The Webster Groves School District is committed to providing an educational program in which students may grow to become productive and contributing members of society. To encourage optimum achievement, the school learning environment must provide challenging learning opportunities matched to the needs and talents of students with high potential. The Gifted and Talented Program strives to provide challenging curriculum while enhancing a student's self-efficacy. Student-centered program goals, educational needs, and a collaborative planning process determine program content. The program is designed to provide an array of learning opportunities that help students realize their potential, instills a desire to develop their talents and abilities, and encourages scholastic rigor.
Elementary Program (Kindergarten)
During the first semester of kindergarten, gifted services are offered on a consultation and resource basis. Gifted specialists, counselors, and district coordinators work with classroom teachers providing materials, strategies, and instructional techniques for meeting the needs of high ability learners. During the second semester, kindergarten students participate in classroom enrichment lessons taught by gifted specialists for the purpose of exposing all students to activities that promote creative, analytical, and critical thinking. These enrichment lessons take place in the regular classroom during students' regular kindergarten program. While no formal gifted identification is done at this grade level, students displaying exceptional abilities are identified by the classroom teacher and gifted specialists and given additional or alternative instruction suitable to their needs.
Elementary Program (Grades 1 - 6)
Students in grades one through six participate in a "pull out" program known as Project Plus. Certified gifted specialists provide a curriculum that focuses on communication, research skills, thinking skills and problem solving, creative expression, and affective education. In addition, classroom teachers offer higher levels of tasks or skills for gifted students through differentiated instruction. Students in first grade receive approximately 90 minutes of weekly instruction, second grade students receive approximately 150 minutes of weekly instruction, third through fifth grade students receive approximately 250 minutes of weekly instruction, and sixth grade students receive approximately 150 minutes of weekly instruction. Students receive services in their home schools except for Computer School students in grades 3 - 5 who are transported by bus to Hudson School for services. Classes are limited to 5 - 15 students and may require cross grade grouping. All classes are taught by a certified gifted specialist.
Students in grades seven through eight participate in a program known as GEMS (Gifted Education in the Middle School). Students meet with a certified gifted specialist during their Discovery period every other day. Students are provided a curriculum rich in the areas of communication, research skills, thinking skills and problem solving, creative expression, and affective education. In addition, classroom teachers offer higher levels of tasks or skills for gifted students through differentiated instruction. Classes are limited to 5 - 15 students.
High School Program (Grades 9 - 12)
A myriad of opportunities exist at the high school level for gifted students. Classes include Gifted and Talented English, Problem Solving and Advanced Research Topics in Social Studies, Gifted Academic Lab and Gifted Internship. At the high school level, students receive 200 - 300 minutes of services weekly . Further opportunities include Honors and Advanced Placement (AP) classes. In addition to the rigorous curriculum, all students have the opportunity to come together monthly to share experiences during First Friday meetings. At these sessions, special attention is given to meeting the affective needs of high school gifted students.
A high school gifted coordinator is available to meet with high school gifted students to assist with both academic and affective needs. Services include:
· Researching/planning/scheduling educational options such as dual credit courses, distance learning, correspondence courses, and schedule planning.
· Establishing job shadowing and mentoring opportunities.
· Selection/planning/scheduling of college entrance exam(s).
· Assisting with post-secondary school research/selection, admissions procedures, and completing scholarship applications.
· Services targeting the social/emotional needs of gifted students.
· Monitoring identified students' progress in any of the above activities.
· Working with regular classroom teachers to modify regular classroom curriculum to meet the need so identified gifted students.
June 19, 2013