New Kent County Public Schools offers a continuum of differentiated instructional programs and services designed to meet the academic, social, and emotional needs of gifted learners from kindergarten through twelfth grade which allow students to develop more fully and to appreciate their abilities and talents.
Goals of the Gifted and Talented Program:
- To identify through multiple criteria those children in K-12 who, by virtue of outstanding abilities, are capable of superior performance.
- To find and promote ways to honor students' strengths, talents, interests, learning styles, creativity, and affect needs.
- To provide differentiated programs that will enable gifted students to develop to their fullest potential.
- To provide for the selection of qualified teachers and to provide continuous staff development in gifted education.
- To promote an understanding of the gifted program by developing and maintaining a working relationship with parents and community members.
The nomination or referral of students for the A.C.E. program is a continuous process and may be made at any time throughout the year by the Screening Committee, other school personnel, parents or guardians, community members, peer referral or self-referral of those students believed to be gifted. Students from all cultural and socio-economic groups are considered in the process of gifted identification.
A pool of potential candidates is created annually through a review of available screening indicators and students who have been referred. These indicators may include classroom grades and performance, work samples, SOLs and other assessment results, results of the Primary Educational Thinking Skills (PETS) tool (K-2), and results from the NWEA MAP assessment administered to all students in grades 2-8. Students who have been identified for gifted education services in other school divisions are placed in the screening pool and will continue through the identification and placement process. The Screening Committee will determine if additional information is required to continue with eligibility determination. If additional testing information is required, written parental /guardian permission is required in order to proceed. This process will culminate in a Gifted Identification meeting, which is held within 90 school days of the parent’s written permission to test the student.
Each school establishes and maintains a Gifted Identification Team consisting of a building administrator, ACE teachers, the ACE coordinator, and a classroom teacher. The team meets three times per year to review information for each student referred for identification. The Gifted Identification Team determines eligibility for placement. A case study approach is used to review each child's profile with the committee seeking to reach a consensus through consideration of multiple criteria. The decision-making process in each school is designed to reflect sensitivity toward the unique strengths and needs of individual students from all populations and is determined by a consensus or by majority rule. No single instrument, score, or criterion will be used to determine which students qualify or are denied access to programs for the gifted.
Parents are welcome to attend Gifted Identification meetings so that they may share their observations however, the determination of gifted identification is made by the Identification committee.
If the student is found to not be eligible, the parents are notified that the student was evaluated and found to not be eligible. They are advised that they may appeal the committee’s decision and may request a copy of the Appeals Procedure.
At all grade levels, program services are Continuous and Sequential and, where appropriate, provide Instructional Time with Age-level Peers, Instructional Time with Intellectual and Academic Peers, and Instructional Time to Work Independently.
Students at all levels are heterogeneously grouped. The classroom teachers are trained in the identification and needs of gifted students. Acceleration and enrichment activities are provided within the classroom environment and in pull out classes. The gifted resource teacher works with the classroom teachers in a collaborative manner and the pull-out option is utilized. At all levels students are encouraged to advance their knowledge and skills in their areas of gifted identification. The curriculum is differentiated through various approaches to content, process, and product.
Students in middle school who are identified as gifted may choose to take a gifted class as an elective and classroom teachers provide differentiated lessons to meet the needs of all students. Acceleration is provided based upon individual needs and generally occurs in math, science, and foreign language. Periodically, the resource teacher and the classroom teacher with work in a collaborative manner to provide differentiated lessons.
Students who are identified as gifted in high school are offered a range of courses, including Honors, Advanced Placement, and Dual Enrollment. The gifted resource teachers meet with identified students to advise them on selection of courses, progress toward career goals, and provide them enrichment activities that promote problem solving and collaboration.