What does it mean to be gifted and talented?

Arkansas State law describes gifted and talented students in the following way.

Gifted and talented children and youth are those of high potential or ability whose learning characteristics and educational needs require qualitatively differentiated educational experiences and/or services.

Possession of these talents and gifts, or the potential for their development, will be evidenced through an interaction of above average intellectual ability, task commitment and /or motivation, and creative ability.

We will use the description above to guide the development of programs, services, and opportunities for students throughout the Trumann Public School District.

Characteristics of the Gifted

Here are a few, but not all, of the characteristics associated with gifted/talented children. If a student is exhibiting just a handful of these attributes they may be gifted. They don't need to fit every single characteristic to be considered a gifted or talented child.

    • Unusual alertness, even in infancy

    • Rapid learner; puts thoughts together quickly

    • Excellent memory

    • Unusually large vocabulary and complex sentence structure for age

    • Advanced comprehension of word nuances, metaphors and abstract ideas

    • Enjoys solving problems, especially with numbers and puzzles

    • Deep, intense feelings and reactions

    • Thinking is abstract, complex, logical, and insightful

    • Idealism and sense of justice at early age

    • Longer attention span and intense concentration

    • Preoccupied with own thoughts—daydreamer

    • Learn basic skills quickly and with little practice

    • Asks probing questions

    • Wide range of interests (or extreme focus in one area)

    • Highly developed curiosity

    • Interest in experimenting and doing things differently

    • Puts idea or things together that are not typical

    • Keen and/or unusual sense of humor

    • Vivid imaginations (and imaginary playmates when in preschool)

It is important to note that a child can be considered gifted/talented even if they have a disability, learning disorder, or other impediment. In fact, many gifted/talented students will experience asynchronous development and may excel in one area but struggle in another. Despite our knowledge of this, the myth has persisted that gifted/talented children do not have any struggles.

It is also important to remember that this is a clear distinction between a gifted/talented student and a good student. Just because someone is gifted/talented doesn't mean that they're a good student (in fact they could be in and out of the office or receiving very low grades) and just because someone is a good student doesn't mean that they're gifted/talented.

Beginning the Identification Process

In order for the identification process to start, students must be referred by a teacher, parent, community member, or other stakeholder. The referral form required is directly below. These forms should be completed and then sent to Mr. Duggins the G/T Coordinator. Without a referral form or parental consent a student cannot be assessed for the G/T program.

GT Program Referral Form

How are students identified as Gifted or Talented?

The process of identifying students as gifted and/or talented is multifaceted. A variety of assessments are used to gauge the IQ, level of creativity, and motivation of students. Stakeholders will also be asked to evaluate students and to identify areas of potential giftedness. Because of the inherent bias of intelligence testing against low income and minority students, multiple criteria will be used to assess students.

In order to ensure an unbiased selection process, students will be blindly evaluated by a panel of stakeholders. This panel will view each student without identification and will be given data, from the assessments, and examples of student work to assist them in making a placement decision.

Once a student is identified as gifted or talented they will receive pullout services during the regular school day. This identification process will begin at the end of 2nd grade.

Providing a service...

The Gifted and Talented program is one of several programs in the Trumann Public School District designed to meet the needs of the student population appropriately. Act 106, passed by the Arkansas General Assembly in 1979, requires that students identified as gifted and/or talented receive services that are qualitatively differentiated to meet their unique needs. All students from Kindergarten to 2nd grade are provided with whole group enrichment. At the end of 2nd grade, students can be nominated by any stakeholder (parents, teachers, community members, etc) to be evaluated for gifted characteristics. The forms to do this are attached at the bottom of this page. The students that are identified as gifted and/or talented will be given 150 minutes of instruction each week. This is done primarily through a pullout class.

In addition to whole group enrichment and pullout instruction, Trumann Public Schools also provides students with other services to assist in their development. Quiz Bowl, Chess, Odyssey of the Mind, and more are available to students as extracurricular activities. For more detailed information about the services provided for each grade level, please click on the menu above and select the appropriate school.

GT Program Philosophy

The Trumann School District recognizes that gifted and talented students are a unique population, differing significantly from their peers in abilities, interests, and psychological maturity. They come from all walks of life and all socioeconomic levels with abilities and talents ranging across a wide spectrum of human achievement. We believe that gifted and talented individuals have special characteristics and learning styles and that their potential for accomplishment is such that they require special provisions, experiences, and services not provided for in the regular instructional program.

In our commitment to quality education, the Trumann School District adheres to the Arkansas Department of Education's Gifted and Talented Rules and Regulations and recognizes their definition. It is our purpose to seek out and identify these outstanding students and provide them with educational experiences appropriate to their academic level. Therefore, we are committed to providing a program for identifying and meeting the needs and interests of our gifted and talented students based upon the guidelines and standards directed by the Arkansas State Department of Education, Office of Gifted Education.

Gifted and talented students are found in every segment of the population. Recognizing the potential rewards for the individual and society, Trumann School District believes the abilities of the gifted and talented student must be cultivated, nurtured, and developed. These students require provisions that are different from those normally provided by the regular school program. The gifted and talented program is committed to cultivating within the student a desire for excellence and a sense of productive responsibility to self, family, school, community, and to our changing society. We strive to meet or exceed standards set by the ADE with a focus on community involvement, staff development, personnel, identification, program options, curriculum, and evaluation.

GT Program Goals

1) To systematically develop high level thinking skills and creativity.

2) To provide appropriate intellectual acceleration.

3) To provide appropriate educational enrichment.

4) To develop independence and self-direction.

5) To assist personal and social development.

6) To develop career awareness.

GT Program Objectives

1) The student will demonstrate high level skills of inquiry.

    • Flexible thinking (arriving at alternative solutions, improvising, and adapting to situations)

    • Fluent thinking (arriving at multiple answers to problems, utilizing brainstorming techniques)

    • Original thinking (creating and inventing, exhibiting originality, improvising)

    • Elaborative thinking (add to, magnify, elaborate, expand, combine, condense, and increase)

    • Risk taking (possessing the courage to risk failure, being able to accept criticism, defining one's own position or idea)

    • Problem-solving/decision-making (being able to do independent thinking to arrive at alternative solutions, employing good judgments in decision-making, utilizing a variety of problem-solving techniques)

2) The student will identify and develop his/her preferred style(s) of learning.

3) The student will actively solve problems in a variety of areas.

4) The student will be able to identify areas of personal interest.

5) The student will pursue areas of interest to whatever level desired.

6) The student will recognize and utilize his/her unique gifted characteristics.

7) The student will interact with peers by participating in group discussions and activities.

8) The student will become knowledgeable of professional careers and creative products.

9) The student will find appropriate outlets for creative products.

What does GT services look like within the Trumann School District?

  • All K-2 students receive GT services for 30 minutes a week in a class called Enrichment.

  • Students in grades 3-8 receive Gifted and Talented services after they have been identified as needing these services. They receive 150 minutes a week of GT services with a GT teacher outside of the regular classroom.

  • Once students reach grades 9-12, they are eligible to take Pre Advanced Placement and/or Advanced Placement courses to meet their GT needs.