The student is not required to make up class work and/or homework on the day he/she is involved in the Gifted Program. Obviously, trying to complete six hours of schoolwork in one evening is unfair to any child and punishes students for participating in the gifted class. Each building principal supports this concept. Research reveals that students of average ability require up to eight repetitions to learn a skill, while gifted students require only one or two repetitions to master the same concept. The day some of the students in the class attend the resource room would be an opportunity in which the regular classroom teacher could offer review of material and concepts already presented.
The student is still responsible for long-range assignments, projects, and tests in the regular classroom. However, teachers preferably will not give tests or take field trips when a student is involved in the gifted resource room activities. If a problem occurs, the classroom teacher, resource teacher, parents, and students should work together to find a solution.
For a child experiencing difficulty with the material in his/her regular class, the regular classroom and resource room teachers should decide upon a plan to ensure the child learns the necessary concepts or skills.
Currently no letter grades are given in the Voyage classes. The quarterly Voyage evaluation includes checklists, conferencing, student self-evaluation, and teacher commentary. At the conclusion of each quarter, an assessment is sent home. Conferences are held in the fall and spring, and they are also available upon parent request.
Classroom teachers and teachers of the gifted programs will continue to monitor the progress of students who are not admitted to the program and will resubmit the names as teacher referrals. Teachers of the gifted program, guidance counselors, the school psychologist, and administrators will also monitor the above-mentioned students' test results and/or other pertinent data.
Parents may request a review of the placement procedure by contacting the gifted teacher, administrators, or the guidance counselor. This review may include a conference, a request for further testing, and possible reconsideration by the Gifted Placement Committee.
"Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life or whether that part will belong to someone else these pages must show.”
Charles Dickens from David Copperfield
Challenge is a three-year program offered in grades six, seven, and eight. This advanced language arts and reading course meets each day during all three years. The Challenge program is designed with an overarching theme throughout the program of “being the hero of one’s own life”. Students investigate heroes and their leadership qualities, engage in self-reflection, analyze their responsibilities to themselves and to others while learning to set goals and develop plans to achieve them. Students learn to analyze all sides of an issue and think critically to form their own opinions in order to develop their values and beliefs on a variety of issues. All of the units of study are tied to this central theme.
LETTER FOR CHALLENGE PLACEMENT
Licking County Educational Service Center
675 Price Road Newark, Ohio 43055
To the Parents of _____________________ ,
Your child has been recommended for placement in for the gifted language arts class (Challenge) for the coming school year. This is an advanced class in which students study various genres of literature in more depth and at a faster pace than the regular classroom. The program develops and refines critical and creative thinking skills through many writing activities. Your child has an opportunity to work at his/her potential, perhaps for the first time, as the curriculum is specifically designed for gifted students.
The Terra Nova Achievement Test and the InView Ability Test provide evidence of students’ achievement and ability. One of the uses of these instruments is to identify children who are or have the potential to be gifted. Students scoring at the 95th percentile or above in reading or language, and/or with an ability score of 129 or above are considered are identified as gifted in those areas and are considered for the program.
The placement committee looks at the most recent scores students receive on the above tests when placing students in the Challenge class. Children are placed in the class in accordance with district policy and state rules.
Please call the school or myself if you have any questions or concerns. My number is 740-349-6094. You need to contact the school immediately at 927-5767 if you choose not to place your child in this program so that others may enroll.
Coordinator of Gifted Services
NOTIFICATION OF SCORES NOT SUFFICIENT FOR PLACEMENT
Licking County Educational Service Center
675 Price Road Newark, Ohio 43055
Dear Parent(s) of _________________,
Because of previous test scores, your child has participated in Voyage classes this past year. Placement in Voyage occurs because of high ability scores and specific academic scores of at least 95th percentile in areas of reading and/or math. The middle school gifted class, Challenge, specifically addresses the needs of children who are gifted in the superior cognitive and reading/language arts areas. The placement committee considers the scores from the most recent standardized testing (the Terra Nova and InView in grade 5), when determining students best served in the middle school class. A student with gifted identification and current qualifying scores in ability and reading on these tests will be placed in accordance with district policy and state rules.
At this time, your child does not meet the criteria for placement in the Challenge class. However, the middle school has begun clustering and offers other advanced classes and enrichment opportunities for students who have advanced scores but who do not quite meet the criteria for inclusion in the Challenge class. Teachers are informed of test results and can adjust the curriculum to meet the needs of those students.
If you have further questions, I will be happy to speak with you. My number is 740-349-6094.
REFUSAL OF GIFTED SERVICES Student _________________________________________________ Date ____________
School: WATKINS MIDDLE SCHOOL School Year _________ Grade of Service _____
Placement Offered: Challenge Advanced Math Advanced Science
Periodically, students and parents may choose not to take advantage of the gifted services offered by the district. Written refusal of offered services must be filed with the school. If you would like to refuse the offered services, please complete the form below and return it to the school as soon as possible after the placement is offered.
Reason for Refusal of Services: ___________________________________________________
Parent Statement of Understanding
“I understand that refusal of gifted services cannot be reversed this school year. Further, reinstatement of my child in the program in future years may only be considered as space is available.”
Your child has been recommended for placement in the Watkins Middle School Challenge
class based on a variety of criteria. Challenge is a three-year program that meets all of the Academic Content Standards for English Language Arts required by the state of Ohio. In addition, it incorporates best practices for the instruction of gifted students. It fulfills the state requirements and guidelines for gifted programs as outlined in Ohio Administrative Code 3301-51-15.
Challenge, an advanced language arts and reading class, moves at a faster pace and investigates topics in more depth, breadth, and complexity than the regular language arts classes. Your child’s standardized test scores indicate that he/she would benefit from this type of educational format. The class curriculum does not run parallel to the regular classrooms. Students are placed and remain in the program for three years. Therefore, it is very important that you realize this is a three-year commitment to the program. The students work at an accelerated pace and conduct in-depth studies of themes and genres. In addition, the class will provide exposure to a variety of learning experiences outside of the classroom. By taking advantage of outside resources, students have an opportunity to participate in diverse subject matter and activities and events that reflect what is going on in the community, state, country, and world. The possible involvement in competitive events, such as Quiz Bowl, National History Day, Power of the Pen, etc., provides opportunities to match skills with like peers from other schools. Also, your child will keep a writing portfolio for their middle school years in the form of an autobiography.
The class is designed to provide your student the opportunity to develop skills to solve complex problems, learn and apply new material, and work at his or her full potential. This is often the first time students have been required to perform daily at an advanced level. For many children, the program will be an adjustment to how they have approached their studies in the past. However, as students begin to experience success and grow as learners, their self-esteem soars as they view themselves as intelligent beings capable of great things. It will be extremely important that the communication lines between you, your student, and me are open. I will keep in contact with you regarding your student and the class regularly, and I would like you to do the same. Together, we can strive to assist your student in reaching his or her potential.
I have enclosed a supply list for Challenge. There is also a fee charged for Challenge and other classes at the middle school. The fee allows us to purchase the best of current reading materials, such as novels, replace aged reading materials, fund postage for our class letter writing projects, and purchase other consumables for our class.
I am often asked about whether or not the Challenge students have a summer project to do. I do not give summer projects. I request your student, and optionally you, write me a letter of introduction. More details about the letter are contained on the next page. Your child will benefit from continuing to regularly read books of interest throughout the summer. I suggest sometimes guiding your child to choose a book that is slightly challenging to continue to advance his or her reading level. However, reading books that aren’t always challenging is rewarding as well. If you think about your own reading material, it probably runs the spectrum in degrees of difficulty. I know mine does.
In addition, any novel experiences that you can provide for your child will broaden his or her horizons. We have a wealth of places to visit in our immediate vicinity that will enrich their learning. Taking up a new hobby is another excellent educational opportunity for students of this age. Finally, summer is for having fun and enjoying the sunshine and friends, which are equally important.
I am looking forward to working with you and your child. You need to do nothing if you agree that placement in Challenge is appropriate for your son or daughter. However, if you have questions or concerns, please contact me at school at 740-927-5767 or the county gifted coordinator at 740-349-6094.
SAMPLE LETTER FOR CHALLENGE VISIT AND PARENT MEETING Date
To help answer questions about the Challenge Program at Watkins Middle School, students are invited to come spend a few hours at the middle school to meet the gifted teacher, talk with some current students and learn what kinds of activities and assignments will be involved. That date is ____________, from about 8:50am-12:30pm. Students will be bused to and from the middle school. Please read the enclosed invitation which outlines the specifics of the day. I hope you will encourage your child to come and investigate the program. Coming does not obligate him/her to take the class, but we hope he/she will try it.
Unfortunately, smart kids learn quickly that they don’t have to work very hard to get an A and that anything hard might disprove their ability, so they don’t want to challenge themselves. Students who engage in more rigorous coursework in high school perform better in college. While this is not yet high school, the middle school language arts class is sometimes the first time a student is challenged by assignments requiring more than throwing something together at the last minute to earn an A. Material is covered at a faster pace, more in depth, and with little review over previously known subjects.
You and your child are invited to a brief parent meeting on __________, at 7:00 PM in the Middle School South Cafeteria. You also can learn about the class, what is involved, and have your own questions answered.
Please sign the permission slip below for the field trip to the middle school on ___________.
We look forward to meeting you!
Coordinator of Gifted Services & Gifted Teacher
___________________________ has my permission to visit the Challenge Class on
In case of an emergency, please contact _____________ _________________ who can
be reached at _________________________ or __________________________.