Dear Cape Elizabeth Family,
I am writing to you today to share the implementation process for Gifted and Talented services. To support our work to help all students grow and learn, we are implementing a screening process to identify and support gifted learners. We will be focusing on the areas of math and language arts this fall. According to the Maine Department of Education’s definition of “giftedness,” gifted learners “demonstrate specific academic aptitude” characterized by “significant achievement in the given subject area beyond that of age level peers” and need regular enrichment. We will identify these students by using various types of data, including work samples, anecdotal information from classroom teachers, an aptitude test, and standardized test scores. This mix of data will help us get a balanced picture of each student and his/ her possible enrichment needs.
The screening process has two phases: an in-class screening, and a screening assessment. This fall, classroom teachers in grades 3 - 8 will begin the process by observing their students to see who consistently demonstrates a need for regular enrichment in math and/ or language arts. Their observations are guided by a variety of tools, including twelve characteristics of giftedness that may be present in a gifted child. Teachers will then collect work samples and record anecdotal information on a screening form for each student demonstrating a need for screening. Families of students being identified for the assessment phase of the screening process will be informed in mid-October of the initial results. The district will then administer an aptitude test for these students.
After all the tests are scored, the GT Screening Committee, made up of a guidance counselor, classroom teacher, GT teacher consultant, building administrator, Director of Instruction and/ or Director of Instructional Support will meet to evaluate all of the data available for each student screened. The goal of the committee is to determine which students are most in need of regular enrichment in order to grow and learn. Enrichment will be provided in the classroom and through additional pathways. Families of students being screened will be informed of the committee’s recommendations by mid-November. In the future, the enrichment screening process will be conducted in the spring to establish differentiation needs for the following school year.
It is important to emphasize that teachers strive to differentiate for all students, and that process will support our efforts to learn as much as we can about each student’s learning needs.
If you have any questions about the enrichment screening process, then contact me or Jane Golding, Director of Instructional Support.