"Gifted" means students who perform or show potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared to others of their age, experience or environment and who are identified according to certain provisions of the Ohio Revised Code. Some 40 percent of Bexley students have a gifted identification, meaning they have been screened in certain areas
-- as required by the state of Ohio, using tools approved by the state -- and have scored at particular levels. The Bexley City School District Board of Education believes that every child has unique learning strengths and needs deserving a challenging and appropriate education. (Board Policy IGBB).
Gifted in Bexley
Bexley's GATE/ELA for students in grades 4-6 is a service to students with gifted-ness in cognitive ability who also have a reading identification. Bexley's three elementary gifted teachers collaborate and consult with other teachers regarding how best to support gifted students in the regular classroom. The district works to build understanding and capacity for how best to serve all students with differentiated instruction to meet their learning needs.
Gifted Education Review
Bexley Schools has been reviewing its gifted program over the past three years, in light of recent and proposed changes in state law governing gifted education.
The elementary Gifted Advisory Committee -- teachers, administrators, and parents representing each elementary school and led by Dr. Marnie Morrison, the district's Gifted Consultant, and Dr. Laura Lipsett, Executive Director of School Programs -- has been considering the district’s recent review of gifted services, including recommendations from previous reviews
(dating to 1995).
Advisory Committee Recommendations
The committee recommended that current services (or GATE/ELA) for grades 4-6 continue for the 2016-2017 school year, except for at Cassingham Elementary. Developments from school year 2015 - 2016 influenced the recommendations:
- Revised Ohio operating standards for gifted programs are under review, pending approval by the State Board of Education by 2016.
- Cassingham’s International Baccalaureate (IB) organization reviewers recommended that the school's current pull-out program be discontinued (IB PYP program requires that the general classroom teacher to be "teacher-of-record" to encourage trans-disciplinary connections). Starting in 2016 - 2017, Cassingham gifted services will be delivered via book studies, math seminars and small group learning opportunities.
- Bexley’s reconfiguration of BMS as a school for grades 6-8 will influence how K - 5 gifted teachers focus their time.
In 2016 - 2017, the district will develop Written Education Plans (WEPs) for all students with cognitive identifications (many of whom also have identifications in reading, math, science, and social studies). WEPs are required by the state for those students with gifted identifications who are reported as being served. They also communicate to parents/guardians about the ways in which teachers challenge and address students' individual needs, as related to their cognitive abilities and academic talents.
Gifted teachers will write WEPs for all students with cognitive identifications who are not currently being served in GATE/ELA and work with general education teachers to support these students in their academic content learning.
The district will begin screening for students who may be eligible for identification in visual and performing arts ability and creative thinking ability. Screening and subsequent data collection in visual and performing arts ability will be led by the district's arts specialists, who will write WEPs for all students identified. Gifted teachers will also support WEPs for students with identifications in creative thinking ability, as they are served by teachers in the general classroom.
Bexley's Gifted Advisory Committee expects to meet on a bi-monthly basis to respond to changing state directives and craft recommendations for future programming. The district will continue to help teachers build capacity for differentiated math instruction in grades K-6.