Alexander Gifted Services
Gifted Services Coordinator
Gifted students are defined by the State of Ohio as those who "perform or show potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared to others of their age, experience, or environment who are identified under division (A), (B), (C), or (D) of section 3324.03 of the Ohio Revised Code."
The Purpose of Gifted Education
Gifted education is designed to meet the unique needs of students who score significantly above their age peers on state-approved achievement and ability tests. Often, these students:
- acquire knowledge quickly with few repetitions;
- may comprehend material several grade levels above peers;
- see relationships between distinct pieces of information
- are capable of abstractions and generalizations
- demonstrate perseverance or "grit";
- have a strong sense of curiosity;
- possess surprising emotional depth and sensitivity at a young age;
- are enthusiastic about unique interests and topics;
- posses a quirky or mature sense of humor;
- demonstrate creative problem solving and imaginative expression;
- are self-aware, socially aware, and aware of global issues
Gifted Education Philosophy
The Alexander Local School District believes that every student has the right to a warm and welcoming, safe, and intellectually stimulating educational environment. The district also recognizes that gifted students have unique needs and abilities which may vary considerably from those of their same-age peers. It is the goal of our Gifted Services program to recognize each student's gifts, and encourage, and support educational experiences that will foster the academic talents and expand the knowledge of each individual student.
Our goal is to:
provide appropriate and ongoing in-service and staff development to all teachers in the district who work with gifted children
provide students with opportunities for higher level, complex, and independent thinking
provide opportunities for students to think critically and creatively
provide opportunities for students to spend time with intellectual peers
support the unique social and emotional growth of our gifted population
Gifted Services -- What We Do
The Alexander Local School District offers a continuum of services for gifted learners which includes:
♦ Elementary Cluster Grouping (Grades 4-5): service is provided within the regular classroom by general education teachers who are receiving on-going professional development on meeting the needs of the gifted learner
♦ Enrichment (Grade 6): single subject math and English language arts enrichment for identified students
♦ Honors Classes (Grades 7-8) single subject self contained classes in math, English language arts, and science
♦ Early High School Credit (Grade 8) Algebra and Foreign Language
♦ Honors/AP and College Credit Plus Courses (CCP)
The Alexander District emphasizes the need to provide differentiated content, and learning experiences for our gifted students. To that end, district teachers in grades Pre-K-12 participate yearly in professional development focused on the nature and needs of gifted children. This means our gifted students have the opportunity to be with classroom teachers who are trained to recognize and understand their unique differences.
In addition to those educational services listed above, Alexander also offers online gifted Google Classrooms for students in grades K-6. By early September of each year, identified students will receive a code via their student email inviting them to join a specific online classroom. Students may elect to participate in all of the activities which will be posted in their gifted classroom or they may make selections a-la-carte, choosing those activities that motivate them most.
Finally, for Jr High/High School students, the District also offers an wide variety of clubs and activities which meet during the school day. While these opportunities alone do not constitute service, they CAN help meet the needs of gifted students.
The Written Education Plan (WEP)
A Written Education Plan, or (WEP) is a document required for any gifted-identified student who is reported by the district as receiving gifted services. WEPs may look different from district to district, but must include the following information, according to the Ohio Department of Education:
1. A description of the services to be provided and goals for each service;
2. The methods for evaluating student progress;
3. The staff responsible for ensuring delivery of each service;
4. Policies regarding waiver of assignments missed in the regular education classroom while a child participates in gifted services.
Copies of the WEP are made available to parents/guardians and to the teachers who provide the services. In our district, parents will normally receive WEPs following the first grading period, after teachers have had a chance to get to know their students.
It is important to note that not every gifted student will receive a WEP. WEPs are written at grade levels where services are available and/or when students choose to enroll in classes that qualify as service. (The latter is particularly true at the secondary level.) In addition, not every student who receives a WEP can be counted as having been "served." Service requires approximately 3.5 hours of participation weekly in an area of identification. Elementary students who are cluster grouped and high school students enrolled in honors and College Credit Plus (CCP) classes, etc, will have no difficulty attaining the necessary number of hours.
Gifted Program Information:
Resources For Parents and Students
Websites for Parents
Website for Kids - Grades K-3
Websites for Kids - Grades 4-6
Websites for Secondary Students
Frequently Asked Questions About Gifted Education
A Final Note:
Giftedness comes in many different shapes and sizes. Not every child who is gifted will, or even can be, identified through traditional means. The first four resource links for parents and students listed above are accessible to all, and motivated students are encouraged to check them out.
Dr. Linda Silverman, licensed clinical and counseling psychologist, has spent a lifetime researching, writing about, and advocating for gifted students. Gifted students and adults alike may enjoy her words.