Classroom Teacher

·         Regular Classroom Teacher

·         Regular Classroom Teacher

 

A record will be kept of each meeting of the committee and appropriate documentation will be maintained.

 

7.04  Identification Process uses variety of procedures.

 

The Riverside School District Gifted/Talented Program uses a variety of procedures collected from multiple sources for consideration of placement of students into the gifted/talented program.

At least two objective measures and two subjective measures are considered along with additional collected data.

 

            Objective Measures Used

·         Otis Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT-8)

·         Torrance Test of Creative Thinking

·         Arkansas Benchmark Exams

·         Achievement Data Sat 10

 

            Subjective Measures Used

·         Renzulli Rating Scale

·         Kingore Observation Inventory

·         Parent Rating

·         Teacher Rating

 

Multiple Sources Utilized

Information is gathered from; test data, teachers, parents, and observation of the gifted coordinator/teacher.

 

7.05  Student placement decisions are based on multiple criteria.

 

Student placement decisions are based on multiple criteria.  No single cut-off score is used to include or exclude a student.  The gifted/talented coordinator/teacher explains the collected information to the committee members.   The collected data is compiled onto a screening profile form, the committee reviews and analyzes the data, and makes the decision for placement or non-placement into the gifted/talented program.  Members of the committee are urged to look at each student’s data (only assigned a number and not a name) to look for information that they could check as reasons for placing that student into the program.  Students need not score high on every criterion for inclusion into the program.  This committee is urged to review, discuss, and select those students that they feel should participate in the program/or should not participate in the program.  Placement is based upon documentation of expressed need or potential.

 

7.06  Procedures used in identification are non-discriminatory.

 

Procedures used in the identification process are non-discriminatory with respect to race, cultural or economic background, religion, national origin, sex, or handicapping condition.  Procedures include methods/measures that are non-discriminatory.

 

Giftedness is found among students from a variety of backgrounds; therefore, a deliberate effort is made to ensure that diversity is recognized when identifying for the Riverside School District’s Gifted/Talented Program.  While using a “blind” screening format, under-represented groups such as low socio-economic status students are indicated on the collection data form.  Names are not revealed to ensure a non-bias and equality of diverse representation within the gifted/talented program.  Students with special needs are screened in the same manner as the general population, however, consideration is given when administering tests to accommodate students that might need individual testing or other needs.

 

7.07  Instructionally useful information disseminated.

 

Instructionally useful information about individual students obtained during the identification process is communicated to the instructional staff regardless of final placement decisions.  Dissemination of instructionally useful information about individual students is shared with the regular classroom teacher to assist in meeting the needs of a student.  The gifted/talented coordinator/teacher may share information either verbally in a scheduled conference with the teacher, or information may be given in written form.  In addition, a list of students to be served in the program will be distributed at the beginning of each school year to current teaching staff members (after the initial screening and placement of new students).  This process allows for a current list of previously identified students, newly placed students, and any student that may have transferred into the Riverside School District.

 

 

 

Riverside School District

Gifted/Talented Program

Identification

 

7.08  Written identification procedures will include parental involvement.

 

Riverside School District’s written identification and placement procedures include parental involvement.  To be considered for the gifted program, the gifted/talented coordinator/teacher keeps the communication open to parents/guardians.  Procedures to ensure parental involvement include:

 

·         Permission to Test:

Once nominated, parents are notified of their child’s nomination for consideration of placement into Riverside’s gifted/talented program. 

A letter explaining the nomination process is mailed to the parents, along with a Permission to Test form asking permission be granted to begin assessment procedures.  Contact information is submitted within the letter leaving an open invitation to the parent to request any additional information.

 

·         Criteria for Placement:

Parents are informed that placement is based on multiple criteria with no single criterion or cut-off score to include or exclude a student from services.  Criteria

Used within the testing phase are explained with nomination notification letter.  The Gifted/talented coordinator/teacher is always available to explain the criteria utilized. 

 

·         Permission to Participate:

Parents are notified by letter of their child’s eligibility for program participation along with a Permission to Participate consent form.  Students begin direct services through Riverside’s gifted/talented program upon receipt of a signed Permission to Participate consent form.

 

·         Written Appeals Procedure:

Parents may appeal the decision of the placement committee.  Parents may request a review of the decision.  A conference of the gifted/talented facilitator, parent, and building principal will be scheduled.

 

1.      Parents must request a meeting with the gifted/talented facilitator, building principal, and parent.

2.      If the parent still is in conflict with the decision, the next step would be to file a written appeal listing the rationale of why the student should be placed.

 

3.      The identification committee should be reconvened to reconsider the placement of the student.  All data used in the initial decision ( 2 objective and 2 subjective measures along with a creativity measure) as well as any new and additional data will be included.  This information will be used to make the decision of placement.

 

4.      The decision of this re-convened committee will be communicated to the parent.

 

5.      This process will be completed in a timely manner.

 

6.      Students not placed into the program will be provided opportunities to be considered for participation in the program throughout their school experience.

Riverside School District

Gifted/Talented Program

Identification

 

7.09  Identification is an ongoing process.

Identification is ongoing:

·         Identification of gifted/talented students is an ongoing process extending from school entry through twelfth grade.

 

·         Students may be referred for consideration of placement in the gifted/talented program initially at the beginning of fourth grade.  Referrals are solicited during the end of third grade.

 

·         Referrals for the gifted/talented program are accepted at any time and placement decisions are made in as timely a manner as possible.

 

Annual review of placement:

A review of student’s placement in the gifted/talented program is made annually.  Once a student enters the Riverside Gifted/Talented Program, he/she will be evaluated throughout each year.  The evaluation shows the student’s performance in the gifted/talented class by way of strengths and weaknesses (areas of needed improvement).  At the end of each school year, the GT teacher will review standardized ability and achievement test scores, regular classroom performance, and performance and participation in the gifted/talented classroom. If the collected data from this annual review indicates there may need to be a change in placement, then exit procedures will be followed to determine what placement is best for the student.  The annual review will be documented on a yearly report clearly indicating the decision made for the next school year.  This annual review will be maintained in each student’s folder.

 

Exit Procedures:

The Riverside gifted/talented program strives to meet the needs of identified gifted students placed in all provided options of the program.  However, if data should indicate that the student’s needs are no longer best met through the services of the gifted/talented program options, then exit procedures may be considered.

 

Exit procedures may be initiated by:  student, parent/guardian, G/T personnel, classroom teacher, counselor, or administrator.

 

·         Exit procedure decisions may be based on, but are not limited to recommendations from: G/T teacher/facilitator, classroom teacher, counselor, or administrator.  This recommendation will be based on; observation of student behavior, performance, and/or product, student academic perform, G/T participation desire, and/or parent request.

·         If a parent/guardian requests that the student exit the gifted program, then a meeting will be convened with the parent, G/T teacher/facilitator, and building administrator.  If the parent decides that gifted/talented services are no longer warranted for his/her child, then the child would not be required to participate.  A signature of the parent/guardian would be required for documentation of withdrawal from the program.

·         When school personnel initiate exit procedures, it will be clearly stated by the committee chairman that not one single criteria can be used to exit the student.  Multiple criteria must be collected with at least two objective and two subjective measures (one which must be creativity).  Following collection of this data, a conference will be held with the parent/guardian in an effort to improve the student’s performance.  A clearly stated improvement plan will be devised and implemented.  During this improvement stage, the student will continue receiving gifted services.

·         If improvement is not made utilizing the improvement plan, then a committee of at least five school personnel (one of which is the building administrator) and chaired by the gifted/talented facilitator will convene.  The committee will review required data; at least two objective and two subjective (one of which must be creativity) and make a decision about what placement would be most appropriate for the student.

·         The parent/guardian will be notified of the committee decision.  The decision will be clearly stated on the committee review of participation form stating whether student will remain in the program or exit the program.  Signatures of the committee as well as the parent/guardian will be required.

 

 

 

Maintenance of files (Assurances):

Due process records are kept on file for a minimum of five years or as long as needed for educational decisions.  Information is kept on file with access limited to staff concerned with the education of the student and to the students’ parents.  Any information, which would be educationally useful to the regular classroom teacher is shared by the gifted/talented coordinator in a confidential and private manner. 

 

 

 

8.0 Program Options

8.01  Program is systematically developed.

The Riverside School District recognizes that gifted/talented students are unique and require different program options to meet their needs.  The design for our gifted/talented students is intended to provide a curriculum that is both differentiated and appropriate for the specialized needs of students who are advanced in their thinking and learning processes.  Gifted and talented students are provided opportunities to interact with their peers and to work with materials that challenge their abilities and encourage them to expand their abstract thinking and reasoning.  This is accomplished through using various approaches appropriate to the designated grade level.  Riverside’s gifted/talented program has been systematically developed to provide programming with many options with intent to reach all gifted students.  These goals are continuously evaluated to ensure proper educational growth of the gifted/talented population of students.

 

The following goals have been adopted by the Riverside School District to guide the development of gifted/talented students from the time they are identified through graduation from high school.  Consistency among the program’s components is based on the district’s philosophy of education and the curriculum objectives.  A combination of enrichment, acceleration, and guidance provides an approach that is innovative in design and best meets the needs of our gifted population.

I.                    Philosophy

The Riverside School District believes that each student should be offered educational experiences which provide opportunities for the development of the student’s full potential. 

Gifted and talented students are those who, by virtue of abilities, talents, and potential for accomplishment, are capable of high performance.  They may have high potential or ability in the following areas: general intelligence, creative or productive thinking, talent in visual and performing arts, exceptional leadership, and specific academic aptitudes.  Gifted and talented students are found in every segment of the population.

Recognizing the potential rewards for the individual and society, the district believes the abilities of the gifted and talented student must be cultivated, nurtured, and developed.  These students require provisions which are different from those normally provided by the regular school curriculum.  The Riverside Gifted and Talented Program is committed to developing within the student a desire for excellence and a sense of productive responsibility to self, school, community, and to our changing society.

 

II.                  Riverside Gifted and Talented Program Goals

1)      To provide, in addition to the regular school curriculum, a differentiated curriculum for identified students.

2)      To provide appropriately differentiated student experiences to meet the cognitive, affective, and social needs of identified students.

a)      Provide for the development of independent, self-directed learning skills

b)      Provide learning alternatives which are appropriately styled to encourage individual growth at varying levels of abilities, interest, and needs.

c)      Provide for the development of productive, complex, abstract, and higher level thinking skills.

d)      Provide an opportunity for students to develop research skills through the development of information gathering and research organization and presentation methods.

e)      Help students develop task commitment, to acquire and maintain adequate and realistic self-concepts, and to develop a sense of self-worth and responsibility.

f)       Develop critical thinking skills in the areas of analysis, synthesis, evaluation, logical reasoning, inference, problem solving, and decision making.

g)      Provide opportunities for students to develop competence in the use of technology.

h)      Opportunities for diversified enrichment will be provided.

III.                Riverside Gifted and Talented Program Goals for K-3rd Grade Enrichment

1)      Support the cognitive and social needs of those students who show strong evidence of potential giftedness.

2)      Provide experiences for all students that will improve the recognition and development of talents.

3)      Permit sufficient time for a pattern of giftedness to be shown before formal identification procedures are implemented.

 

 

 

 

 

 

8.02 Program Options Table of Organization

The gifted/talented coordinator/facilitator/teacher for the Riverside School District is under the direct supervision of the;  School Board, Superintendent, West Elem. Principal, East Elem. Principal, Jr. High/ School Principal, Assistant Jr. High/High School Principal.

 

Riverside Gifted/Talented Program

West Elementary Principal

East Elementary Principal

Jr. High/Sr. High Principal

Jr. High/Sr. High Assistant Principal

Gifted/Talented Facilitator/Teacher

Superintendent

Riverside School Board

Table of Organization

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                      

 

 

 

8.03  Placement in program options.

 

Student’s placement in the Riverside Gifted and Talented Program is based on the abilities, needs, and interest of the students.  The program design for our gifted and talented students for kindergarten through twelfth grade is intended to provide a curriculum that is both differentiated and appropriate for the specialized needs of students who are advanced in their thinking and learning processes.  This is accomplished through using various approaches appropriate to the designated grade level.  Following are options that the Riverside program offers:

I.                    K-3rd Grade

All students in Kindergarten through Third Grade have Enrichment opportunities with the Gifted and Talented Teacher once a week for 40 minutes.

II.                  Fourth Through Sixth Grade

The needs of identified students in these elementary grades (both campuses) are met utilizing a pull out resource setting.  These students receive instruction different from those provided in the regular classroom.  Learning experiences are designed to nurture creativity, foster higher order thinking skills, and meet individual needs of the students.  Students have the opportunity to work at their level of ability and in the area of their talent and interest.  All students in the pull out program are seen by the gifted/talented teacher for at least 150 minutes per week.

III.                Secondary Students

Students in the secondary setting (7th – 12th grade) are given the opportunity to meet with the gifted/talented teacher weekly for one 55 minute class period.  In addition, these students are given the opportunity to participate in Pre-AP classes, AP classes, secondary content, and concurrent credit courses.  Many other extra -curricular opportunities are provided; quiz bowl (Jr. High/Sr. High), Career Day (Job Shadowing), International Day, Governor’s School, and BETA, Educational Field Trips,  etc.  Multiple service delivery options are offered to meet individual needs of the student.

8.04  Schedule to promote interaction of gifted students with intellectual and chronological peers.

 

Administrative arrangements are used which promote interaction among gifted students with both their intellectual and chronological peers.  Scheduling is flexible which encourages intellectual interaction with other gifted and talented students and the regular classroom setting provides opportunities for interaction with their chronological peers.  

 

 

 

 

8.05 Program schedule includes 150 minutes a week of direct instruction.

 

The Riverside Gifted/Talented Program offers at least 150 minutes per week of direction instruction to the identified gifted and talented population of our district.  This is met by:

           

·         Kindergarten through Third Grade Enrichment Class 40 min. weekly

·         Fourth – Sixth Grade pull -out resource setting (150 min. weekly)

·         Seventh – Twelfth Grade – 55 minutes weekly with the gifted teacher and have the opportunity to participate in Pre-AP, AP classes, Secondary Content, and Concurrent Credit Classes.

 

Curriculum 9.0

 

9.01 Curriculum for the gifted extends or replaces the regular curriculum.

 

The curriculum for the Riverside Gifted/Talented Program extends the regular classroom curriculum.  The curriculum is differentiated in content, process, and product.  A continuum of learning experiences is provided from Kindergarten through Twelfth grade. 

 

According to the Rules and Regulations set by the ADE, Office of Gifted and Talented Program, it is important to avoid simply “more of the same.”  The gifted curriculum must be “in place of” rather than “in addition to” required classroom work.  The curriculum is set up in five major areas:  Critical Thinking Skills, Creative Thinking Skills, Logical Thinking Skills, Affective Development, and Independent Study.  Each of these areas includes goals, objectives, and specific skills.   

 

Options in the Riverside Gifted/Talented Program provide for meeting individual needs of students.  Curriculum is evaluated and designed to meet challenging needs of students.  The curriculum has scope and sequence to assure continuity.

9.02  Curriculum is differentiated in content, process, and/or product.

 

To assure that curriculum opportunities are appropriate to the abilities, accomplishments, interest, and cognitive and affective needs of the gifted students, modifications should be made in content, process and/or product.

·         Content refers to the body of knowledge presented to the student.

·         Process skills should include creative thinking, critical thinking, independent learning skills, problems solving, research skills and logic.

·         Products are the end result of the learning experience.

·         The affective component is addressed by designing the curriculum to respond to the social, emotional or affective characteristics that distinguish gifted students from others.

·         The curriculum is differentiated and sequenced for continuity.

 

The Riverside Gifted/Talented Program provides the freedom to study areas of interest in expanded levels of inquiry and the opportunity to investigate problems in depth while developing products showcasing the end result. 

 

The goals and student learning expectations within the gifted curriculum are considered a foundation, not a limitation for the development of independent learners.  Following is a list of processes that are considered fundamental to the development of Riverside’s differentiated curriculum:

·         Critical Thinking – Helping students use broad in-depth analysis to make decisions and evaluate evidence.

·         Creativity – Helping students generate new ideas or concepts.

·         Independent Learning – Permitting students to pursue an area of interest with the guidance of the gifted educator.

·         Research – Directing students to use an organized and systematic way of finding answers to questions.

·         Affective Helping students recognize their own strengths and limitations and understanding their own emotions and the impact of their behavior on others.

·         Problem Solving – Students will use inductive and divergent thinking to synthesize ideas to find connections between ideas.

·         Logic – Teach students to investigate problems. 

·         Communicate – Students will learn to communicate with an end “product” that expresses what they have learned.

 

 

9.03  Curriculum has scope and sequence to assure continuity.

 

The Riverside Gifted/Talented Program’s curriculum has a scope and sequence to assure continuity.  The scope and sequence is reviewed periodically by the gifted/talented educator to evaluate any changes or modifications that may be needed.

 

Evaluation 10.00

10.01  The evaluation process provides relevant information to improving program options offered gifted students.

Arkansas Standards for Accreditation require that each school use procedures to evaluate the effectiveness of educational opportunities provided for gifted and talented students.  The Riverside Gifted/Talented Program is evaluated in the spring of each year.  The evaluations will be done by surveying the parents, students and staff of the school.  The information from each instrument will be tabulated and analyzed by the gifted/talented coordinator and the results will be prepared in report form.  From the report, the district should be able to determine if the goals and objectives of the program are being achieved; if students’ are being effectively served; and the kind of program modifications that need to be made.  These evaluation results are reported yearly on the Application for Program Approval through the ADE Gifted and Talented Office.  The Application for Program Approval is made available to each administrator of the Riverside School District.

 

10.02  The plan for evaluation is based on program objectives.

 

The overall evaluation of the Riverside Gifted/Talented Program is based upon all components of the program.  Information received will be compiled, analyzed, and utilized by the gifted/talented coordinator/teacher to develop the program’s goals, note areas of weakness and strengths, and implement any changes needed.  In the spring surveys, questionnaires, and interviews are distributed and are geared to measure the overall success of the program and evaluate the components to plan program goals and objectives for the upcoming year.  The compiled data is used to formulate a written evaluation report and this report is used to make modifications and adjustments to the program in order to continue its effectiveness for our gifted students.

The evaluation instruments are written to measure the current year’s goals and objectives.

10.03  All components of the program are evaluated annually.

All components of the Riverside Gifted/Talented Program are evaluated annually.  Identification, staff development, program options, curriculum, community involvement, program expenditures and the evaluation process are reviewed by the gifted/talented coordinator/teacher.  These regularly conducted formative evaluations assist the coordinator in making decisions in regards to all components of the program.  Continuous communication with staff members allows for input at any given time.  The public is given opportunity for input during the yearly public meeting.

 

10.04  Data obtained from a variety of instruments.

Data for evaluation are obtained from a variety of instruments, procedures, and information sources. 

Many different approaches have been utilized to more accurately evaluate the Riverside Gifted/Talented Program.  Examples of instruments are:

·         Surveys (Distributed by means of “hard copy”)

·         Electronic Questionnaires created and distributed through email

·         Interviews (conducted by gifted/talented coordinator/teacher)

 

10.05  Evaluation findings are communicated to appropriate audiences.

 

Evaluation findings are compiled, analyzed, and communicated to the ADE, the Gifted/Talented Advisory Board, Administrators, and other appropriate audiences.  The results of the program effectiveness are given to the public, board members, and administers at the yearly public meeting.

 

 

10.06  Student Progress is assessed.

 

The evaluation of students’ progress in the Riverside Gifted/Talented Program will be based upon their achievement of program objectives which are outlined in the Scope and Sequence.  The student’s progress in developing process skills will be evaluated as well as the quality of their products.  The gifted/talented teacher will send evaluation of products, classroom performance, etc. throughout the school year.

 

Yearly annual reviews are held on each student to determine what program the child will be in the next year.  At the end of each school year, the gifted/talented teacher will review standardized ability and achievement test scores along with performance in class as a basis for continuation of placement.

 

10.07  Participation in gifted program is noted on transcripts.

Participation in the Riverside Gifted and Talented Program is noted on student transcripts and permanent records. 

 

The Riverside School District recognizes the effort and talents of our gifted students.  Students’ transcripts and permanent records note their participation. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

General Characteristics Of Gifted/Talented Children

 

·         They typically learn to read earlier.  They read quickly, and intensely.

·         They commonly learn basic skills better, more quickly, and with less practice.

·         They are better able to construct and handle abstractions than their age mates.

·         They take less for granted, seeking the “how’s” and “why’s”.

·         They display a better ability to work independently at an earlier age for longer periods of time than other children.

·         They can sustain longer periods of concentration and attention.

·         They are usually able to respond and relate to parents, teachers, and other adults.

·         They prefer the company of older children and adults to that of their peers.

·         They are frequently able to pick up and interpret nonverbal cues and can draw inferences that other children have to have spelled out for them.

 

 

Creative Characteristics of Gifted/Talented Children

 

·         They are fluent thinkers able to produce a large quantity of possibilities, consequences, or related ideas.

·         They are original thinkers seeking new, unusual, associations and combinations among items of information.  They also have the ability to see relationships among seemingly unrelated objects, ideas, or facts.

·         They are flexible thinkers able to use many different alternatives and approaches to problems solving.

·         They are elaborative thinkers producing new steps, ideas, and responses.

·         They are good guessers and can construct hypotheses or “what if” questions readily.

·         They have a high level of curiosity about objects, ideas, situations, or events.

·         They are more willing than their peers in expressing opinions and ideas.

·         Sensitive to beauty.

 

 

Learning Characteristics of Gifted/Talented Children

 

·         Gifted and talented children often show keen powers of observation, exhibit a sense of the significant, and have an eye for important details.

·         They often read a great deal on their own.

·         They take pleasure in intellectual activity.

·         They have rapid insight into cause-effect relationships.

·         They tend to like structure, organization, and consistency in their environments.

·         They often have a large storehouse of information regarding a variety of topics that they recall quickly.

·         They have a well-developed common sense.

 

 

Behavioral Characteristics of Gifted/Talented Children

 

·         They are willing to examine the unusual and are highly inquisitive.

·         Their behavior is often well organized, goal directed, and efficient with respect to tasks and problems.

·         They enjoy learning new things and new ways of doing things.

·         They have a longer attention and concentration span than their peers.

·         They are more independent and less subject to peer pressure than their age mates.

·         They have a highly developed moral and ethical sense.

·         They may seek to conceal their abilities so as not to “stick out”.

·         They often have a well-developed sense of self and a realistic idea about their capabilities and potential.

 

 

(Prepared by – Bruce Boston, Fairfax, Virginia)