THREE Frequently Asked Questions:

1.What is the Philosophy of GT Instructional Support in Yarmouth?

The Yarmouth School District is committed to addressing the academic and emotional needs of gifted students. Through our GT Services, we provide gifted students with the opportunity to achieve, to be self-directed, to accept responsibility, to develop creative and critical thinking skills, to pursue individual and alternative solutions, and to value inquiry and lifelong learning. Students may be supported in small groups or in the classroom through differentiated work. The GT teachers collaborate with the classroom teachers.

2.What is giftedness?

There are many definitions of giftedness, ranging from the very narrow (the top 1% of the population based on IQ) to the very broad (the top 20% based on the School-wide Enrichment Model). The State of Maine defines gifted children as those in grades K-12 who excel, or have the potential to excel, beyond their age peers, in the regular school program, to the extent that they need and can benefit from programming for the gifted and talented. Chapter 104, which governs our programs here in Maine, mandates that students selected for direct GT services comprise approximately 3-5% of students.
We have observed that the GT learner often takes an unusual route to an unexpected destination, frequently ending up far beyond the rubric or learning standard. A GT student does not look the same as a bright, hard working student. For a quick snapshot of the difference, please see the chart below:

 Bright Child Gifted Child
 1. Knows the answers 1. Asks the questions
 2. Is interested 2. Is highly curious
 3. Is attentive 3. Is mentally and physically involved
 4. Has good ideas 4. Has wild, silly ideas
 5. Works HARD 5. Plays around yet tests well
 6. Answers the questions 6. Discusses in detail, elaborates
 7. Top Group 7. BEYOND the group
 8. Listens with interest 8. Shows strong feelings, incl. frustration
 9. Learns with ease 9. Already knows
 10. 6-8 repetitions for mastery 10. 1-2 repetitions for mastery
 11. Understands ideas 11. Constructs ABSTRACTIONS
 12. Enjoys peers 12. Prefers adults or being alone - may be very        introverted
 13. Grasps meaning 13. Draws inferences
 14. Completes the assignments 14. Initiates projects
 15. Is receptive 15. Is very intense
 16. Copies accurately 16. Creates brand new design
 17. Enjoys school 17. Enjoys learning
 18. Absorbs information 18. Manipulates information
 19. Technician 19. Inventor
 20. Good memorizer 20. Good guesser, plays hunches
 21. Enjoys sequential presentation 21. Thrives on complexity
 22. Is alert 22. Is keenly observant
 23. Is pleased with own learning 23. Often highly self critical, may not finish             work or want to show work (e.g. stages in           math), has better ideas than the teacher

adapted from Janice Szabos (Gifted Child Quarterly)

3. How do Yarmouth Schools identify and support the needs of gifted learners?

Please visit our Screening Process page
Please visit our GT Instructional Support page.