Gifted and Talented Program Information for Parents

The Gifted and Academically Talented Program was established to provide a differentiated program, which embraces the uniqueness in all children, their different learning styles and different intellectual talents.  This program strives to develop and enrich the learning experiences for students who consistently demonstrate exceptional levels of accomplishment when compared to other students of their age, experience or environment.


PHILOSOPHY

 

Queen Bee School District 16’s philosophy is that we will insure high standards so that all students learn, grow, and achieve.  In keeping with the educational philosophy of  District 16, we recognize the diverse academic and social/emotional needs of the academically talented child.  In response to these needs, our program fosters within students a desire for academic excellence, the confidence to take risks, a sense of responsibility, and a healthy self-concept. Our program challenges students to translate potential into performance.

 

The goals of this program are:

 

Goal 1: To provide curricular adaptations using a variety of best practices to appropriately challenge students that exhibit exceptional talents.

 

Goal 2: To provide and implement strategies, which encourage students to extend their learning, creatively explore problems, and enrich their educational experience.

 

Goal 3: To ensure that all students who exhibit exceptional talents have their needs met.

 

IDENTIFICATION

Students are formally evaluated after 3rd and 5th grade for placement into the gifted /talented sections at the Intermediate and Middle School levels.  The building administrators coordinate the evaluation process.  Use of a formalized matrix, which consists of standardized assessment, professional judgment, local assessment, conferences with building level team members and parent input, is the basis for identifying students for the program. At all grade levels, performance-based data is included as informal evaluation of student progress on a routine basis.

 

Evaluation of individual student performance is an ongoing, integral part of our program.  During this informal evaluation, if it is determined that this program is not meeting the educational needs of the student, parents will be contacted and a formal exiting process will be initiated.

 

It is important to note that all programs within District 16 are developed to address a wide variety of student needs.  The gifted/talented program is designed to meet the needs of the top 5-10% of the student population.

 

PRIMARY

Our goal is to provide primary grade students with appropriate curriculum differentiation within a developmentally appropriate framework.

 

The identification of students at the K-3 level is difficult due to the tremendous developmental changes occurring at that time.

 

At the K-3 level, the staff focuses on the areas of Language Arts and Mathematics.  Activities to address curricular enhancement are provided to challenge students within the regular education setting.

 

Prior to the completion of the third grade, students are formally evaluated for placement in the gifted/talented program at the intermediate level (grades 4-5). 

 

INTERMEDIATE

Students at the Intermediate Level (grades 4-5) are clustered with other students of similar abilities and performance. Teachers  may utilize instructional strategies that include curriculum compacting, research, problem solving, and independent study at a developmentally appropriate level.

 

Prior to the completion of fifth grade, students are evaluated for placement in the Middle School (grades 6-8) Gifted/Talented Program.  The administrators and teachers review students’ standardized test scores, local assessments, teacher checklist, teacher recommendation, and parent input. 

 

 

MIDDLE SCHOOL

 

The middle school program (grades 6-8) provides a structure that begins to prepare students for Honors and Advanced Placement courses offered at the high school level.  Placement into this program is more competitive and relies heavily on the criteria used at the high school level.  Basically, the upper 5-10% of students receive service at the middle school level.

 

Each of the specific content areas (Math, Language Arts, Language Usage) provides a section that is geared toward the gifted/talented student.  Teachers who work with these students are content areas specialists and have received training in gifted education.  A content area specialist consults with this team of teachers to ensure that activities are based on the best practices of dealing with students who need to be academically challenged.

The curriculum focuses on enrichment and acceleration. Materials are selected that challenge the gifted student and develop skills, which encourage these students to be problem-solvers and life-long learners.

 


Characteristic Behaviors of Gifted and Talented Students

Source: Teaching Gifted Kids In the Regular Classroom

Author: Susan Winebrenner

 

Gifted students may exhibit many, but not all, of these characteristics.  When you observe students consistently exhibiting these behaviors, the possibility that they are gifted is very strong.

 

  • Advanced vocabulary for chronological age
  • Outstanding memory; possesses lots of information
  • Curious; asks endless questions (“why?” and then “what?”)
  • Has many interests, hobbies, and collections
  • May have a “passionate interest” that has lasted for many years (example; dinosaurs)
  • Intense; gets totally absorbed in activities and thoughts
  • Strongly motivated to do things that interest him/her; may be unwilling to work on other activities
  • May be reluctant to move from one subject to another
  • Operates on higher levels of thinking than his/her peers; is comfortable with abstract thinking
  • Perceives subtle cause-and effect relationships
  • May be able to “track” two or more things simultaneously (example: her daydreams and your words)
  • Catches on quickly, then resists doing work, or works in a sloppy, careless manner
  • Comes up with “better ways” for doing things; suggests them to peers, teachers, and other adults
  • Sensitive to beauty and other people’s feelings and emotions
  • Advanced sense of justice and fairness
  • Aware of global issues many same age peers are uninterested in
  • Sophisticated sense of humor; may be “class clown”

 

HOW PARENTS CAN HELP THEIR GIFTED/TALENTED CHILDREN
  • Share a special interest of yours with your child, a truly joyous learning experience for both of you. 
  • Take time to plan special trips to enhance and enrich your family life.  Utilize community resources and cultural programs.
  •  Maintain an interest in your child’s schoolwork and progress.
  • Encourage your child to take independent action and adopt responsible behavior.
  •  Become involved in groups that promote the education of gifted and talented children, such as The Illinois Association for Gifted Children (IAGC).
  •  Most important of all, get involved with your child’s school.