The Talent Development Program in the Atlanta Public School System provides differentiated instruction for the intellectually advanced students.
What is the process for having my child considered for the Talent Development Program?
High ability learners are identified to participate in the Talent Development Program by the Gifted and Talented teacher at the identified school utilizing defined criteria set by the Office of Gifted and Talented.
If my child is identified for the Talent Development Program, what happens next?
Students meeting identification criteria will be recommended for the Talent Development Program. Once recommended for the program:
When does identification for the Talent Development Program occur?
During the first weeks of school, the Gifted & Talented teacher will review the records of all ineligible students tested for the Gifted Program according to state guidelines over the past two years. Talent Development students are identified and placed in the fall.
May I refer my child to the Talent Development Program?
No. Identification for the Talent Development Program is determined by a student’s testing history. Priority levels are in place to equitably place students in the Talent Development Program in order to accurately address the needs of high ability learners.
Is there a Talent Development Program in every school?
No. Schools that have fewer than 50 identified gifted students are eligible to implement a Talent Development Program. Only Gifted Classes that have fewer than 12 identified gifted students are permitted to add Talent Development students to their Gifted and Talented class roster.
Who do I contact about the Talent Development program at the school?
Each school in APS has a gifted eligibility chairperson. If you have any questions regarding the Talent Development program at a specific school, s/he will be able to assist you.
What are the benefits of the Talent Development Program?
The Talent Development Program is designed to deliver rigorous and relevant curriculum to students in grades 1-8 to accommodate for their range of academic and intellectual needs. This program creates opportunities to expose high ability learners to gifted and talented pedagogy in order to increase critical thinking skills.
If my child is selected to participate in the Talent Development Program, how and when would their schedule change?
In elementary school, gifted students receive five gifted segments each week and receive instruction from a gifted endorsed teacher. Once identified, students begin services in September.
In middle school, gifted students receive five segments each week through content courses. The exact courses for a student are determined by past classroom performance, nationally normed achievement test scores, and teacher recommendations. Once identified, students will begin services at the change of semester.
The Talent Development Program is evaluated annually. Students must qualify and be identified utilizing set criteria each new school year.
TD classes will be comprised of a maximum of 14 Gifted and Talented and Talent Development students. The students will study thematic units which integrate and extend the core curriculum. While students extend their content knowledge in Language Arts, Social Studies and Science, they will develop advanced communication skills, advanced research skills, critical thinking skills, and creative thinking skills. Students will participate in 2-3 nine-twelve week units of study during the year.
Advanced Content Talent Development ClassMiddle
TD classes will be comprised of a maximum of 17 Gifted and Talented and Talent Development students. The students will study thematic units which extend the core curriculum of Language Art, Science and Social Studies. While students extend their content knowledge in the core areas, they will develop advanced communication skills, advanced research skills, critical thinking skills, and creative thinking skills.
Collaboration will take place in schools that are allotted a full-time gifted teacher but do not have the number of identified Gifted and/or Talent Development students for 3 or 4 days of gifted class. The gifted teacher will work with the school administration to identify two-four teachers with whom the gifted teacher will collaborate on Fridays. The general education teachers selected must have identified gifted children in their classes so that FTE funding at the gifted weight can be maximized. The Office of Gifted and Talented will assist with scheduling to ensure a maximization of funds. Attention should be taken not to overload the gifted teacher with preparations for that day. The Gifted teachers will model teaching strategies to differentiate instruction or to develop critical and creative thinking skills.
Cluster grouping may be used in schools where one or more general education teacher holds or is pursuing the gifted endorsement. Identified gifted students must be placed in the gifted endorsed teacher’s classroom and must be served in their area(s) of strength: language arts/reading and/or mathematics. FTE funding at the gifted weight can be collected for up to 2 segments.
Critical and Creative Thinking Workshops(Elementary)
Workshops will be held at the TD school if no gifted children have been identified in grades K-3. These schools will utilize priority levels to identify TD students. The gifted teacher will develop a schedule which effectively serves students for one hour each Friday in the gifted classroom. Gifted teachers will use activities from the Critical and Creative Thinking Activities Guide provided by the Office of Gifted and Talented to further develop the critical and creative thinking skills of these students. The guide will be available to general education teachers in the .6-1.0 schools and training will be provided to assist teachers in integrating the activities into instructional centers.