"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 provides a pull-out service for grades 4-5 students with superior cognitive identifications. This service is delivered using the English language arts but is meant to meet the particular needs of students with superior cognitive abilities rather than be an advanced reading course (i.e., advanced reasoning abilities, which may be two to four years above their typical-age peers). Full-time gifted teachers in each elementary school also collaborate and consult with other teachers for how best to support students with identifications in the academic talents (reading, math, science, social studies) in the general classroom setting. The district provides professional development opportunities for teachers that work toward building understanding and capacity for how best to serve all students with a continuum of learning needs to include those with superior cognitive ability, academic talents, creative thinking ability and talents in visual and performing arts.
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 -- is reviewing gifted services, including information from past reviews
(dating to 1995), to make recommendations going forward.
Advisory Committee Recommendations
Current service for grades 4-6 with cognitive identifications who also have an identification in reading ability continues for the 2016-2017 school year. Committee recommendations follow a review of developments from the previous school year
- Revised Ohio operating standards for gifted programs are under review to be approved by the State Board of Education in 2017. New standards should inform changes in services.
- 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). Cassingham gifted services are now delivered via book studies, math seminars and small group learning opportunities.
- Bexley’s reconfiguration of BMS as a school for grades 6-8 is influencing the focus of K - 5 gifted teachers.
In 2016 - 2017, the district is developing 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.
The district has begun 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 continues to help teachers build capacity for differentiated math instruction in grades K-6.