Program Overview

What is Gifted?

Gifted and talented children and youth are those students with outstanding abilities, identified at elementary and secondary levels. These students are capable of high performance when compared to others of similar age, experience and environment, and represent the diverse populations of our communities.

These are students whose potential requires differentiated and challenging educational programs and/or services beyond those provided in the general school program.

Students capable of high performance include those with demonstrated achievement or potential ability in any one or more of the following areas: general intellectual, specific academic subjects, creativity, leadership, visual and performing arts.

MARSS, 2006

Program Goals

Gifted Educational Services will encompass instructional opportunities directed to the unique needs of the gifted child, including:

  • Differentiated curriculum in all grades
  • Regular classroom curricula and instruction that is adapted, modified or replaced
  • A flexible instructional pace to allow for the accelerated learning of gifted learners as appropriate
  • A continuum of differentiated curricular options, instructional approaches and resource materials.

Program Administration and Management will establish a systematic means of developing, implementing and managing services, including:

  • Services directed by qualified personnel
  • Integration of gifted education programming into the general education program
  • Positive working relationships with constituency and advocacy groups, as well as compliance agencies, and
  • The provision of the requisite resources and materials to support the efforts of the gifted education programming

Program Design will involve comprehensive services based on sound philosophical, theoretical, and empirical support, including:

  • A continuum of programming services for gifted learners
  • Appropriately funded gifted education programming
  • Gifted education programming services as an integral part of the education school day
  • Flexible groupings of students to facilitate differentiated instruction and curriculum and
  • Development of differentiation process

Program Evaluation (a study of the value and impact of the program) will be implemented and must be:

  • Purposeful
  • Efficient
  • Conducted competently and ethically and
  • Made available and communicated through a written report

Socio-emotional Guidance and Counseling will be provided, understanding the unique socio-emotional development of gifted learners, and will consider, as appropriate:

  • Differentiated guidance efforts
  • Counseling at-risk learners to help them reach their potential
  • Underachieving gifted learners being served rather than omitted from differentiated services

Professional Development will encompass appropriate differentiated content and instructional methods and involvement in ongoing gifted educational professional development.

Student Identification will determine appropriate educational services:

  • In accordance with a coordinated, comprehensive and cohesive process
  • Using appropriate assessment instruments
  • Developing of a student profile and
  • Written procedures for student identification incorporating provisions for informed consent, student reassessment

Program Description

Seven Hills Preparatory Academy is an elementary school, serving children in Kindergarten through the 5th grades. Students in K-2 are identified informally as being advanced learners by their classroom teachers but they will not receive supplemental services from the Gifted and Talented Coordinator; rather, the Coordinator and the classroom teachers will collaborate on how to provide differentiated instruction to advanced learners within regular classroom settings. At the elementary level, Grade 3 through 5 students will be formally identified to receive advanced instruction in mathematics and language arts. Students may be identified for either or both of these services.

Seven Hills bases its program services on the Minnesota Automated Reporting Student System’s (MARSS) definition of gifted and talented participation.

The Identification Process & Tools/Instruments

The formal identification process is targeted at second grade; however, students may be referred through a similar process at all grades. Students are screened following spring assessments through a comprehensive, multi-dimensional process that includes the following steps:

· First, following spring CTP Online assessments, teams (grade level teams and support staff assigned to monitor and assist the classroom teacher in the identification of academic strengths and weaknesses) examine students’ scores in math and reading and nominate students for the screening process.

· Second, after examining these scores, the classroom teacher, with the support of her/his grade level team, is asked to complete a Teacher Nomination Form that includes rating scales of exceptional behaviors.

· Third, the parents or guardians of students that are identified as good candidates for the Gifted and Talented Program are asked to provide permission for the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) to be administered to the nominated student. Parents or guardians are asked to complete the Parent/Guardian Questionnaire to obtain additional information about the nominated student.

· Fourth, the Coordinator reviews the collected data and adds additional information from students’ records that provide evidence of exceptional performance. Once identified, the nominated students’ parents/guardians are notified and informed of their rights, including the right to review all records related to the referral for evaluation and the right to be fully informed of the results of the evaluation.

· Fifth, the classroom teacher, Assessment Director, Principal and Coordinator discuss each nominated student and in particular a student’s strengths in the language arts and mathematics areas. During this meeting, a final determination is made as to the inclusion of the nominated student(s) in Seven Hills’ Gifted and Talented Program using the following identification protocol:

o Interim Assessment Scores: student’s test data indicates consistent above average performance.

o CTP Online results indicate above average performance.

o CogAT results and the Parent/Guardian Questionnaire are consistent and support the Teacher Nomination Form and a Gifted and Talented determination.

  • Sixth, depending upon individual needs and criteria, all students are assigned to one of three types of gifted service:

o Level 1 Service: Enrichment

§ The regular classroom is meeting the student’s needs. Classroom teacher will provide differentiated content on an as needed basis.

§ Test scores do not meet criteria on qualifying standardized tests. Minimal supporting evidence of need except at the classroom teacher’s request, on a trial basis some students may receive direct service in a demonstrated area of strength.

o Level 2 Service: Direct

§ The student receives service in math or language arts from the Gifted and Talented Coordinator for up to one year and is re-evaluated at the end of that time, if needed.

§ Test scores in reading or math meet or exceed criteria established for each grade, teacher corroboration; classroom performance; additional factors may also be taken into account that enable or prevent a student from entering the program.

o Level 3 Service: Direct

§ The student receives service in both math and language arts from the Gifted and Talented Coordinator through 5th grade.

§ Test scores in both reading and math meet or exceed established criteria for each grade, teacher corroboration; classroom performance; other factors may also be taken into account that enable or prevent a student from entering the program.