Hamilton Elementary Middle School

All About GAL in BCPSS

Gifted and Advanced learning is...

Questions and Answers:

Does gifted and advanced refer only to academic ability?

No. Gifted and advanced learners perform or show the potential to perform at high levels academically, artistically, creatively, or in leadership.

How are gifted and advanced learners identified?

All kindergarten students are screened with an ability assessment, and achievement results are monitored throughout the grades. Either the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT3) or the Cognitive Ability Test (CogAT) is used as an initial identifier, and formal identification then includes data from nationally normed achievement assessments in mathematics and reading (e.g., PARCC, i-Ready, or the Measure of Academic Progress). City Schools also uses motivation scales (GES-3) and creativity assessments (Torrance) in limited cases when students pre-qualify in only one of the two categories of ability or achievement.

What's the difference between gifted and advanced?

Gifted learners have ability and achievement scores in the 90th to 99th percentile range (level 5 on PARCC in both ELA and math), while advanced learners' scores fall in the 80th to 89th percentile range (level 4 on PARCC in both ELA and math).

What about students who are near the 80th percentile, but not quite there?

City Schools also identifies students for talent development when their ability scores exceed the national average but do not yet qualify them as advanced or gifted.

Can my child be screened for gifted and advanced programs?

Thank you for advocating on behalf of your child. All requests are limited to students enrolled in City Schools at the time of the request.

Formal identification: Selecting this link initiates the process to formally identify the student as a Gifted, Advanced, or Talent Development learner within City Schools. Formal identification entitles students to Individualized Learning Plans (ILPs) but is not required to gain access to gifted learning resources at the school level. Additionally, formal identification plays no role in the school choice process.

From BCPSS: https://www.baltimorecityschools.org/gifted-and-advanced-learning

Get to Know Mrs. Knutson

Welcome to GAL at Hamilton.

I am Mrs. Knutson and I am the GAL Lead here at Hamilton. I am originally from New Jersey and attended the University of Rhode Island for undergraduate school. I graduated with an Education degree with a minor in Human Growth and Development and Kinesiology. I continued my education with a Masters in Guidance and Counseling from Loyola University and Masters from Johns Hopkins in Teacher Leadership and Science Education. I attended Notre Dame College to work on my certificate of Gifted Education along with classes at Johns Hopkins.

I have been working in Baltimore City Public Schools for 32 years and have taught both Elementary and Middle School. I have worked to help develop curriculum for both Elementary and Middle School.

I have one daughter who lives in Texas and is perusing her dream of being a professional dancer. She attended both county and city schools and is a graduate of BSA.

I have two cats Pi and Scamperson Noodle and maybe one day you will see them on a virtual meeting.

Outside of work I like to travel, hike, and spend time with my family and friends.

I am reachable via email: seknutson@bcps.k12.md.us , text 667-900-1127, and by phone at 667-900-1127.

Please never hesitate to reach out with questions and concerns.