Arizona Association for Gifted & Talented

Sense of Belonging: Building a Community of Gifted Learners

Danielle Salamanca

Dysart 21st Century Specialist

Jill Steenburg

Dysart 21st Century Specialist


How can we make education relevant for Mollys of this world? How do we make the "Mollys" feel like they belong to a community? Feel valued? Connected?


Think about and begin to ideate an action plan for how we can create a community of gifted learners.

Building Background

Why is supporting the social & emotion (SE) needs of gifted students important?

Sharing Structure:

      • Groups of 4: Read and annotate your section. (A-D)
      • Letter Grouping: Summarize. What stood out to you from the excerpt you read? How does this information impact your class?
      • Number Team: Give an overview of what you read and share out what resonated with you.

Explore: Dysart's Journey

Gifted Student Needs

Academic Needs

  • Gifted Cluster Teachers
  • Professional Development

Social & Emotional Needs

  • Virtual sharing, feedback, and celebrations (class, campus, district, global)
  • Conferences to come together to learn and grow
  • Student led groups based upon interest cohorts from conferences.

Dysart Gifted Conference: This year our Dysart Middle School Conference had an "Ignite" theme and was primarily led by our students. Participants were challenged to look within to discover what sparked their drive in life. Middle School students shared their "Ignite" presentations with each other and choose from 15 unique interest based sessions.

Your Gifted Learning Options:


Professional Development

Goal: Educate stakeholders on the supports needed for the 3 gifted qualifications.


Dysart Middle School Gifted Conference

Goal: Create opportunities for district wide interconnectedness among gifted students.


Virtual Collaboration Structures

Goal: Create virtual structures for students to collaborate and connect.

  • Q/A with Dani
  • District Virtual Collaboration Support
      • Project Share Examples
      • Critical Friend Feedback
      • Digital Citizenship
  • Using Personalization as a strategy to meet the needs of gifted learners. Resource Bank

Application: Create an Action Plan

To create your action plan. Open an option listed below. Go to ¨File"and select ¨Make a Copy.¨ Now you can type and modify within your own document.