The state of Ohio defines “gifted” as students who perform or show potential for performing at remarkably high levels when compared to peers of same age, experience, or environment. The state also recognizes that there are different types of giftedness to include students with superior cognitive ability and those with academic, creative thinking, and visual and performing arts talents. Some students may be identified as gifted in one or more areas.
Districts are required to enact a Board policy for gifted education (IGBB, Programs for Students Who Are Gifted). Current operating rules require districts to assess a student’s superior cognitive ability and a student’s creative thinking ability, as well as academic talents in mathematics and reading, but do not require districts to provide services. Ohio recently updated operating standards for educating gifted students (July 2018): http://education.ohio.gov/getattachment/Topics/Other-Resources/Gifted-Education/Rules-Regulations-and-Policies-for-Gifted-Educatio/Ohio-Administrative-Code-3301-51-15.pdf.aspx?lang=en-US
Service: Superior Cognitive Ability
The district’s historical service is for elementary students who have superior cognitive ability, recognizing that a student who has superior cognitive ability is different than a student who is simply bright or advanced. Students with superior cognitive ability typically have intellectual levels two to four years above their age-level peers; as a result, these students especially benefit from time spent with academic peers during part of the school day.
The district’s cognitive service is delivered to students in grades 4-5 in English language arts instruction provided by Gifted Intervention Specialists, although students in grade 3 may be in the general classroom that is co-taught by the Gifted Intervention Specialist.
Middle and High
Grades 6-8 students may be clustered in classrooms and may also participate in compacted math curriculum; compacted curriculum is generally for students who have not been accelerated in math at earlier grade levels. High school students have a variety of course options to engage their interests and provide intellectual rigor (Honors, AP, College Credit Plus / Dual Enrollment).
Gifted Written Education Plans
Students receiving formal gifted services will have a written education plan that will include learning goals set by the teacher(s) and personalized goals set by students. These will be sent home in mid to late October with progress reported at the end of each semester.
Support for All
Students who do not have superior cognitive ability are supported in the general education classroom. These students include those with identifications in academic, creative thinking, and visual and performing arts talents. Teachers differentiate instruction based upon student readiness and interest. Research on the effectiveness of differentiation shows this method benefits a wide range of students, including those who have high ability or are advanced. Some examples of differentiated instruction include:
- Providing students with choice to allow exploration of topics of interest or to search for new information related to topics not studied.
- Continually assessing and adjusting lessons to meet student needs.
- Providing opportunities for students to have greater depth of learning or acceleration when mastery of concepts and procedures is demonstrated.
- Facilitating creation of original productions that engage creative thinking and design processes.
- Grouping students by shared interest, topic or ability for assignments.
Testing for Giftedness
State regulations require districts to offer testing twice during their academic career. This testing includes one time before the end of grade 2 and one time between grades 3 and 6.
The state publishes a list of approved tests and qualifying scores, and districts are required to select from these and have additional tests available for retesting. Students may be referred for testing outside of the district’s whole-grade screenings.
State regulations require districts to offer two calendar windows for referrals for testing and acceleration consideration. Referrals should be submitted to the principal during the months of October and March for testing to occur by November and April. Contact the building principal for required forms to complete.
Referrals for Acceleration
Some students may benefit from single-subject or whole-grade acceleration. Candidates for acceleration are those students who perform at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared to others of their age and experiences and whose unique needs cannot be met in the classroom with applied academic differentiation strategies.
State regulations require that multiple factors be considered when evaluating a student for acceleration. A team approach is used to make the final decision (IKEB-R, Acceleration Process).
Referrals for acceleration must be made to the student’s principal during one of two referral windows – either the month of October or March for testing to occur by November and April.
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