Beginning with the 2013-2014 school year, Louisiana will offer a new program called Course Choice. While not specifically set up for Gifted and Talented students the possibilities for G/T students utilizing this program are great.
What exactly is Course Choice? This program is an innovative means of offering a variety of course to ANY school age student in Louisiana. For example your gifted student may want to take a more advanced Social Studies level and your school doesn't provide it. Through Course Choice you can sign your child up for this course which would likely be taken as a distance learning or computer course. Obviously, you will want to be sure you have the agreement of the IEP team at your school and put this on your child's IEP. Currently they are taking vendor applications with places like Duke and BYU expected to be on the Course Choice list coming out in January.
How much does it cost? If your child is in a school with a ranking of C,D, or F then you are eligible to sign up for courses at no cost to you. As of now, this includes all courses whether or not they are offered at your child's school or not. So theoretically if you weren't happy with the education your child was getting at your F ranked school you could sign up for Course Choice for all subjects except one. Our understanding is that at least one subject must be taken at your child's home school. For students going to A or B ranked schools the wording says that funding "may" be provided. So please check with your school counselor before signing your child up so you don't get any surprises!
While this is not going to solve all of the scheduling and funding issues involved with Gifted and Talented education, it will provide one more option for those looking to for a more appropriate education for there child. For more information and updates please click here.
The Recovery School District is moving to provide Gifted and Talend Programs to it's students and is launching a citywide enrollment system for direct-run and charter schools for the 2012-2013 school year. They anticipate the core subjects of Language Arts, Math, Social Studies and Science will be included in these programs!
If you would like additional information about the program please visit the Recovery School District Gifted and Talented page.
Zachary Community Schools remain Number One in the State for a Reason!
This summer Zachary students made an appearance at Disneyland, thanks to Ms. Rainey's and Ms. Gilpin's innovative teaching. The "Zachary Elementary Wetland Warriors - Fighting to Save Our Coast" project won a trip to Disneyland in May, where they were guests of honor in a recognition ceremony and parade. They were also featured on Disney Channel as youth environmental leaders. This second and third grade combination class built a school nursery, grew hundreds of grass plants and replanted them along the coastal beach area of Grand Isle. In addition, the winning students wrote and published books about the Louisiana Wetlands in an effort to educate the community. Money raised from the sale of those books will be used for wetland preservation. These teachers are an example of what great education can be!
Disney's Planet Challenge promotes project-based learning and provides tailored lesson plans customized to reflect the curriculum standards of each state and grade level (grades 3-6). Disney's Planet Challenge enrollment for the 2011/2012 school year is open now at www.disney.com/planetchallenge.
The Louisiana Department of Education ranks school districts in many ways. Below are two of the reports they use. For detailed information, please visit the Louisiana Department of Educations site directly.
The top 10 highest ranking districts, based on the percentage of students performing at grade level or above on Spring 2011 testing, are:
Louisiana is moving forward! Let's keep our Gifted and Talented programs moving forward too!
The top ten highest ranking districts, based on 2010 District Performance Scores (DPS) are Zachary, West Feliciana, Orleans, St. Tammany, Vernon, Central Community, Jefferson Davis, Livingston, Ascension and St. Charles.
For more detailed information on your parish, visit http://www.louisianaschools.net/lde/comm/pressrelease.aspx?PR=1474 OR http://www.doe.state.la.us/lde/saa/3112.asp
The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) estimates that approximately five to six percent of the U.S. student population in grades K-12 are gifted. Only three percent of Louisiana students are in gifted programs.
The NAGC generally defines giftedness as a student who shows, or has the potential to show, an exceptional level of performance in one or more areas of expression. While this definition might apply to any of our children, the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act gets a little more specific. It points to students who give evidence of high achievement capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity, or in specific academic fields, and who need services and activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop those capabilities. These definitions and many others don’t necessarily mean a straight-A student or a child with a high IQ score is gifted.
If you suspect that your child may be gifted you can contact your school system in writing. They offer gifted and talented programs for students through acceleration and compacting of subjects taught by gifted teachers at all schools in the parish. Children can be referred by teachers or parents for screening at school as early as Kindergarten. Parents that prefer to have their child tested independently usually have that option and need only submit the completed screening report to the Pupil Appraisal Services in your parish. For questions concerning testing procedures and requirements contact the Department of Education of Louisiana or an educational advocate