E.L.P.S. PHILOSOPHY OF
GIFTED & TALENTED EDUCATION
The East Longmeadow Public School District is committed to an educational program that recognizes individual student differences, abilities, interests, and needs. Our goal is to enrich the education of all students through events and activities designed to expose them to a variety of challenging and higher-order critical and creative thinking experiences.
Embodied in this commitment is a responsibility to academically gifted and artistically talented students to help them maximize their high potential and allow them to thrive, flourish, and create.
Students who are academically gifted differ from others in learning profile, particularly in the areas of pacing, knowledge base, memory, and depth of thinking. Artistically talented students differ from others in their intensity, level of expression, divergent thinking, and creative productivity. The E.L.P.S. Gifted Education Program is designed to meet these needs. Providing students with enhanced, differentiated instruction enables us to nurture the diverse talents and abilities of our student body.
E.L.P.S. GIFTED & TALENTED EDUCATION PROGRAM COMPONENTS
In order to reach potential, gifted and talented students may journey within three instructional pathways. The development of these pathways is viewed as a continuous, and at times flexible, process. These pathways are not necessarily sequential.
Pathway I – School-wide exploratory activities for all students at times throughout the school year.
Curriculum Focus for Pathway I:
Enrichment opportunities including fieldtrips, mini-courses, guest speakers, assemblies, fairs, performances, competitions, and special class lessons that emphasize cognitive and affective processes.
Pathway II - Flexible grouping including individual tutorial, small group, large group, and whole class, with focus on acquisition of skills related to identified strengths, emphasis on mastery, and problem solving.
Curriculum Focus for Pathway II:
Curricular and Instructional Differentiation, Curriculum Compacting, Honors and Advanced Placement (AP) Courses.
Pathway III - Development of individual gifts and talents beyond the existing school curriculum in those students formally identified and documented as Gifted/Talented.
Curriculum Focus for Pathway III:
A challenging curriculum of high-level content and rigorous pace combined with higher-level thinking skills, problem solving, inquiry, and creative productivity. Development of self-direction, risk taking, curiosity, imagination, and inter/intra-personal relationships.
OF E.L.P.S. GIFTED & TALENTED EDUCATION IDENTIFICATION PROCESS
The Identification Process considers a complete profile of the child. This process administered by the school district is:
· National and State Standardized tests with scores above the 96th percentile.
· Intellectual activity that can be observed and documented to a significantly higher degree when compared to age/grade level norms by teachers, parents, self, and peers.
· Products, special talents and inventions observed and documented as noticeably beyond those of age/grade level norms.
Identification will be made:
· by the end of grade 2 for grades 3 through 5
· by the end of grade 5 for grades 6 through 8
· at the end of grade 8 for grades 9 through 12
E.L.P.S. GIFTED & TALENTED EDUCATION MISSION
To provide services designed to meet the educational, social, and career needs of academically gifted and artistically talented students.
To meet the needs of gifted and talented students through rigorous, differentiated curriculum.
· To assist students in becoming individuals who are capable of self-initiated action, intelligent choice, independent learning, and problem solving.
· To develop skills in problem solving, creativity, and research.
· To provide enrichment opportunities, resources, and services throughout the school community.
· To provide creative and intellectual stimulation through contact with other high-ability students.
· To provide opportunity for academic accomplishment beyond the realm of the regular education experience.
THE OPEN DOORS
GIFTED & TALENTED EDUCATION
We gratefully acknowledge American Saw and the Davis Foundation for their support of and contributions to the E.L.P.S. Gifted & Talented Education Program.
Susan J. Superson
Meadow Brook School
Mountain View School
Birchland Park Middle School
East Longmeadow High School