Gifted Education Philosophy
Grandview Heights Schools strongly supports the idea that every student has the right to an education that provides opportunities for the maximum development of his/ her potential. The district recognizes that students identified as gifted have outstanding abilities and potential for accomplishments. It is the goal of the Gifted Services program to encourage, foster, and support educational experiences for those students identified as gifted, based on their unique learning needs and styles. A brochure that provides an overview of our Gifted Services program and staff is attached below.
• Provide experiences that will foster academic talents and abilities
• Provide opportunities for higher level, complex, independent thinking.
• Provide educational alternatives that teach, challenge, and expand students’ knowledge.
• Stress the development of independent and self- directed learners
Gifted Program Model
The Grandview Heights City School District understands that there are gifted students whose intellectual capacity, rate of learning, and potential for creative contributions demand experiences apart from, but connected to the regular classroom. The gifted program model used in our district is one of resource consultation and collaboration. This model pulls together the school’s resources and expertise to serve students. Recognizing that gifted education is not a “program”, but rather incorporates an array of services that identify in-school and out-of-school activities, general education staff and gifted education specialists share responsibility for designing educational opportunities for gifted learners.
This model enables us to serve the wide variety of gifted children in our schools and begins with differentiated instruction. The District understands that a differentiated curriculum is the best way to meet the day-to-day needs of the students. Flexible grouping and differentiated instruction provide developmentally appropriate curriculum for gifted children, that gives them opportunities to learn and grow at a challenging pace. In addition to the identification criteria set forth by the state, subjective criteria such as teacher observations and classroom performance may be used to determine appropriate service options for individual students.
Gifted Intervention Specialist
The Gifted Intervention Specialist plays a critical role in providing quality education programming for gifted students. The roles of the Gifted Intervention Specialist are many and varied and include working with identified gifted students and some non-identified high achieving students, as well as collaborating with classroom teachers to plan differentiated strategies and curriculum modifications. The primary role of the Gifted Intervention Specialist is to work “behind the scenes” to assist and support the classroom teacher in creating learning opportunities that enhance and enrich lessons and are designed to challenge the high achieving students. In addition, the Gifted Intervention Specialist advocates for the needs of gifted students by serving as a liaison between parents, teachers and administrators.
Kindergarten and First Grade
There are very few children identified as gifted in first grade and kindergarten; however, there are children who are performing at very high levels of academic achievement. In collaboration with classroom teachers, the Gifted Intervention Specialist will assist in providing resources and activities that stretch the thinking of high achieving students.
Second and Third Grade
All gifted students receive basic services through flexible grouping and differentiated instruction in the classroom. The Gifted Intervention Specialist provides support services to teachers and assists in modifying the curriculum, through content acceleration and/or content enrichment. The primary areas of concentration are math and reading. Gifted program options may include:
• Research projects
• Small group seminars
• Web quests
• Reading discussion groups
• Independent learning
In this model, gifted children work on challenging activities that are built on or extend from the regular educational program. The classroom teachers work collaboratively with the Gifted Intervention Specialist to serve identified gifted and talented students. Other children who demonstrate existing mastery of current educational objectives may be included in the differentiated educational opportunities as well.
All gifted students in grade four receive basic services through flexible grouping and differentiated instruction in the classroom. The Gifted Intervention Specialist provides support services to teachers and assists in modifying the curriculum which includes content acceleration and/or content enrichment. The primary areas of concentration are math and reading.
• Reading Students identified in the specific area of reading may meet with the Gifted Intervention Specialist on a limited basis. Students engage in enrichment activities that are an extension of the grade level curriculum.
• Math Students who are identified as superior cognitive or gifted in math may meet with the Gifted Intervention Specialist on a limited bases. The focus is on complex, sophisticated mathematical thinking and reasoning. In addition, the Gifted Intervention Specialist works with the classroom teacher to provide math enrichment and extension activities.
Fifth Grade and Sixth Grade
As students move into fifth grade, the gifted service model continues to evolve. All identified students benefit from flexible grouping and a differentiated curriculum. The Gifted Intervention Specialist continues to work with teachers to assist in planning modified activities and lessons. The Gifted Intervention Specialist will also provide materials and resources to meet the day-to-day academic needs of gifted learners.
In particular, the intervention specialist collaborates with the math teacher for the various units of study. Students who qualify on pre-assessments are able to participate in the advanced level activities within the daily math class. Also within the context of the regular classroom, students may participate in Book Discussion Groups. The students read above grade level books that are challenging and high quality literature. The books are selected by the intervention specialist.
ELC (Extended Learning Classes) - This is a pull-out group designed for students who are identified as having superior cognitive ability. Qualifying students meet once a week in the resource room with the Gifted Intervention Specialist. The purpose of this service option is to focus on process skills such as critical and creative thinking and problem solving. This service option includes:
• An interdisciplinary curriculum
• Experiences with intellectual peers
• Opportunities to address social-emotional issues
• Potential for counseling when indicated
Written Education Plans - Written Education plans are an important part of the Gifted Services. These plans are written at the beginning of the school year and reviewed at the end of the year with the assistance of Gifted intervention Specialist, Gifted Coordinator, and/or regular classroom teachers. Written Education Plans are in place for students receiving gifted services.
Homework Policy - Students are not required to make up work missed in the content area classroom while participating in pull-out activities in the resource room.
Evaluation - Progress reports are sent to the parents at regular intervals. These reports are based on the gifted teacher’s evaluation of progress. Students are encouraged and assisted in developing self-evaluation techniques. No grades are given.
Seventh - Twelfth Grade
The goal of gifted services at the middle school and high school levels is to provide an appropriate and challenging learning environment in which all students can develop their talents. The goal is addressed by providing intervention strategies at the classroom level and extra- curricular enrichment opportunities. At the high school level, with the assistance of the academic counselor, students are guided to self-select appropriate levels of academic rigor as they prepare for college. Service options and enrichment opportunities include:
• Algebra (MS)
• Accelerated math (6th/MS)
• Advanced Placement Courses (HS)
• Geography Bee (MS)
• Lego League (MS/HS)
• Math Counts (MS)
• Performing Arts (HS)
• Science Olympiad (6th / MS)
• Spelling Bee (MS)
• Women in Science (MS)
Early Enrollment into Kindergarten and First Grade
All children learn best when they are challenged to a level for which they are ready. The challenge for schools is to find the optimal match between the child and the appropriate learning environment. For intellectually advanced students, options to create this match may include early enrollment into kindergarten or first grade. Candidates for early enrollment should be students who perform at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared to others of their age or experience, and those who unique needs cannot be met in the classroom with applied academic differentiation strategies.
According to State of Ohio Guidelines: The standard minimum age for admittance to kindergarten is five-years-old by September 30th. A child may be considered a candidate for early enrollment if the child will be 5-years-old by December 31st.
The standard minimum age for admittance to first grade is 6-years-old by September 30th. A child may be considered a candidate for early enrollment to first grade if the child will be 6-years-old by December 31st.
According to State of Ohio guidelines (continued): To help ensure that students are carefully selected and screened, a variety of instruments are implemented to assess the child. A team approach is used to evaluate the data collected and to make final decisions regarding the child’s readiness for early enrollment. Early Entrance Requests should be directed to the District Board Office.
Whole Grade or Single Subject Acceleration
Another option for meeting the academic needs of the exceptional student is acceleration. Candidates for acceleration should be students who perform at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared to others of their age and experience, and those whose unique needs cannot be met in the classroom with applied academic differentiation strategies. Multiple factors are considered when evaluating a candidate for acceleration. A team approach is used to make the final decision.
Differentiated instruction is how teachers in Grandview address the day-to-day academic needs of our gifted learners within the classroom. Our teachers understand that not every child must be doing the same activity at the same time as every other student in his/her class. Different learners have different needs, readiness, and interests. Differentiated instruction allows teachers to provide those opportunities without labeling or obviously singling out individual learners in a class setting.
Gifted children benefit from cluster grouping and a differentiated curriculum. The Gifted Intervention Specialist works with teachers to assist in the planning of modified activities and lessons to help meet the day-to-day academic needs of our gifted learners.
Differentiating instruction involves three steps: assessing the needs of the students, designing activities to address those needs, and assessing the results. Differentiated instruction is a practical and highly successful strategy for responding to the learning needs of children. By differentiating the curriculum a teacher can make curricular modifications, extend learning opportunities, and adjust assignments to match the learning needs of a diverse population of students. There are no predetermined ways to differentiate the curriculum for gifted students; the possibilities are endless.
An appeal by the parent for the reconsideration of the results of any part of the identification process which would include
• Screening procedure or assessment instrument (which results in identification)
• The scheduling of children for assessment
• The placement of a student in any program; and
• Receipt of services.
Parents can initiate the appeal process by completing the appeal form which is available from the building principal or from the district’s website.
Things Parents Can Do
Parents play a vital role in recognizing and nurturing the talents of their children. Parents are a child’s first teacher and staunchest advocate. Parents share with the school an important responsibility in helping children to achieve their maximum potential.