Gifted and Talented

Throughout the United States, there has been a call for America's students to master more complex skills and to demonstrate understanding of more sophisticated content. In response, states throughout the country have increased their expectations for student performance. However, while basic competencies are being raised, often there is little done to enhance services for more advanced learners. In order to express its commitment to high level learning opportunities for all students, the Texas State Board of Education has adopted the following as its goal for services for gifted learners:

State Goal for Services for Gifted and Talented Students
Students who participate in services designed for gifted students will demonstrate skills in self-directed learning, thinking, research, and communication as evidenced by the development of innovative products and performances that reflect individuality and creativity and are advanced in relation to students of similar age, experience, or environment. High school graduates who have participated in services for gifted students will have produced products and performances of professional quality as part of their program services.

 

Student Assessment
Students are selected for the K-12 program based on their instructional needs. All students in grades Kindergarten, 2nd, and 4th grades are screened each year. Screening is done in the late fall of each school year and final selection occurs in the spring. Students in grades 1st, 3rd, and 5-12 are screened on an individual basis as a result of nomination. Screening will occur once a semester. However, a student may only be tested once a year. Students may be nominated by parents, teachers, counselors, administrators, or by the student himself/herself. A "student profile" will be used to identify students for the program. Criteria to be used on the profile will include: student ability, gifted characteristics identification, creativity test, and cognitive abilities testing (19 TAC 89.1).


 

K-5 Program
The Livingston ISD Gifted and Talented program for K-5th graders is a pull-out program. Identified students at each grade level are clustered together in a regular classroom with teachers who have the state mandated training in gifted education. The students are then "pulled out" one day a week to meet together as a separate class with a coordinator certified in gifted education. The program emphasizes critical and creative thinking skills, problem-solving skills, integrated curriculum studies in the four core academic areas and projects involving independent research. These developmentally appropriate projects are selected based on individual interests of the students. Students are expected to work both independently and in group situations and are expected to produce advanced-level products and to make presentations that are targeted to an audience outside the classroom. Students are also involved in leadership activities and out of school options. Students are evaluated by the GT teacher and are required to complete work and meet class requirements in order to remain in the program (19 TAC 89.3).
 
  Sarah Dickens
Elementary GT Coordinator

 


6-8 Program
Students are offered a choice of classes to serve as their GT requirement. Students will be required to take two of the approved courses each year in order to remain in the GT program. Appropriate courses are decided by the District Committee. Courses will include advanced studies in the core classes, as well as at least one course that is offered to only GT students (19 TAC 89.3(3)). 
An independent study course will be offered to provide opportunities for students to pursue areas of interest in selected disciplines through guided and independent research. Students will be involved through their GT/Social Studies class, in the development of sophisticated products and/or performances that are targeted to an audience outside the classroom. At the 8th grade level, students in the GT program will be offered an advanced computer applications course, that culminates in the development of a sophisticated project assessed by external evaluators who are knowledgeable in the field (19 TAC 89.3(2)). 
Students will also be recognized for outstanding achievement during their junior high career. Leadership training, career study opportunities, and other options that meet the needs of advanced learners are available on a continuous basis both during and outside of the school day (19 TAC 89.3(1)/ 19 TAC 89.3(3)). 
 

  Suzonna McFarlain
Junior High GT Coordinator

 


9-12 Program
Students are offered a series of Advanced Placement courses with the possibility of college credit by passing a national exam. Concurrent enrollment opportunities are also available (19 TAC 74.24). Identified GT students must be enrolled in at least one AP/Pre-AP/Concurrent or GT elective to maintain their PEIMS GT status.

In addition to the AP/Concurrent classes available, high school GT students are given the option of an elective Independent Study Program under the guidance of the GT Coordinator. Each student will plan his/her own personal study and a presentation of his/her work as the culmination of the class. Parents are encouraged to become a part of the planning stage of the project. The teacher must approve projects and plans for presentation. The student's teacher/supervisor will facilitate the student's progress and the classroom activities. A mentor may assist an individual student in his/her search for information or by providing hands-on experiences in a given field. It may be necessary for students to leave the campus at times for research or to visit work sites. Students are responsible for signing in and out in the office and the GT Coordinator will be in contact with mentors concerning projects. Students in the Independent Study Program are expected to use their allotted time in an acceptable manner. If a student is not performing his/her research or using the allotted time acceptably, he/she will be warned and given a short period of time to catch up. A student that consistently misuses his/her time will be transferred out of the class.
Students will also be recognized for outstanding achievement during their high school career. Leadership training, career study opportunities, and other options that meet the needs of advanced learners are available on a continuous basis both during and outside of the school day (19 TAC 89.3(1)/ 19 TAC 89.3(3)). 

  Diane Houston
High School GT Coordinator