Gifted Program

Certified Staff

Pam White - Grades 3-5, Truman Elementary

Peggy Pennington - Grades 6-8, Middle School

Tina Sudkamp - Grades 9-12, High School

Description of Services

State Funded

The Action program provides for students who have different cognitive and affective characteristics such as the capacity to learn at a faster rate, the capacity to find, solve and act on problems more readily, and the capacity to manipulate abstract ideas and make connections. The curriculum offered to these students arises from their different learning needs and characteristics and is focused on and organized to include a more abstract, complex and in-depth study of major ideas, problems and themes relevant to the world. The content integrates learning across disciplines of knowledge. The program provides the format for gifted students to come together to challenge each other and to encounter other students with similar skills and talents. Enrollment in Action is limited by the State Department of Education to 5% of the school's population. Seventy-one students (2%) are currently being served in this program.

Students must meet minimum eligibility criteria that are in compliance with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education before placement in the program can occur. Four criteria are used to select students for the program, which are general mental ability, abstract reasoning, divergent thinking and performance. The students must score at or above the 95th percentile on an individual intelligence test administered by school district personnel and meet the standards in two other areas.

Sixteen students in grades 3-5 spend one day each week in the Action room at Truman Elementary. The Action teacher is also available to assist classroom teachers with enrichment activities for the students.

Twenty-two students in grades 6-8 are assigned bo the Action classroom for one period each day.

Thirty-three students in grades 9-12 participate in a range of alternative classes. Freshman Compacting offers accelerated approaches to knowledge-based subjects. Four courses including computer applications, health and Civics are covered in nine-week time frames. This course fulfills the student's practical art requirement for graduation.

Sophomores may enroll in Action Enrichment designed for gifted students who have areas of interest but not time to explore them. Students pursue extended learning projects based on personal interests and needs. They establish schedules, develop questions to direct research, and create final non-traditional projects to be displayed and evaluated.

Juniors who exhibit high levels of task commitment and self-motivation may enroll in Action Independent Research. Students establish schedules, develop questions to direct research, seek resources, research and collect data, create six objectives for each of Bloom's categories for each original question, and create products and displays and evaluate the products.

Seniors may enroll in the community mentorship course. Communication skills, critical thinking skills, artistic expression skills and problem-solving skills will be developed through production and maintenance of a professional portfolio, career exploration activities, formal community mentorship activities, and independent research projects.

Parent education of the needs and characteristics of the gifted learner is also an important part of Action. Meetings with parents are held four times during the school year.

Placement Criteria