Programming for Gifted Learners
What is Gifted Education? If a student is identified as Gifted, they may go to their neighborhood school (Northeast) or apply for the Discovery Program that is at another school. The Discovery Program is designed for students whose needs require intensity of instruction and acceleration beyond what can reasonably be expected from the regular school program. All students in Douglas County are given the CogAT, Cognitive Abilities Test, in 3rd & 5th grade (unless the school has 6th grade) as a universal screen for early intervention. If there is a need for a student to take the CogAT in another grade due to teacher recommendation or parent request, that is possible at grades 1, 2, & 4. Testing at these levels is solely for the purpose of possible Gifted identification.
What is an ALP?
An ALP is an Advanced Learning Plan. All students that are identified as Gifted have an ALP whether they go to their neighborhood school (Northeast) or a Discovery School. The decision to create an ALP comes from an identification process that looks at a body of evidence that includes many data points, such as the CogAT, classroom work/assessments, other standardized measures, input from classroom teacher, parent(s), and student.
What does Gifted programming look like at Northeast?
At Northeast, we create ALP plans for students that have gone through a Gifted identification process and qualify. The ALP is written by the Gifted Education Coordinator (Katie Sodaro-Jensen) in collaboration with classroom teachers, students, and parents. The ALP formalizes the differentiation that the classroom teacher does for the students in their identified area(s) as well as affective needs.
At Northeast, we value and support the depth and complexity of knowledge, not just what grade level a concept may be. Gifted students are put into Cluster Groups with other gifted students for peer connections. Each grade level has a classroom/classrooms in which students are clustered. All students in our building read and write at their highest independent level. Sometimes additional grouping is needed in the area of mathematics. Some strategies that we use to meet needs at our building are: Flexible Grouping in reading and math, Content Acceleration, Independent Study, Curriculum Compacting and Blended Learning.
What will this look like at Sagewood Middle School?
Sagewood has many options for different levels of learning. Teachers will recommend based on their knowledge of the student and the choices that are offered. Parent and student input is taken as well.
What is the role of the Gifted Education Coordinator?
The role of the Gifted Education Coordinator is to coordinate the identification process as well as support in writing the ALP. If a parent is interested in applying for the Discovery Program, the coordinator can help with that process as well. The coordinator also collaborates with teachers in writing the goals, gathering support materials, analyzing data and adjusting plans as needed.
Gifted Referral Form