POLICY MANUAL

Gifted Students - Policy P6-26

A. Purpose
Education for the gifted necessitates that educational opportunities appropriate to exceptional abilities be provided. The responsibility of providing each student with the opportunity to realize his/her potential is recognized by the school board. Gifted students require a unique, advanced, and challenging educational program in order to enhance the development of their special abilities.

It is the position of the school board to actively promote and develop a qualitatively differentiated educational program for the gifted students in order to facilitate the fullest development of their potential. The program shall be in compliance with the Standards of Quality and Objectives for Public Schools in Virginia as prescribed by the General Assembly.

B. Definition
Gifted students, as identified by professionally qualified persons, are those who by virtue of outstanding abilities are capable of superior performance. These are students who require differentiated educational programs and/or services, beyond those normally provided by the regular school program, in order to realize their contributions to self and society.

C. Identification
Gifted students are those students who are identified through the use of multiple criteria. The criteria include the following:

  1. Standardized test scores,
  2. Staff recommendations,
  3. Rating scales of behavioral characteristics,
  4. Achievement records,
  5. Portfolios
  6. Otis-Lenon Tests

D. Program Goals
To develop an understanding of the characteristics which distinguish gifted students from the general school population.

To identify those individuals who are gifted.

To provide continuous staff development for administrators, teachers, and parents.

To provide educational programs which will enable each gifted student to develop his/her abilities to their fullest potential.

To provide for continuous formative and summative evaluation of the program for the gifted.

E. Program Design
Program designs are those organizational patterns which provide the educational environment that best develops the potential of each gifted student. The basis for program design shall be obtained through the use of enrichment, grouping, acceleration, guidance, and all-day centers. Enrichment refers to experiences which replace, supplement, or extend learning as the basis for each program design. Grouping as a program design allows for provisions which facilitate the students' access to learning activities. Activities which promote learning beyond the regularly prescribed curriculum are referred to as accelerated programs including special classes and advanced courses. Guidance and counseling provide experiences which promote understanding of the self and others and opportunities for exploration of careers.City-wide programs and all-day centers provide services. The program for the gifted shall allow for flexibility through the combination of these basic elements of design and the identified needs of gifted students.

Instruction within the program design shall be based upon sound learning theory and upon specific needs of the gifted.

Legal Reference:

Code of Va., § 22.1-253.13:1. Standard 1. Basic skills, selected programs, and instructional personnel.--". . .D. Local school boards shall also implement the following:

7. Early identification of gifted students and enrollment of such students in appropriately differentiated instructional programs. . . ." (1997)

Virginia Board of Education Regulations, "Governing Educational Programs for Gifted Students." (January, 1991) 8VAC20-40-20. Definitions. The words and terms, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the content clearly indicates otherwise:

"Appropriately differentiated curricula" for gifted students refer to curricula designed in response to their cognitive and effective needs. Such curricula provide emphasis on both accelerative and enrichment opportunities for (i) advanced content and pacing of instruction, (ii) original research or production, (iii) problem finding and solving, (iv) higher level thinking that leads to the generation of products, and (v) a focus on issues, themes, and ideas within and across areas of study.

"Gifted students" means those students in public elementary and secondary schools beginning with kindergarten through graduation whose abilities and potential for accomplishment are so outstanding that they require special programs to meet their educational needs. These students will be identified by professionally qualified persons through the use of multiple criteria as having potential or demonstrated abilities and who have evidence of high performance capabilities, which may include leadership, in one or more of the following areas:

1. Intellectual aptitude or aptitudes. Students with advanced aptitude or conceptualization whose development is accelerated beyond their age peers as demonstrated by advanced skills, concepts, and creative expression in multiple general intellectual ability or in specific intellectual abilities.

2. Specific academic aptitude. Students with specific aptitudes in selected academic areas: mathematics; the sciences; or the humanities as demonstrated by advanced skills, concepts, and creative expression in those areas.

3. Technical and practical arts aptitude. Students with specific aptitudes in selected technical or practical arts as demonstrated by advanced skills and creative expression in those areas to the extent they need and can benefit from specifically planned educational services differentiated from those provided by the general program experience.

4. Visual or performing arts aptitude. Students with specific aptitudes in selected visual or performing arts as demonstrated by advanced skills and creative expression who excel consistently in the development of a product or performance in any of the visual and performing arts to the extent that the y need and can benefit from specifically planned educational services differentiated from those generally provided by the general program experience.

"Identification" is the process of reviewing student data collected at the screening level and conducting further evaluation of student potential to determine the most qualified students for the specific gifted program available.

"Identification/Placement Committee" means a standing committee which is composed of a professional who knows the child, classroom teacher or teachers, others representing assessment specialists, gifted program staff and school administration, and others deemed appropriate. This committee may operate at the school or division level. In either case, consistent criteria must be established for the division.

"Placement" means the determination of the appropriate educational option for each
eligible student.

"Screening" is the process of creating the pool of potential candidates using multiple criteria through the referral process, review of test data, or from other sources.

Screening is the active search for students who should be evaluated for identification.

"Service options" include the instructional approach or approaches, setting or settings, and staffing selected for the delivery of appropriate service or services that are based on student needs.

"Student outcomes" are specified expectations based on the assessment of student cognitive and affective needs. Such outcomes should articulate expectations for advanced levels of performance for gifted learners. (1997)

8VAC20-40-40. Identification. A. Each school division shall establish a uniform procedure with common criteria for screening and identification of gifted students. If the school division elects to identify students with specific academic aptitudes, they shall include procedures for identification and service in mathematics, science, and humanities. These procedures will permit referrals from school personnel, parents or legal guardians, other persons of related expertise, peer referral and self-referral of those students believed to be gifted. Pertinent information, records, and other performance evidence of referred students will be examined by a building level or division level identification committee. Further, the committee or committees will determine the eligibility of the referred students for differentiated programs. Students who are found to be eligible by the Identification/Placement Committee shall be offered a differentiated program by the school division.

B. Each school division shall maintain a division review procedure for students whose cases are appealed. This procedure shall involve individuals, the majority of whom did not serve on the Identification/Placement Committee.

Adopted by School Board: January 6, 1981

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