What does “GT” look like at Bennett? (Programming)
Based on philosophical and core school beliefs, Gifted and Talented programming varies from school to school in PSD. As an International Baccalaureate school, it is important to us that all students receive instruction from their primary teacher so that their learning is constructed through a transdisciplinary approach that is connected throughout the day and is significant, engaging, challenging, and relevant.
As a result, our G/T programming is not a “Pull-Out” program because this would separate rather than connect the concepts, knowledge, skills, attitudes, and actions of the curriculum. Rather, student needs are differentiated for within the classroom, supporting the reality that your child’s enrichment must happen frequently throughout the day with their primary teacher and not just in the 30 minutes once a week.
In addition to what is happening throughout the day for students we implement a “WIN” time at Bennett. There will be differentiated blocks of time (30-45 minutes) for each grade level that students will get what they need (“What I Need”) with regard to skills and content. There will be enrichment opportunities provided in collaboration with grade level teachers and additional staff for all students whose data suggest the need for this. This will be a great opportunity for our gifted learners to also get what they need.
As a result, the role of GT coordinator includes the following at Bennett:
- to plan with grade level teams to support them in offering differentiated learning experiences within the homeroom
- to assist in student identification as gifted and talented
- to support parents of students identified gifted and talented
- to facilitate provisions for the non-academic needs of GT learners, thus caring for the whole child (creating, teaching, and progress monitoring affective goals)
- to further develop in each GT learner International Mindedness as defined by the attributes of IB Learner Profile: Balanced, Caring, Communicator, Inquirer, Knowledgeable, Open-minded, Principled, Thinker, Reflective, Risk-taker
- to coordinate student, parents/guardians and classroom teacher participation in the creation and monitoring of Advanced Learning Plans (ALP) for each GT learner
- Students are identified using the district screening process in 3rd grade
- Students take the CogAT (Cognitive Abilities Test) in 2nd grade, however are not officially identified until the beginning of 3rd grade
- Once students are identified, that identification will follow them throughout their PSD career. The state of Colorado has recently approved a “Portability” law that will allow students to transfer their identifications to schools throughout our state however will need to be reviewed and approved by a GT Identification Specialist.
- Identification is based on many criteria building a body of evidence. Some of the assessments for our screening process include: CogAT, MAP, STAR, SIGS, and/or TCAP scores. Students must score in the 95th % or higher on THREE of these (or other) assessments out of four areas (Academic, Aptitude, Behavior and Performance) in order to qualify for the GT identification. If a student is close to qualifying, other criteria may come into play – teacher recommendation, additional tests, parent surveys, etc. or as always a referral can be made.
If you have any further questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to go to the PSD website: https://www.psdschools.org/academics/gifted-and-talented or you are welcome to contact me at any time.
Sarah Shigemura, Gifted and Talented Coordinator
Bennett Elementary School