State Guidelines & General Service Information
The plan for the service of gifted students enrolled in the district is developed in accordance with Ohio Revised Code Sect. 3324.04. Ohio law requires districts to identify students who are gifted but does not require districts to serve all students with gifted identifications with special programming. Additionally, state funding provides limited dollars toward the cost of gifted identification and service. Gifted services will vary among districts based on specific needs of the district’s students and available resources.
The state defines several formats for formal gifted services. These stipulate minimum minutes of duration, staff qualifications, and student caseloads. Support programs may be implemented that do not fully meet these guidelines, but they may not be reported as a formal gifted service. On average, about 40 percent of the district’s K-12 students have one or more gifted identification areas. Because of that high number, support for gifted services must start within the general education classroom and come from the classroom teacher. Classroom teachers adjust their overall curriculum and instructional practices to account for the needs of their students. While this does not always constitute formal gifted services per Ohio rules, it is a means to have the broadest impact on our gifted student population.
Services vary by grade level in order to provide options most responsive to the developmental needs of students At the elementary level, formal gifted services are provided by a gifted intervention specialist to students in grades 4 and 5 who are identified as gifted in superior cognitive ability. Middle school students who are gifted in superior cognitive ability or reading are served in gifted sections of English Language Arts classes taught by a teacher with either a gifted specialist license or state-required professional development in gifted education. Students who are gifted in math may be eligible for services, if they meet additional placement criteria, through the compacted math sequence in which students learn the content of Math 6, 7, and 8 during the 6th and 7th grade years. High school students may receive gifted services if they choose to enroll in honors, Advanced Placement, or College Credit Plus courses that align to their areas of gifted identification. Honors and Advanced Placement Courses are taught by a teacher with either a gifted specialist license or state-required professional development in gifted education. Additional extended or enriched learning opportunities are available for gifted learners, even those the service might not meet the state's formal definition of a gifted service. Please visit the links below for more details.
Notification of Service Eligibility
Bexley City Schools will send an annual notice to parents/guardians of all identified gifted students. This notice will include a listing of the student’s areas of gifted identification along with any service eligibility for the following school year. In accordance with Ohio Administrative. Code, these notices are sent even if a student is not eligible for formal gifted services. Notices will be sent to secondary students just prior to high school and middle school scheduling windows so that the information can help inform course selections. Notices will be sent to elementary students in early spring.
Considerations for Underrepresented Students
Ohio’s regulations give protection to students of color, English language learners, students who are economically disadvantaged, and students with disabilities. Students from these groups who meet state criteria may not be prevented from accessing gifted services for which they are eligible. Districts are required to ensure all eligible students have access to available gifted services outlined in the district’s gifted service plan. To foster equal access, elementary and middle school students will be automatically placed in gifted services for which they are eligible. High school students will receive notifications of service eligibility to encourage enrollment in appropriately challenging classes.
Elementary and middle school students will automatically be placed in gifted services for which they are eligible. However, parents/guardians may decline gifted services if they choose. Families are strongly encouraged to work with the gifted intervention specialist or course teacher, the building principal, and any other relevant staff to develop a plan of support for the student prior to withdrawal. Educators may share concerns about student performance in the class; however, educators may not remove a student from gifted services without parent/guardian consent nor may they coerce a parent/guardian to do so. Families who wish to either decline or withdraw their student from elementary or middle school gifted services must submit a signed gifted service withdrawal form to the building principal. The principal will notify the teacher of the service and will modify the student’s schedule in PowerSchool accordingly. The principal will place a copy of the form in the student’s cumulative school file and provide a copy to the district’s administrator for gifted education, who will, in turn, modify EMIS reporting. Once a student declines or withdraws from a gifted service for the year, they may not return to that service that same year. However, the student may participate in any service for which they are eligible the next school year.
High school students indirectly opt into in gifted services when they establish their schedules with their school counselor. Students who do not take Honors, Advanced Placement, or College Credit Plus courses in an area of identification are, by default, declining service in that area. Students may withdraw from a course considered a gifted service. In accordance with the high school course drop policies and timelines. Families are strongly encouraged to work with the teacher attached to that gifted service, the building principal, and any other relevant staff to develop a plan of support and intervention for the student prior to withdrawal. Educators may share concerns about student performance in the class/service; however, educators may not remove a student from gifted services without parent/guardian consent nor may they coerce a parent/guardian to do so. Families who wish to withdraw their student from a gifted service course should work with the school counselor. The school counselor will then notify the district’s administrator for gifted education, who will, in turn, modify any EMIS reporting.
Written Education Plans
Written Education Plans (WEP) are created for students receiving formal, state-recognized gifted services as described above. These plans are created by teachers with student input each fall and distributed to parents/guardians around the end of the first quarter either during conferences or through email. Each plan includes the type of service provided, the area of gifted identification served, plus one or two goals related to the area of giftedness and the type of service provided. When possible, students also create a goal to include in their plan. The plan also lists how progress will be measured. Progress is reported is reported at the end of each semester via paper or electronic means.
Even though all gifted students receive a level of differentiated support from their classroom teachers, state rules do not allow for WEPs for students who are not in a formal service program described above. Additionally, WEPs written for students with multiple areas of identification will only include goals and progress measures for identification areas specifically aligned to the service provided. For example, a 4th grader who is gifted in superior cognitive ability and math will only have goals for superior cognitive ability on the WEP as part of the CogELA service; math would not be on the WEP since formal gifted services are not provided. In another example, a high school student may be identified as gifted in reading and social studies and is taking Honors ELA, AP Biology, Honors Algebra 2, and traditional US History. Only the Honors ELA class will be on that student’s WEP since the student is not gifted in science or math; there will also not be a goal for social studies since the student is not in an honors o AP social studies class.
Support for All Students
All gifted students, regardless of grade level or area of identification, are supported in the general education classroom. 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:
Using pre-assessment before a lesson or unit to determine student readiness and adjusting lessons to meet student needs.
Grouping students by shared interest, topic or ability for assignments.
Providing opportunities for students to have greater depth of learning or acceleration when mastery of concepts and procedures is demonstrated.
Providing modified or alternative learning tasks or assignments.
Providing students with choice to allow exploration of topics of interest or to search for new information related to topics not studied.
Facilitating creation of original productions that engage creative thinking and design processes.
Gifted intervention specialists may provide consultative services and collaborations with general education teachers during grade level and department meetings or they may periodically come into a classroom to provide support. Additionally, gifted intervention specialists at the elementary level may meet with small groups for specific learning tasks or enrichment activity. **These extra “pull out” opportunities are not considered a formal gifted service and will not be scheduled on a regular basis.