The mission of the Gifted Services Department is to help gifted students become empowered to reach their full, unique potential as gifted individuals.
Philosophy and Beliefs
- Individual students and society benefit when exceptional capabilities are identified and nurtured.
- The gifted identification process should operate in compliance with federal and state laws, and should be as defensible, comprehensive, multi-factored, unbiased, and flexible as possible.
- Identification of unique abilities and learning needs should occur as early as possible in the child’s life.
- Efforts must be made to appropriately identify gifted students from special populations, including highly gifted students, creative students, gifted girls, students with disabilities, underachievers, students from diverse cultures, and those who are economically disadvantaged.
- Continuum of service options
Gifted students represent a wide range of abilities and developmental needs. Therefore, a continuum of service options within and beyond the classroom should be available to students identified as gifted in cognitive, academic, creative thinking, and/or visual/performing arts ability, and services should be thoughtfully matched with each student’s unique needs.
- Early intervention
Services for gifted students should begin as early as possible and continue throughout the student’s school career.
- Advanced, differentiated curriculum
In order to achieve meaningful academic and intellectual growth, gifted students must experience advanced curriculum content that is both discipline-specific and integrated/interdisciplinary. The content, pacing, and depth of instruction must be appropriately differentiated and should emphasize critical and creative thinking. Teachers should help students apply concepts and gain perspectives across disciplines, across time periods, and across cultures.
- Interaction with peers
In order to gain a balanced sense of themselves and their abilities, and to realize their full potential, gifted students must have extended opportunities to interact in meaningful ways with peers who have similar abilities and interests.
- Affective curriculum and guidance
In order to gain social and emotional maturity as gifted persons, gifted learners should participate in a well-defined, sequential affective curriculum that revolves around personal/social awareness and understanding, social and emotional adjustment, and academic planning and career exploration. College and career guidance consistent with their unique strengths should be appropriately different and delivered earlier than typical guidance opportunities.
- Developing interests and talents
Careful attention must be given to the development of unique individual interests, creativity, and talents, which may manifest in some gifted students at a very early age, because it is through these areas that gifted students will be most likely to realize their full potential and make their strongest contributions to society.
- Learning opportunities about giftedness and gifted education should be available on a regular basis to interested stakeholders, including parents, students, teachers, administrators, and support staff such as intervention teachers and counselors.
- Collaborative planning, teaching, counseling, and advisory opportunities should be accessible to interested stakeholders.
- Information about unique resources and networking opportunities should be shared at regular intervals with interested stakeholders.