How are students identified for GT?
This is actually new info, as DPS has adopted new identification guidelines to align with changes in state guidelines. Students need a body of evidence including scores at or above the 95th percentile on nationally normed measures for formal GT identification. Both ability and achievement scores can be part of the body of evidence.
DPS is using universal screeners in Kindergarten, 2nd and 6th graders to ensure all students are given the opportunity to receive GT programming. In addition to these screeners, other measures will be used to complete the body of evidence.
For students identified prior to this year, they do not need to re-qualify and remain GT identified.
Who provides GT services?
The short answer is that all teachers at Bill Roberts teach gifted learners, because our staff is masterful at differentiation.
The two people who teach GT specifically are Julie Young and Robin Tobin. In addition to working directly with students, Julie and Robin assist core teachers and provide extensions and support for our GT students.
Julie Young is our GT specialist for 1st and 2nd grades. Often, students this young are not yet formally identified, but require additional academic challenges. The zone of proximal development varies widely in these grades as students are mastering foundational skills. Julie pulls challenge groups for both literacy and math to support the 1st and 2nd grade teams and ensure that students needing an additional academic challenge receive that opportunity.
Robin Tobin is our GT specialist for 3rd through 8th grades. Robin sees primarily identified students. For grades 3, 4 and 5 pull-out groups meet for multidisciplinary projects, creative challenges and logic exercises. In middle school one of the specials that students can select is Creative Thinking. This is a mixed age class where 6th, 7th and 8th graders will think creatively, problem solve and pursue inquiry projects. Middle school students also have the opportunity to join GT lunch bunch book clubs.
Can unidentified students receive services?
In short: yes. Specifically, Julie Young sees 1st and 2nd graders based on need, skill and teacher recommendation. Many of her students are not formally identified. In the middle school, any student who is up for a challenge may enroll in Creative Thinking or join a lunch bunch. In 3rd, 4th and 5th grades, unidentified students may join pull-out groups one of two ways. Either they have a body of evidence for formal identification that is incomplete but still compelling or homeroom teachers may nominate unidentified students to participate in pull-outs.
What if I have more questions?