Gifted & Talented
Winslow Public Schools Gifted and Talented Program Philosophy:
We acknowledge diversity among students. Our goal is to match students' strengths and needs with appropriate programming. We are committed to providing a range of services in the arts and academics to meet the individual needs of our gifted and talented students. These services will vary based on the developmental level of the students being served. Ideally, at all levels, the classroom provides the best setting for students to develop their talents. To the extent that the students' needs cannot be provided for in the classroom setting, alternatives will be identified and implemented.
The Gifted and Talented program in Winslow Public Schools is designed to serve students in grades K-12 who excel, or have the potential to excel, beyond their age peers in the regular school program, to the extent that they need and can benefit from programs for the gifted and talented. These students may demonstrate this across all academic areas, in one or more academic areas, or in the performing or visual arts. The population identified in academic areas typically comprises about five percent of the overall population, with an additional five percent typically comprising the gifted and talented in the arts.
A continuum of options, in lieu of the regular curriculum, that are aligned with the Maine Learning Results will provide the basis of program planning for gifted and talented students in language arts, math, science, and the arts.
Grades K-2 - Program services at the primary level will focus substantially on methods that support the classroom teacher in differentiating instruction for students who are developmentally or academically advanced. In addition, program staff will plan and implement lessons and activities that allow further observation of students who may be considered for future program services. In instances where student needs are so significant that typical differentiation opportunities are not sufficient, additional services may be considered.
Grades 3-6 - A variety of program options are available for consideration at this level, including, but not limited to, consultation with classroom teachers regarding differentiated instruction, regularly scheduled small group meetings for specialized instruction in a particular subject, independent study, regional programming, and out-of-grade placement.
Grades 7-8 A variety of program options are available for consideration at this level, including, but not limited to consultation with classroom teachers regarding differentiated instruction, regularly scheduled small group meetings for specialized instruction in a particular subject, regional programming, independent study, out-of-grade placement, and online courses.
Grades 9-12 - The overall goal of a gifted and talented program is to provide identified students with programming that meets their unique needs. Program options available for consideration at this level include, but are not limited to, regional programs, cross-registration for specific courses at area schools, online courses, AP courses, dual enrollment college courses, mentorships, college and career planning, and independent study. The gifted and talented teacher uses a consultation model for identified students to provide support and guidance as needed, as well as provides information and services to parents and classroom teachers about the special needs of gifted learners.
Identification and Placement
There are three major components in the gifted and talented identification and placement process. These include screening, identification, and identifying appropriate programming.
Screening for Core Content Areas
A screening process will be used to identify potential candidates for GT services. A minimum of two tools will be used to screen all students. At least one tool will be objective and one will be subjective. The highest scoring students will be screened further.
For students in grades K-2, screening may include kindergarten screening assessments, results of Developmental Reading Assessments (DRA), writing assessments, local math assessments and teacher and parent referrals.
In grades 3-6, identification measures may include nationally normed ability and achievement tests, statewide and district level assessment results for reading and math, and teacher and parent referrals.
In grades 7-8, identification may include results of statewide and district assessments in reading and math, local student achievement information, nationally normed achievement tests, and teacher, parent and student (self) referrals.
In grades 9-12, identification may include grade 8 statewide and district assessments, PSATS, SATs, student achievement information, teacher, parent and student (self) referrals.
Screening will be conducted annually at the end of grades 2, 6 and 9. Students entering Winslow Public Schools at other grade levels will be screened as they arrive, and information available from their previous districts will be considered upon parental, administrative, or teacher requests.
Screening for the Visual and Performing Arts
A screening process will be used to identify potential candidates for GT arts services.
a) Screening will be conducted annually at grades 3 and 6. Students entering the district at other grades will be screened upon request from parent, student or educator. Information available from their previous districts may be considered.
b) Screening measures for art and music include:
1. Parent, private tutor, art teacher or classroom teacher referral
Identification for Core Academic Subjects and the Visual and Performing Arts
As a result of screening, and once a pool of students has been identified as potential candidates for GT services, a GT Identification Committee will meet. This committee is composed of Winslow Public School GT teachers, a classroom teacher from the grade of the candidates, and the building principal or other administrator (such as the Curriculum Coordinator). Additional members may also include classroom teachers from other grades in the span, visual and performing arts teachers from other buildings, and a guidance counselor. This committee will meet to identify specific students for GT services.
The responsibilities of the committee in relation to identification are:
Review the information collected on children who have met the screening criteria. This may included assorted scores on a variety of measures for core academic areas as well as portfolios/products, auditions or a performance, and pupil interview for Visual and Performing Arts candidates.;
Collect additional information when appropriate;
Select children for placement in the gifted and talented program based upon an in-depth assessment of the collected information;
Oversee the annual review of the selection process;
Assure that the selection process is equitable.
Ensure that students will be allowed to bring in outside information, if available, to demonstrate that they would benefit from the gifted program.
Once a student is determined to be eligible for GT services, the GT teacher of record will:
Assure collaboration between the regular classroom teacher and the gifted and talented teacher to develop the program and determine the supports that will be provided for the student.
Notify parents of the eligibility of their child for participation in the program, provide them with a description of the program and obtain written parental permission to place the child in the program.
Maintain records on each student's participation in the gifted and talented program.
Conduct an ongoing review of each student's program to evaluate appropriateness of placement and instruction.
A student and/or his or her parents may request that the student be allowed to exit the program. If a student feels like they would like to exit the program, they are encouraged to discuss their thoughts with the GT teacher before moving forward with exiting the program. Parent permission will be sought for a student wishing to exit the program. If parents do not give permission for the student to exit the program, a meeting of the Identification Committee, the parent(s) and the student will take place to determine the appropriate action. In addition to a student or parent request to exit the program, the GT teacher may recommend a student exit the program if the program is deemed not a good fit. Again, a meeting of the Identification Committee, the parent(s) and the student will take place to determine the appropriate action.
An appeal may be requested by a student, parent, teacher, or school administrator by completing a GT Appeal Form and submitting it to the Superintendent of Schools. The Superintendent will review the GT Appeal Form with the GT Identification Committee, and make a recommendation. As per school system policy, any appeals made in respect to actions of the Superintendent may be directed to the School Board for further review and/or action.