Gifted & Talented

Welcome to the 2019-20 school year. This is my second year working as a full-time teacher of the gifted and talented here in the Boothbay Region schools and my twenty-first year in education. I learn from all the students here every day. This site includes an outline of the program and resource to help parents and children.

Thank you for visiting the Boothbay-Boothbay Harbor Community School District’s gifted and talented page. Our gifted and talented educational program (GATE) is designed to serve the students who excel or demonstrate the potential to excel beyond their peers in terms of general intellectual ability and/or a specific academic aptitude. Some students are more ready for advanced material, or may be able to understand material at a faster rate than their peers. Many of our students are twice-exceptional, meaning that they have an area in which special education support is needed and an area of strength requiring additional challenge.

GATE is based on the premise that students with abilities that are significantly beyond the norm for their age must be helped to further develop those abilities and increase their knowledge and understanding of both the area of strength and of their own giftedness. We believe in providing gifted students with opportunities and tools to grow in knowledge and ability in their areas of strength. We believe in encouraging inquiry, introspection, and understanding of those areas.

Strategies for meeting student needs include:

    • changing instruction to meet the specific needs of gifted students;
    • grouping students identified as gifted together when possible;
    • helping teachers challenge gifted students in the regular classroom;
    • eliminating instruction on topics already mastered; and
    • replacing the topics with learning that stretches the student, accelerates learning, and enriches the learning experience.

It is important to know that not all students in the GATE program leave the classroom to receive services. Most support is provided to help teachers adjust instruction to meet the needs of their students. I visit classes, meet with individual and team teachers, help with a music ensemble, and sometimes teach students in the GATE classroom space. Also, inclusion in the program is revisited annually to account for students' changing needs. A student may receive services in some years and not in others.

The gifted and talented program’s goal is to support, challenge, and inspire students to develop, understand, and utilize their ability to improve their and others’ lives. Please check out the sub-pages, especially the Parent Resources page. .

I would love to hear from you. Please click on my name to email me.


Emily Higgins, Gifted and Talented Teacher