Overview of Gifted Services in Arlington Public Schools
Arlington Public Schools is dedicated to maximizing the strengths and potential of all students so they may become self-confident, well-rounded, responsible and productive citizens. Believing that each and every individual has merit, we recognize that certain learners within the school population have unique abilities, interests, needs and potential for accomplishment. These characteristics necessitate systematic, continuous services to present unique and appropriately differentiated curricula and learning opportunities responsive to individual learning rates, styles, and interests. Gifted students need opportunities to think abstractly, work at various rates and levels of complexity, and pursue tasks independently. In addition, students eligible for gifted services need opportunities to learn with others of like abilities, as well as opportunities to develop social relationships with others of all abilities.
The Office of Gifted Services reflects this philosophy and complies with Virginia Regulations Governing Educational Services for Gifted Students based on the following concepts:
· Giftedness is developmental; it is potential which must be nourished;
· Gifted students share some characteristics with all other children; and
· There is variability among the gifted.
The gifted services eligibility process identifies students in the following areas.
· Specific Academic Aptitude: students with specific aptitudes in the academic areas of mathematics, science, English, social studies
· Visual/Performing Arts Aptitude: students with specific aptitudes in visual art and/or instrumental or vocal music areas
The goals of Gifted Services include the following:
· Identify students in grades K-12 in Specific Academic Aptitude(s) and Visual/Performing Arts Aptitude;
· Provide appropriate differentiated services based on information provided in the identification process to meet the identified student’s unique learning needs;
· Train teachers and other professional educators who instruct gifted students in learning characteristics and behaviors of gifted children and differentiation of content, skills, activities, and product development;
· Encourage involvement of parents and the community-at-large in the educational program of gifted students.
For information on Arlington Public School’s Gifted Services, visit: APS Gifted Services Website
How Can a Resource Teacher for the Gifted Benefit Our School?
On a school-wide level, the Resource Teacher for the Gifted helps to
· Coordinate the gifted identification process for students who are referred for services
· Provide staff development about gifted education, differentiation, critical and creative thinking, etc.
· Serve as Gifted Services liaison
· Disseminate information to staff about gifted conferences / workshops
· Oversee the application process for gifted summer programs
A Gifted Resource Teacher can benefit teachers by helping to
· Plan/collaborate on lesson or unit development
· Provide and model strategies for differentiating curriculum and instruction for highly able and identified gifted students
· Gather resources to supplement and extend classroom lessons
· Teach whole-class “thinking tools” lessons specific to applicable topics
· Instruct small groups for special projects or extension lessons
· Help coordinate class activities, field trips, or speakers
· Provide support for parent contacts and conferences
A Gifted Resource Teacher can benefit students and parents by working to
· Assist with the needs of individual students
· Provide guidance regarding summer programs
· Inform families about community resources and opportunities
· Communicate with parents about gifted services