In the fall of 2015 DPS adopted new identification guidelines to align with changes in state guidelines. Students need a body of evidence including at least three 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 uses 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 2015, 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 teaching small groups of students in 1st-4th grades.Often, students in 1st and 2nd grades 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. Julie also teaches reading groups for 3rd and 4th grade students who are formally identified as academically gifted in reading.
Robin Tobin is our GT specialist supporting all grades.Robin does teacher support and push-in instruction in the early grades and direct service in the older grades and is in charge of all GT testing and identification. For direct service, she primarily sees students who have been formally GT identified.For grades 4, 5 and 6, pull-out groups meet for multidisciplinary projects, creative challenges and logic exercises.In middle school one of the specials that 7/8 students can select is Creative Thinking.This is a mixed age class where students will think creatively, problem solve and pursue inquiry projects. Robin also collaborates with core teachers to provide curriculum extensions and add depth and complexity to the core curriculum.
Can unidentified students receive direct GT 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 because it takes time to collect a comprehensive body of evidence for formal identification.
In 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th grades, unidentified students may participate in challenge work inside the classroom. Additionally, students needing an extra challenge may join push-in or pull-out groups if they have a body of evidence for formal identification that is incomplete but still compelling.
In 7/8, any student who is up for a challenge may enroll in Creative Thinking or apply for Yearbook Staff.