All current students with substantiated gifts and /or talents in the Middleton School District shall be provided with an opportunity designed to challenge, sustain, enrich and ensure continued individual growth. We recognize that these students require differentiated instruction, social emotional advocacy and exposure to multiple extensions, which promote critical thinking, curiosity, independent learning, creative expression and leadership opportunities. Administrators, facilitators, and teachers will work together in collaboration with parents and community, to ensure that the identification and educational needs of our gifted and/or talented students are met.
We continue to refine our identification practices in coordination with other district throughout the state. Some of the improvements come from continued training opportunities focused on the characteristics of all types of gifted student, including ELL, low income, twice exceptional, specific talents and leadership. Our use of formal assessments has expanded to assist with the identification of these special populations; some of which include the non-verbal cognitive assessment (CogAT), an optional GAI scale WISC and a teacher interview. Additionally, we have included STAR360 as a screening tool.
DEFINITION OF GIFTEDNESS:
“Gifted and talented children” refers to those students who are identified as possessing demonstrated or potential abilities that give evidence of high performing capabilities in specific academic, intellectual, creative, or leadership areas, or ability in the performing or visual arts. These students require services or activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop their capabilities as mandated by state statute.
Specific Academic: as demonstrated by superior ability in mastering skills and concepts in one or more curriculum areas.
Intellectual: as demonstrated by superior ability for:
- Understanding facts, concepts, generalizations and their relationships
- Identifying patterns
- Verbal and nonverbal reasoning
- Spatial perceptions
- Developing and evaluating ideas
Creativity: as demonstrated by superior abilities in:
- Fluency, flexibility, originality and elaboration
- Divergent thinking skills
- Problem solving strategies
Leadership: as demonstrated by a variety of outstanding characteristics, which may include:
- Rapid insight into cause-effect relationships
- Interpersonal intuition
- Ability to motivate the performance of others
Visual and Performing Arts: as evidenced by a superior aptitude for demonstrating, typically through exhibition or performance, aesthetic, critical, historical and production aspects of dance, music, theater and/or the visual arts.
The Middleton School District #134 Gifted and Talented Program serves the School District’s mission by providing services to children who have unique social, emotional, and cognitive needs. The program provides a faster pace of instruction, greater depth of exploration of topics, exposure to advanced curriculum, frequent choice of what and how to learn and the opportunity to interact with gifted and talented peers.
The program provides consultation and collaboration with administrators and classroom teachers to support their efforts at differentiating curriculum for gifted and talented students in the general education classroom.
It is our goal to:
- Case manage identified GT students, providing individual support for their social and emotional needs, as well as motivating students to reach their full potential.
- Provide GT students with an opportunity to work with other children who have similar interests and abilities.
- Provide a weekly student meeting focused on creative and divergent thinking, talent and interest development, real-world problem solving, critical discerning and evaluative thinking, future career studies, and independent learning opportunities.
- Provide GT specific courses at the middle school level focused on creative and divergent thinking, talent and interest development, real-world problem solving, critical discerning and evaluative thinking, future career studies, and independent learning opportunities.
- Provide training on specific GT social/emotional needs and self-advocacy to students, teachers and parents (perfectionism, peer relations, underachievement, perseverance.)
- Collaborate, support and encourage classroom teachers in providing GT and advanced students with challenging and appropriate curriculum in the classroom setting, as well as small groups.
- Use formative and summative data to consult with teachers in identifying student needs and learning targets, first for individual gifted and talented students within a grade level, and then including advanced students when appropriate.
- Support teachers as they help GT, advanced, and twice exceptional students make the greatest academic gains possible each school year.
- To build capacity in differentiated instruction through professional development and training.
- Provide opportunities through community resources and collaboration with other school districts to develop and enrich talent areas.
- Communicate effectively with families and staff.