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My name is Kimberly Smith. I am the Gifted and Talented Teacher/Coordinator for Des Arc Public Schools. I would like to give our community and stakeholders a chance to be informed of the practices of our gifted program. This will help to provide a better understanding and open up opportunities to find out more about our program.
The Gifted and Talented Program Approval Standards defines giftedness as:
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.
Des Arc School district has a process by which we identify students with potential giftedness. The process for identification begins with a referral for services. A student may be referred to the program by himself/herself, peers, parents, teachers, counselors, administration, or any other person with knowledge of the student. Once a parent has signed and returned the permission to test form, data is then accumulated. Using a case study approach, existing information gathered about those referred will be reviewed by a placement committee. This information will be presented without identifying the student, therefore ensuring that decisions made are based solely on data. The placement committee will recommend appropriate placement.
In the elementary school setting students Kindergarten through 3rd grade are given enrichment services. Students attend enrichment class with a certified gifted and talented teacher once per week for 30 minutes. This not only allows for enrichment for all students but it allows the GT teacher an opportunity to gather data for potentially gifted students.
Pull-out classes are provided for students identified as gifted in grades 4th through 6th. These students meet with the certified gifted and talented teacher for 150 minutes per week. The gifted and talented pull-out program provides curriculum to fit the needs of students. Students participate in project based learning, interest based learning, community involvement services, and other opportunities that allow them to work on their level of ability.
In the high school setting gifted students are still serviced. Grades seven through twelve gifted and talented students’ needs are met through designated classes in the academic areas of English, Math, Science, and Social Studies. Teachers of the four core subject areas (English, Math, Science, and Social Studies) are required to document the differentiation they provide for gifted students each nine weeks. Teachers of the four core content areas are also certified to teach Gifted in the Secondary setting. Advanced placement and honors courses are among the program options available to gifted students in high school. It is my responsibility as GT Teacher/Coordinator to maintain oversight of student activities by collecting documentation from core content teachers and providing the opportunity for GT students to meet with me monthly.
If anyone has any questions or comments regarding the gifted and talented program, please email Kimberly Smith.