Gifted and Talented (GT)

GIFTED AND TALENTED

The Green Forest School District offers a curriculum for gifted and talented students that provides: A program that meets the needs of students K-12 by serving a variety of types of giftedness. Differentiated to accommodate divergent thinking and higher level thinking skills. Provide in-depth enrichment in areas of student interest emphasizing research, communication and study skills.

District Contacts
Laine Smith
Gifted/Talented Director
lsmith@gf.k12.ar.us

Jessilyn Langley
Gifted/Talented Teacher
jlangley@gf.k12.ar.us 

 

K-12 Gifted and Talented Programs:

Kindergarten - Second Grade

The G/T classes in elementary provide services in kindergarten, first, and second grade by whole class enrichment and/or a pull-out program called the "Discovery." The focus is to identify advanced language skills, analytical thinking, and accelerated learning.

The purpose of the program is to challenge, enrich and nurture the talents of students. Students work in the curriculum areas of creative thinking, critical thinking, communication and research skills.

Third - Fourth Grade

The "Quest" program is a pull-out program designed for third and fourth grade. The Quest curriculum is based on Curriculum Frameworks and Benchmarks. The curriculum also includes teaching critical and creative thinking skills, problem solving skills, research skills and self-awareness skills.

The objective of the Quest Program is to improve research, thinking and communication skills in students, by providing a flexible curriculum that is qualitatively different and that extends above and beyond the standard school program.

Fifth - Seventh Grade

Gifted and Talented (G/T) Specialty program offers instructional program especially designed for gifted students. Student will have language arts, social studies, math and science courses that are accelerated, enriched and differentiated. G/T Specialty provides teachers the opportunity to work on interdisciplinary units that incorporate all subject areas. Grades 6-7 also have access to Pre-Advanced Placement (Pre-AP) classes which replace the former honors classes.

Eighth - Twelfth Grade

The Pre-Advanced Placement (Pre-AP) and Advanced Placement (AP) classes are provided for students in the 8th-12th grade. The Pre-AP curriculum is designed to prepare students for AP classes and to meet the needs of the gifted student. AP classes provide students with opportunity to pursue college-level studies while still in secondary school and to receive credit for college. The primary objective is to provide students with opportunities, which will further develop exceptional talents.

  • Pre-AP - students of high ability are placed in a class in which the curriculum focuses on higher levels of thinking and complexity therefore avoiding "more of the same". The Pre-AP curriculum is designed to prepare students for AP classes.
  • AP - students have the opportunity to pursue college-level studies while still in secondary school and to receive advanced placement credit, upon entering college. Students should be encouraged to take the AP exam(s). Recommended class size is 17-20 students.
  • Special Classes (seminars) - is to provide a differentiated curriculum for students in grades 9-12. The seminar curriculum follows the general principles of a differentiated curriculum for the talented and gifted. These are:
    1. To present content that is related to broad-based issues, themes or problems.
    2. To integrate multiple disciplines into the area of study.
    3. To present comprehensive, related and mutually reinforcing experiences within an area of study.
    4. To allow for the in-depth learning of a self-selected topic within an area of study.
    5. To develop independent of self-directed study skills.
    6. To develop productive, complex, abstract and/or higher-level thinking skills.
    7. To focus on open-ended tasks.
    8. To develop research skill and methods.
    9. To integrate basic skills and higher level thinking skills into the curriculum.
    10. To encourage the development of products that challenge existing ideas and produce "new" ideas.
    11. To encourage the development of products that use new techniques, materials and forms.
    12. To encourage the development of self-understanding.
    13. To evaluate students by using appropriate and specific criteria through self-appraisal, criterion referenced and/or standardized instruments.

The primary objective is to provide students with opportunities, which will further develop exceptional talents.


Gifted and Talented Identification Procedures

Students are officially identified just prior to the third grade year and identification is an on-going opportunity until graduation. A student may be nominated by one of the following procedures:

  • Parent referral
  • Teacher referral
  • Self or Peer referral
  • Participation in a GT program in another school district

 

Referral forms are available by clicking here. All referrals should be given back to the GT teacher for the identification process to continue for the student. All student placement decisions are based on the collection of multiple data and no single criterion or cut-off score is used to include or exclude a student. All pertinent forms are included in the appendices for the student.

All placement decisions are made by a committee, which includes the GT Teacher and/or GT Coordinator, a building administrator, teachers and/or counselors. Identified students transferring from other GT programs whose criteria is equivalent to Green Forest School District may be immediately placed. Students who are identified, but who decline placement at the time of identification, may reactivate his/her option to participate by filing a new referral. The student's folder will be updated and re-evaluated. A student, who leaves or are removed from the GT Program, may re-activate their option to participate by filing a nomination from for re-evaluation.

 

Placement Appeal

Parent/Guardians may appeal placement decisions through the following process:

  1. Requesting a conference with the GT Teacher
  2. Request a re-evaluating of the identification data
  3. Providing for inclusion of additional data.

If satisfactory resolution is not reached from this informal effort, then a written appeal can be filed by the parents/guardians. An appeals committee comprised of teachers and administrators will evaluate all data and make a recommendation regarding placement.

 

Removal From the GT Program

Although attention is given to carefully placing students in the program due to evidence that they need qualitatively differentiated educational services, situations may arise when placement in the program no longer seems to be in the best interest of the student.  Emphasis will be placed on meeting the needs of the student.  As with determining placement in the gifted program, multiple criteria will be used in determining if exiting the program is in the best interest of meeting the student’s needs.   One factor will not cause a student to be excluded from the program. (7.05) A student with signed parental permission to no longer participate in the program will be allowed to exit program without committee decision.  

When determining if an exit from the program may be in the best interest of the student, a conference will be held in an effort to address areas of concern and facilitate improvement. Those present at the conference may include the student, classroom teachers, GT teachers, parents, administrators, counselors, etc.  An action plan will be developed and a timeline will be set.  The plan will be in writing and the student, parent, GT teacher, and any other involved parties will sign that they are informed of the plan. This action plan will not change the student’s placement. If there is no improvement, the student may be exited from the program.  If the exit was initiated by the school, then all pertinent data (including at least two objective and two subjective measures) will be compiled and presented to the identification committee of at least five professional educators, chaired by the gifted specialist.  The identification committee will review the data and make a decision about what is in the best interest of the student.

Parents and/or classroom teachers may appeal the exit decision. Procedures for appeals of placement decisions will then be followed.


GREEN FOREST SCHOOL DISTRICT GIFTED AND TALENTED SUMMARIES OF: IDENTIFICATION PROCESS AND TESTING INFORMATION

NOMINATION - Students may be nominated for the gifted and talented program at any time by teachers, counselors and parents, or other interested persons.

CRITERIA IDENTIFICATION - Criteria to identify gifted and talented students and approval of all programs shall be established by the Green Forest School Board. The criteria shall be specific to the state definition of gifted and talented and shall ensure the fair assessment of students with special needs, such as the culturally different, the economically disadvantaged and students with disabilities.

PARENTAL CONSENT - Written parental consents shall be obtained before any special testing or individual assessment is conducted as part of the screening and identification process. All student information collected during the screening and identification process shall be an educational record.

SELECTION - A selection committee shall evaluate each nominated student according to the established criteria and shall select those students for whom gifted program placement is the most appropriate educational opportunity. The GT committee shall be composed of at least three professional educators who have received training in the nature and needs of gifted students and shall be established for each school.

ASSESSMENTS - Data collected through both objective and subjective assessments shall be measured against the criteria approved by the School Board to determine individual eligibility for the program. Assessment tools may include, but not be limited to, the following: achievement tests, intelligence tests, behavioral checklists completed by teachers and parents, teacher nominations based on classroom observations, student/parent conferences and student's work.

  • Referral: Students may be referred for Gifted and Talented assessment by school staff, parents or themselves. Referral forms will be available at each campus. Ongoing assessment for GT eligibility will be implemented through the recommendation of the GT Committee.
  • Assessment Tools:
    1. Intelligence - Otis Lennon / Raven
    2. Achievement - Standardize Testing (National and State)
    3. Creativity - Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking
    4. Teacher Checklist - Renzulli Scale / Teacher Checklist
    5. Parent Checklist - Parent Nomination / Questions / Checklist

NOTIFICATION - Parents and student shall be notified in writing upon selection of the student for the gifted program. Participation in any program or services provided for gifted and talented students is voluntary. The School district shall obtain written permission of students and the parents before a student is placed in a gifted program.

REASSESSMENTS - The School District shall reassess students to determine appropriate program placement. Parents shall be notified of reassessment at least five school days prior to administering an individual assessment or gathering data.

TRANSFER - When a student identified as Gifted and Talented by a previous school transfers into the Green Forest School District, the student shall be reviewed for placement.


 

Additional information about Gifted and Talented can be obtained from the Arkansas Department of Education website.