Accelerated Committee - St. Regis Schools - 2015
Amanda Nichols 649-2311
Jacki Almquist 649-2070
Chris West 678-4038
Amy and Mark Farris
Joe Steele, Principal 649-2311 ext. 202 cell 208-303-0140
Judy McKay, Superintendent 649-2311
Joe Steele 649-2311 ext. 202 cell 208-303-0140
This plan is created using the Accelerated and Gifted and Talented guidelines posted on the Office of Pubic Instruction website at http://opi.mt.gov/PDF/Gifted/08GTPlanningGuide.pdf and http://opi.mt.gov/PDF/Gifted/Acceleration_Policy_Guidelines.pdf.
St. Regis School District #1 services 143 students in grades K-12. Our student population consists of 1 Native American, 1 Black or African American, 2 Hispanic or Latino, 3 of two or more races, and 136 White or Caucasian. Seventy-eight percent of our students are on free or reduced lunch.
St. Regis is located in Western Montana and serves the communities of St. Regis, Haugen, DeBorgia, Saltese. St. Regis School District serves its students in one building, housing elementary, junior high and high school. The school also provides a Pre-K program for 10 students.
St. Regis Public Schools, in partnership with the community, exists to provide the highest quality education through diversity of exemplary programs that meet the individual needs of each student. The District is committed to providing Accelerated students with an appropriate learning environment to allow a diversity of options in order to maximize their potential.
Component 1: Student Identification
"Accelerated children" means children of outstanding abilities who are capable of high performance and require differentiated educational programs beyond those normally offered in public schools in order to fully achieve their potential contribution to self and society. The children so identified include those with demonstrated achievement or potential ability in a variety of worthwhile human endeavors. Gifted and Talented are students who are performing consistently above grade level in a particular area/areas or who have scored in the 95th percentile or higher on State testing[JS1] . These students may also have access to other resources beyond what is outlined in this policy based on their individual needs/talents.
Children to be identified for the Accelerated Program will be evaluated by professional qualified persons. "Professionally qualified persons" mean teachers, administrators, school
psychologists, counselors, curriculum specialists, artists, musicians, and others with special
training who are qualified to appraise pupils' special competencies.
A group of students consisting of 5 to 10 percent of the school population may be identified as needing services of the program. The District will use comprehensive and appropriate assessment methods including objective measures and professional assessment measures to identify and assessment student growth.
A variety of screening methods will be used to identify students as accelerated. These methods include:
1) Teacher/specialists’ nomination forms (RTI form) using classroom observation/assessments
2) Harrison Observation Form
3) MAP/SBAC scores are collected
4) Academic testing by District Special Education Teacher
5) Evaluative tests by Consortium Psychologist
Timeline: Students may be identified anytime during the school year, but those students identified prior to Spring Break will be considered for participating in the Accelerated Program for the next school year.
There is a difference between bright students and gifted students. The chart below provides a good distinction between the two groups.
Bright vs. Gifted
Knows the answers.
Has good ideas.
Answers the questions.
Listens with interest.
Learns with ease.
6-8 repetitions for mastery.
Grasps the Meaning.
Enjoys straightforward, sequential presentation.
Is pleased with own learning.
Asks the questions.
Is highly curious.
Is mentally and physically involved.
Has wild, silly ideas.
Plays around, yet tests well.
Discusses in detail, elaborates.
Beyond the group.
Shows strong feelings and opinions.
Already knows 1-2 repetitions for mastery.
Creates a new design.
Thrives on complexity.
Is keenly observant.
Is highly self-critical.
Component 2: Curriculum Reflecting Student Needs
1) Instructional Management:
The instructional management component refers to how children are grouped to receive curriculum. High ability students are capable of moving through, or bypassing, portions of the curriculum at a rate different from other students. We have three categories of instructional management: individualization, grouping (by ability or achievement) and acceleration.
A) Individualization – the District offers independent study, talent development and multi-grade classes.
B) Grouped – the District groups students in the following ways: regrouping by achievement for subject instruction, within class performance groupings, and cooperative grouping with like-ability learners
C) Acceleration – the District provides grade skipping, grade telescoping (rapid progress – shortening the time of progressing through a school level) and duel enrollment for college credit.
Grouping by Ability or Achievement
Credit for prior learning
Full-time ability grouping (tracking)
Individual educational (or learning) plan
Regrouping by achievement for subject instruction
Early entrance to school
Partial day (or send-out) grouping
Single subject acceleration
One-on-one mentoring or tutoring
Within-class performance grouping
Cooperative grouping with like-ability learners
Non-graded/continuous progress classes
Advanced Placement/ International Baccalaureate
Early admission to college
Credit by examination
2) Instructional Delivery
Instructional delivery refers to the strategies and techniques used to bring the curriculum to the student. Instruction delivery also includes process modification, which is to change the process by which a student will learn, or change the process used by the teacher to help students learn. High ability students must move through the curriculum at a faster pace and can handle content that is deeper, more complex and more abstract than the regular grade level provides. This requires pre-assessment, curriculum differentiation, and consistent on-going assessment. The following is a list of the most common methods used with accelerated students.
Instructional Delivery Method
Students progress faster as the teacher speeds up rate of presentation of information in order to match the significantly faster learning rate of intellectually and academically gifted learners.
Students participate in contests outside of school using the knowledge and skills they have learned
Students find information and answers for themselves through active, often hands-on inquiry-based or problem-based learning activities.
Students reflect orally on learned information with whole class or small group of students. When questions include conceptualization/ generalization, this is particularly appropriate for gifted students
Flexible project deadlines
Students negotiate for more or less time to complete a learning experience and its matching product or performance
Students (or teachers) change the requirements and parameters of a required product or performance
Group projects and group learning
Group of students work together on teacher-chosen or group-chosen topic, developing either a traditional or nontraditional product of the learning acquired; as a process modification, it requires that the tasks be designed so that bright students will perceive the group product as more valuable than how they think they could have done individually.
Students research teacher-chosen or self-chosen topic on their own, developing either a traditional or nontraditional product to demonstrate the learning acquired.
Students learn about teacher-chosen or self-chosen topic, which may or may not involve research on own, developing either a traditional or nontraditional product of the learning acquired.
Students negotiate individually with teacher about what and how much will be learned and when product will be due; often connected with an independent study or individual project.
Open-endedness, creative thinking
Students are encouraged to brainstorm or think divergently in order to produce more than one idea, answer, or solution
Students identify their personal goals and learn how to prioritize their time and activities to reach those goals.
Students are provided with an unstructured problem/task and are expected to “discover” a method for solving/accomplishing it.
Students may test out of material they already know and work on independent projects or extension activities
From Re-Forming Gifted Education: How Parents and Teachers Can Match the Program to the Child, by Karen Rogers. Reproduced by permission of Great Potential Press, www.giftedbooks.com
Higher level students may also be tasked with higher-order thinking skills as part of their responses and participation in activities. At the secondary level, this may result in students being graded using a different rubric to reflect those higher-order thinking skills and tasks, which will result in being awarded an Honors credit for the coursework[JS4] . These skills may include:
Higher-order Thinking Skills
Higher order thinking
Students are required to use higher order thinking (application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation, etc.) in their learning responses.
Students respond to teacher-led questioning in order to learn new concepts or draw conclusions and generalizations about what has been learned.
Open-endedness, creative thinking
Students are encouraged to brainstorm or think divergently in order to produce more than one idea, answer, or solution.
Proof and reasoning
Students are expected to support their arguments and conclusions with evidence or proof.
Students role-play situations or scenarios in order to apply previous learning or find solutions to the problems or situation presented.
The key in instructional deliver is to remember that these students learn at a much faster pace and a deeper level. Higher-level thinking skills should be embedded in all they do.
3) Curriculum Adaptations
As management and delivery are modified for high-ability students, the curriculum must also adapt. This is usually done by modifying the content, process, and product for accelerated learners. In planning lessons for accelerated/high-ability students, teachers identify exactly what it is that students need to know, understand, and be able to do when they have finished with the content.
Some content and product modification strategies include abstraction, complexity, variety, method of inquiry, real world problems, and transformation. Students will have regular practice using higher order thinking, proof and reasoning, freedom of choice and pacing and flexibility. Teachers will use Montana Content standards and Essential Learning Expectations as tools in making curricular modifications.
Students identified as accelerated will have a baseline test completed using MAP or district developed assessments at the beginning of the school year. Students will be tested at grade level and the next grade higher to determine the baseline. The student will have periodic testing during the course of the year to ensure students are making academic progress.
During the 2015-2016 school year, the district will implement a multigrade reading program based on a Walk to Read model. This allows students to flex up a grade level to receive higher level reading and meet the needs of all students. Accelerated students, based on testing data, may be placed on an individual plan to meet their specific needs.
As the year progresses, and teachers become familiar with the format and instructional delivery methods being incorporated, math may also be developed and implemented on a Walk to Read model. Until this is implemented, the team and parents of Accelerated math students will meet at the beginning of the year to develop an appropriate plan for the student. This may include any instructional management method the team feels is appropriate and that the teachers are comfortable incorporating.
In addition, the District will develop an after school program using Imagination Destination. This is a competition-based program that challenges students to develop solutions to a problem and present their solution during a competition.
The District has allocated $1,500 for the Acceleration/Gifted and Talented program,, which will be matched by the Office of Public Instruction if approved.
Component III: Support Services and Parental Involvement
Support services and parental involvement is vital to provide well-planned, continuous programming for students. Support service include: administration/school board, psychologists, counselors, teachers, and parents.
Administration/school board involvement is important for program commitment to meeting the needs of every student. Administrative support includes providing staff, time, funding, training and materials.
Psychologists may be called upon to test some students during the identification process. He/she consults with teachers and parents and helps explains test results.
Counselors consult with teacher and/or parents, mentor students, and assist with curriculum advice and course placement.
Teachers need to communicate with other teachers, specialists, parents and others to ensure the needs of the students are being met.
Parents will offer support to the District and receive support from the District. Parents need to know how their child’s unique needs are being met and be involved in every decision that concerns the child’s placement and curriculum changes.
Component IV: Teacher Preparation
A. Planned Professional Development
Training for accelerated is a continuous process involving the accelerated specialist, classroom teachers, administrators, and specialists. The following topics will be addressed:
Program development – conducting needs assessments, designing an identification process, selecting delivery options, and creating action plans.
Identification – characteristics and needs of gifted students, identifying students, and social and emotional needs of gifted students.
Instructional strategies – content, process, product, and pace.
August- September – Review identification as part of RTI process and instructional strategies
September – October – Parent meetings for testing signatures; testing, and results
October – MEA workshops, RTI and accelerated training if offered somewhere
January – Mid-year review that adapts instructional strategies based on student progress
March – Review and implementation of identification process, apply for accelerated grant
April – AGATE conference, program development for next year, summer programming planned
Summer – Summer programming
March – Apply for accelerated grant on OPI e-grant system
July – Budget for accelerated program and staff professional development
Component V: Program Evaluation
A. Formative Evaluation
A mid-year and end-of-year report will be created addressing these questions. Any weaknesses found will be addressed in a timely manner. Measureable objectives will be reported to OPI each year. The following questions will be addressed:
· How well are the students in the program performing?
· Is the identification process identifying students with needs that the program was designed to meet?
· How well does the curriculum meet the needs of the students?
· Have program goals been met?
· What measures are used to determine program effectiveness?
B. Summative Evaluation
This will be conducted every five years, the year after the Five Year Comprehensive Education Plan (5YCEP) is due to Office of Public Instruction. A committee of teachers, counselors, administrators, and parents will evaluate and strategically plan the program. The committee will ask questions such as:
· Did the program do what it was designed to do?
· Was the student identification process effective in identifying students with extraordinary needs and abilities?
· Are there components of the program that are missing or incomplete?
· How successful were the school’s support services in meeting identified needs?
· Did professional development result in an increase in the staff knowledge about gifted education?
· Did the quality of programming for gifted students increase as a result of professional development?
· Are classroom teachers better able to meet the needs of gifted students in their classrooms because of professional development?
· What changes do we need to make?