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Philosophy of the CISD Gifted/Talented Program



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Philosophy of the CISD Gifted/Talented Program

The Callisburg ISD is committed to an educational program that recognizes the unique value, needs, and talents of each individual student. Gifted/talented students have abilities, talents, and potential for accomplishments so exceptional that they require a variety of special provisions to meet their educational needs.


Callisburg’s Academically Talented Students, C.A.T.S., is an integral part of the district’s commitment to an appropriate education for all students. This program is designed to challenge the identified student through a qualitatively differentiated curriculum and a variety of multidimensional teaching approaches. The ultimate goal of the program is to develop within the student a desire for excellence and a sense of individual responsibility to the school, the community, and a changing society.


Goals of the Callisburg Academically Talented Students Program

The goals of the C.A.T.S. program acknowledge the unique needs of the students and provide direction for the program so that those needs may be met.



1. Student Assessment

Identify at every level and in every school any student who is academically gifted and talented.

2. Program Design
Implement a system of viable program options that provides a learning continuum that is developed throughout the district and reinforces the strengths, needs, and interests of gifted/talented students.
3. Curriculum and Instruction
Immerse gifted/talented students in an advanced curriculum based on a strong, theoretical foundation that is differentiated from the regular core curriculum in content, process, product, affective areas, and level of challenge.
Provide opportunities for gifted/talented students to work productively with their academic peers, with other students, and independently during the school day.
Provide a variety of learning experiences of appropriate depth and complexity related to the four core academic areas for the identified gifted/talented students from kindergarten through grade twelve.
4. Professional Development
Initiate and maintain a professional development program of high quality and insure that all teachers who provide services to identified students have participated in training that addresses the nature and needs of gifted/talented students, assessing student needs, and curriculum and instruction for gifted/talented students.
Insure that all administrators and counselors involved in program decisions have participated in training that addresses nature and needs of gifted/talented students and program options.
Provide ongoing evaluation of professional development activities, as well as assess current implementation practices for the purpose of planning future professional development.
5. Family/Community Involvement
Insure that written policies on identification are disseminated to all parents.
Inform parents of the extensive variety of learning opportunities available for gifted/talented students.
Involve parents of gifted/talented students in ongoing evaluation of program effectiveness and any future modifications.
Through services provided, participants in the CATS program should be able to:


  • demonstrate mastery of advanced curriculum.

  • utilize effective interpersonal and communication skills that equip them for successful careers.

  • conduct independent investigations that result in significant data generation.

  • produce original products of professional quality.

  • succeed in the Distinguished Achievement Program.



Program Organization
A comprehensive program for gifted/talented students accommodates the academic, social, and emotional needs of these students. Callisburg Academically Talented Students are provided opportunities to work together as a group, to work with other students of different abilities, and to work alone. The structures of elementary, middle, and senior high school levels vary to provide the most appropriate service for students at each level.

CATS, students exhibiting high intellect in kindergarten through fifth grade, will be served in a pullout resource room program. A specialist with substantial training in gifted education will serve students with specifically designed curriculum and materials. Schedules are arranged for direct services of 40 minutes per day independent of other students. Here, students are involved in differentiated activities in all four-core subject areas. For the rest of the day, CATS students are clustered with the rest of the students in their own grade level. In so doing, CATS students are given opportunities to work with other G/T children as well as other students during the day.


Teachers of the four core content areas (Math, Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies) will develop alternative curricula to meet the needs of these students while in the regular classroom that will:


  • address the intellectual needs of high-ability students through the selection of challenging materials.

  • foster critical and creative thinking.

  • enhance the growth of metacognitive awareness and control.

  • encourage active learning.

  • heighten students' awareness and appreciation of cultural diversity.

  • use collaborative learning techniques.

  • explore interdisciplinary applications by connecting areas of study.

  • foster independence.

  • encourage the exploration of issues, using a variety of research techniques.

  • develop authentic assessment strategies.


Advanced Academics/Gifted Education Program
Using the areas determined through the SAGES-2 testing, students in grades six through eight are placed into corresponding advanced classes as one method of service. Students whose schedules do not allow placement into advanced classes will be placed into regular classes with differentiation of curriculum by the classroom teacher. Another method of service is independent study. The decision as to appropriate placement would be made by a committee comprised of the parent, G/T Coordinator, classroom teacher and/or counselor, and Principal.
Recommended Graduation Plan and Distinguished Achievement Program
In grades nine through twelve, gifted students are strongly encouraged to pursue the Distinguished Achievement Program for high school graduation. Students who wish to be recognized as valedictorian, salutatorian, or among the top ten ranking students must be seeking a diploma on the Recommended Graduation Plan or higher.

Identified G/T students are provided differentiated curriculum in the regular classroom and/or through:



  • Pre-AP/AP classes

  • Independent Study, Research, and Special Topics courses, and

  • Dual enrollment/college courses



Parent/Community Involvement
Essential to the success of a gifted/talented program is the inclusion of parents as partners in the education of their children. Continuous communication with parents and community members is the goal of the program. Communication occurs through scheduled meetings, parent handbook, seminars, and exhibits of student products.


Professional Development
The state requires that teachers providing services for gifted/talented students have an initial thirty hours of professional development in the nature and needs of gifted students, assessment, and differentiating curriculum. Each year thereafter, six hours of training are required. Training may be provided at the district level, through the service center workshops, or from other conference attendance.
Nominations and Screening
Nominations will be accepted year round from parents, teachers, community members, faculty/staff, and students themselves. Nominations will be solicited during the fall of each year, and during the beginning of the second semester for kindergarten students. In addition, there are two universal nomination opportunities:

  • 100% of kindergarteners are assessed for the G/T program each year.

  • Any student who scores in the 95th percentile or better on the SAGES or other standardized test given by CISD will be automatically considered for the gifted program.





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