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Meeting the Needs of Our Advanced and
High Potential Elementary
School Learners
Parent Information Presentation
• To nurture potential in all students.
• To challenge those with advanced learning
capabilities through differentiation and
responsive instruction.
• To address the needs of gifted
and high potential learners
across all populations.
Every student in Baltimore County
Public Schools K–12 who demonstrates high
achievement or the potential for high
achievement should have access to high quality
gifted and talented educational services
regardless of that student’s race/ethnicity,
gender, socio-economic status, geographic
location, primary language, or disability.
• BCPS’ Office of Gifted and Talented
Education is shifting its work to respond to
current research and best practices in the
• New research in the field of gifted education
prompted the National Association for Gifted
Children (NAGC) to redefine giftedness
(see NAGC Position Paper: Redefining Giftedness).
• The development of ability or talent is a
lifelong process.
• It may be evident in young children as
exceptional performance measures of ability,
actual achievement in a subject area, or a
rapid rate of learning compared to other
students of the same age.
Highlights of NAGC’s Work Include:
• Achievement and high levels of
motivation in a subject area become
the primary characteristics of
giftedness as individuals mature from
childhood to adolescence.
Students are NOT identified as gifted.
Rather, instructional opportunities are
tailored to meet the needs of all students,
including those with a need for enriched
or accelerated learning experiences. It is
the placement that is identified as gifted –
not the child.
• Creative, inventive,
divergent thinking
• Diverse interests
• Inquisitiveness –
May search for significance
and meaning
• High energy/verve
• Verbal proficiency in their
native languages
• Leadership
• Motivation
• Heightened sensitivity
Based on the work of Aquirre/Hernandez 1999; Brulles/Winebrenner 2008; Renzulli, Reis, Siegel 2003; Ford 2003
A school-based GT Referral and Review Team
analyzes student data to determine appropriate
instruction to meet student needs.
Instructional Recommendations are made on the basis
of the data collected.
School counselor
Facilitator for GT education
Multiple, diverse points of view
should be represented on the
ALL Grade 3 students are considered in
the spring of Grade 3. No referrals are
Grades 4–5:
• Teacher recommendation
• Parent recommendation
• Achievement
Teacher checklists
Reading and Math Parent surveys
Standardized test scores
Student product evaluations
Anecdotal data
Student achievement data (report card
* May change based on the review of identification practices.
• Referral and review is an ongoing
process, K – 12.
• No single factor determines a
student’s placement.
Curriculum and
• Content – What is taught and when it is taught
• Process or instructional strategies – How
content is taught.
• Products – Opportunities to demonstrate and
apply learning
• Learning environment –The context for
learning, including the classroom’s
atmosphere, organization, and management.
Based on the work of Dr. Joseph Renzulli
Teachers will use diagnostic data and student
observation to determine the most appropriate
pathway for each student every 5–7 weeks.
Three instructional pathways exist
for each unit:
• Scaffolding (on grade level with support)
• Enrichment
• Acceleration.
• The revised elementary English/
language arts curriculum will allow
all students in Grades 1–5 access to
enriched and accelerated learning
experiences through a responsive
instruction model.
Through ongoing informal and formal
assessment, students are flexibly
grouped in small, teacher-facilitated
instructional groups.
The Acceleration instructional pathway
(formerly the GT reading curriculum)
provides an enriched and accelerated
instructional group for those students
who have the capability or potential to
embrace a rigorous learning experience
in language arts.
• Acceleration small-group instruction enriches student
learning of grade-level standards by increasing the rigor
of the texts read (including texts beyond the enrolled
grade level), and increasing the work on drawing
inferences and evidence from texts.
Students analyze sources to develop reading and
listening comprehension, and respond in ways that
develop their skills in written and oral expression.
• Students will also engage in lessons using above-grade
level standards.
• Students will have ongoing access to an accelerated
learning group through a diagnostic pre-assessment
• Students do not have to be identified as “gifted” in
order to participate in this curriculum and instruction.
• Conversely, students who are identified “gifted” will
not automatically access this accelerated group.
• Grades 3–5 teachers will be implementing a Common
Core State Standards (CCSS) – aligned mathematics
• Through the alignment to the CCSS, all students will be
exposed to increased levels of rigor and significant
changes in content standards as compared to the
previous state curriculum.
• Those students who are identified for placement in the
Advanced Mathematics program in Grade 4 will
receive instruction from the Grade 4 Mathematics
Curriculum and the new supplement plan for
instruction aligned to the Grade 4 CCSS and about
half of the Grade 5 CCSS.
• Those students who are identified for placement in the
Advanced Mathematics program in Grade 5 will use
the Grade 6 (GT5) mathematics curriculum.
• A diagnostic placement is when a student receives
advanced instruction for no longer than one marking
period in order to determine if the placement is
appropriate due to inconsistencies in student data.
• Diagnostic placements are no longer needed in
English/language arts since all students will have access
to Enriched and Accelerated Groups before each unit.
• Diagnostic placements may still occur in mathematics.
• The BCPS gifted and talented Web site will be
updated frequently throughout the year in
order to keep teachers and parents abreast of
any shifts in the delivery of curriculum and
instruction for our advanced learners.
• Frequent updates will also allow further
clarification regarding questions that surface
on a consistent basis.