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SOUTHMORELAND SCHOOL DISTRICT Gifted Support Program

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Page 1: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

SOUTHMORELAND SCHOOL DISTRICT

Gifted Support Program

Page 2: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

GIFTED SUPPORT PROGRAM REVIEWER—FRANNY MCALEER

Teacher of Gifted Students K-12 Author Gifted Curriculum Coordinator Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania Instructor at Waynesburg University Instructor and Gifted Education Specialist at

Duquesne University Past President—PAGE (Pennsylvania Association

for Gifted Education) Vitae and Publications on line at

www.learnerslink.com

Page 3: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

GIFTED SUPPORT PROGRAM REVIEW FORMAT

Review of Southmoreland’s self-assessment document

Facilitate focus groups with randomly selected participants including administrators, parents of gifted students, teachers of the gifted, classroom teachers, and students (middle and high school)

Observations in gifted support classroom

Page 4: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

GIFTED SUPPORT PROGRAM REVIEW TOPICS (Focus Groups) Program design Program administration and management Student Identification Curriculum and instruction Socio-emotional guidance and counseling Professional Development Program Evaluation

Page 5: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

OVERALL—WHAT SOUTHMORELAND IS DOING WELL

Professionalism, enthusiasm, and trust is exemplary.

Collegiality, lead management style, flexibility. Ready and willing to improve the program. Recognition of need to change the program due

to retirements of outstanding teachers (teacher became the program, and program became the teacher).

Generally positive focus from parents, teachers, students, and administrators.

Page 6: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

RECOMMENDATIONS

Recommendations are comprehensive. Based on district self-assessment. Based on focus group discussions. Based on administrator and teacher

interviews. 7 primary recommendations. Recommendations should be analyzed,

prioritized, and put into place over a period of three years.

Page 7: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

7 PRIMARY RECOMMENDATIONS

1. Curriculum and instruction program development at Southmoreland High School.

2. Curriculum and instruction program development at Southmoreland Middle School.

3. Professional development—differentiating instruction for all learners with a focus on gifted students.

4. Curriculum and instruction –GIEP writing process including curricular modifications based on students’ individual strengths and interests.

Page 8: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

7 PRIMARY RECOMMENDATIONS—continued

5. Program development—philosophy and a continuum of service options K-12.

6. Time student spends in gifted support program.

7. Communication and public/parent awareness.

Page 9: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

PROGRAM DESIGN—What Southmoreland is doing well

Parents and community want more. At the time of review, there were two

teachers of the gifted—one full time K-8 teacher and one for grades 9-12 for two periods per day.

The district has a list of available activities at each level such as KMO, Creative Problem Solving, Quiz Bowl, etc.

All involved are eager to have a more dynamic and connected program.

Page 10: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

PROGRAM DESIGN--Recommendations

Update the district’s gifted philosophy to include:

1. The district’s gifted education policy, including philosophy.

2. Written continuum of gifted programming options.

3. Professional development plan including training in the teaching of the gifted for all faculty and administration.

4. Use of current research supporting gifted education programming priorities.

Page 11: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

PROGRAM DESIGN—Recommendations continued

5. Co-teaching and integration of gifted education programming into regular education.

6. Flexible groupings of students to facilitate gifted education programming and differentiated curriculum (Karen Rogers’ research).

Page 12: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

PROGRAM DESIGN—reflections

Change the interaction between gifted instructors and classroom instructors to provide a more blended experience for the students (parent).

The gifted program provides an environment where “smart” kids can feel “safe” and don’t feel the need to “dumb themselves down” (parent).

Needs to be more dynamic. It’s too much of a typical classroom feel—more fun, higher energy…(parent).

Page 13: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

PROGRAM DESIGN—reflections continued

Acceleration in the elementary school coordinated with regular education (staff).

Team time built in for gifted teacher to meet with staff at the secondary level (staff).

Co-teaching to extend regular curriculum (staff).

Page 14: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT—What

Southmoreland is doing well

Outstanding professionalism, enthusiasm, and respect.

Administration and faculty open to, and looking for change.

The district has a goal to be in compliance with new Chapter 16 regulations when they become available.

Teachers of the gifted are participating in “best practice” staff development.

There is a focus on structure and consistency.

Page 15: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT—Recommendations

Information dissemination to parents and community needs to be developed including public awareness of program offerings and links from the SSD website to the Department of Education, gifted parent handbook, and various gifted resources.

Communication with parents needs to be strengthened and systematic.

A gifted parent advisory group or a local chapter of PAGE should be formed.

Page 16: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT—Recommendations

The district website should be used to communicate gifted news and information

Consideration of individual student strengths, interests, and needs in the development of the GIEP.

Curriculum guides should be used by gifted facilitators as a basis for acceleration.

Middle school students need additional time in the pull-out program.

Setting a schedule and adhering to it shows support and respect. Parents and students have reported frequent scheduling changes and event cancellations.

Page 17: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT—Recommendations

High school students have little, if any time in their schedules to meet with the gifted facilitator. Expand gifted facilitation from two periods per

day to six or more periods per day. Preplan the GIEP and the GIEP conference to

include students and student input. Increase connections between gifted support

and regular education.

Page 18: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT--Reflections Students suggested three class periods per

week of pull-out gifted instruction on a rotating basis so the same class is not missed each week. Missed class work does not have to be made up based on GIEP (middle school student).

See the gifted program as important to the students’ education (parent).

I would like the Administration to send the message to the regular teachers that they should support the students and gifted teachers in the gifted program (parent).

Page 19: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

STUDENT IDENTIFICATION—What Southmoreland is doing well

The school psychologist has a long history in the district and has expertise in the field of gifted education.

The GWR includes ability and achievement scores using generally accepted reliable and valid psychometric instruments.

GIEPs are developed using district activities at the secondary level.

When the pull-out structure is used GIEP objectives reflect student strengths and interests such as applying research skills (American Dream Speech) or reaching logical conclusions (Mindbenders).

Page 20: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

STUDENT IDENTIFICATION--Recommendations

When the new gifted guidelines are released, use them to reconsider the current identification process using such instruments as the Renzulli-Hartman Scale.

Consider the use of a multiple criteria matrix including teacher and parent checklists.

Continue to focus on student strengths and needs by adopting a district-wide resource such as Renzulli’s Interestilizer or My Learningprint.

Page 21: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

STUDENT IDENTIFICATION--Recommendations

Consider expanding GIEP objectives to include connections to regular education in areas of student strength.

Make regular classroom teachers more aware of, and more involved in writing the GIEP and progress monitoring.

Page 22: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION—Recommendations for all levels

Provide time for gifted programming, planning, writing, and implementing GIEPs, small group instruction, large group seminars.

Provide a continuum of service options. Pre-assessment before teaching a unit to

facilitate individualization of instruction. Better communication among all

stakeholders including administrators, teachers, gifted facilitators, parents, and students.

Page 23: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION—Recommendations for all levels

Communication via the district webpage—updated monthly report.

Communication by students on the district webpage—display student work electronically on the teacher’ webpage.

Include more stakeholders in GIEP development—gifted facilitator, administrator, parent, student, regular ed. teacher. This can be accomplished via pre-conference questionnaire, checklist, etc.

Page 24: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION—Recommendations for all levels

Celebrate student achievement and work at the GIEP meeting.

Gifted facilitators should review existing records to develop the GIEP.

Conferencing with parents twice per year Expand the number and content focus of

activity options. Group students of like abilities and interest

for seminars and activities.

Page 25: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION—WHAT THE ELEMENTARY PROGRAM IS DOING WELL

Administrators, teachers, and parents want to work together for program improvement.

There is a designated teacher of the gifted. The district is ahead of PA compliance

caseload of 60. Parents are pleased with activities such as,

Future Problem Solving, Fun with Physics, DAR History Essay, Believe it or Not Boxes, etc.

Page 26: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

CURRICULUM AND INSRUCTION –ELEMENTARY RECOMMENDATIONS

Development of consistency in program delivery, including designated pull-out time and curriculum modification in areas of student strength.

Instruction should include large group inter-disciplinary seminars, small group content-specific studies, and individual in-depth investigations (Renzulli and Rogers).

Development of a policy about missed class time, homework, and make-up work including eliminating missing recess time as a result of participation in the gifted program.

Page 27: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION—WHAT THE MIDDLE SCHOOL IS

DOING WELL

Teacher and students have a positive connection.

A list of enrichment activities is available.

GIEPs are written based on student strength.

Page 28: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENT

REFLECTIONS

Creative Problem Solving is something that should be kept.

We get to do things together, instead of individually.

Our gifted program is small, but we get to do a lot of fun activities and field trips.

I like field trips and KMO.

Page 29: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION MIDDLE SCHOOL

RECOMMENDATIONS

Physical relocation of the K-8 gifted resource room to provide easy access for all grade levels.

Co-teaching between regular and gifted ed. teachers focusing on content-based acceleration or enrichment, such as tiered assignments.

Page 30: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION MIDDLE SCHOOL RECOMMENDATIONS

Students requested more hands-on activities, labs, small group units, and creative problem solving experiences

Expansion of the number and content focus of activity options—perhaps add math to middle school menu of offerings

More creative classroom environment with clock, computer, projector, digital camera, buzzer response system.

Page 31: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION—WHAT THE HIGH SCHOOL IS

DOING WELL A teacher is assigned for two periods per

day to work with gifted students. However, students are not always available when the teacher is.

Activities include Future Problem Solving, KMO, Academic Quiz League, Reading Competition.

Dual enrollment at Penn State Fayette

Page 32: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION HIGH SCHOOL

RECOMMENDATIONS Increase participation in the program. Expand availability of gifted facilitator to at

lease 6 periods per day. Expand number of gifted facilitators to include

other content areas. Develop a college prep course especially for

gifted learners because they need to be together for a portion of the school day.

Incorporate seminar themes, small group investigations, and individual real life projects.

Page 33: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION HIGH SCHOOL

RECOMMENDATIONS High school students requested thought

provoking discussions, open-ended writing topics, peer interaction, leadership studies, Future Problem Solving, and Mock Trial.

Establish gifted resource room where teachers and students can meet and students can work independently.

Connect gifted students with a teacher who has expertise in each student’s area of interest/strength

Page 34: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION HIGH SCHOOL

RECOMMENDATIONS Co-teaching between regular and gifted

education teachers focused on content based acceleration or enrichment such as tiered assignments.

Implement real-life investigation project related to student’s passion. May be a multi-year project.

Parents have requested additional AP classes.

Page 35: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

SOCIO-EMOTIONAL GUIDANCE AND COUNSELING—WHAT THE

DISTRICT IS DOING WELL The school psychologist is available for

consult upon request.

The counselors provide support services for gifted students.

Page 36: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

SOCIO-EMOTIONAL GUIDANCE AND COUNSELING--RECOMMENDATIONS

Social and emotional needs of gifted students offer unique opportunities for Socratic or Six Hats seminars.

The Gifted Kid’s Survival Guide for Ages 10 & Under (Galbraith, Espeland, Molnar) –not related!!

The Gifted Kid’s Survival Guide: A Teen Handbook Galbraith, DeLisle, Espeland).

Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (www.SENGifted.org) .

Look at gifted underachievers. (www.SENGifted.org) .

Page 37: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT—WHAT THE DISTRICT IS DOING

WELL

The district recognized the need for program improvement and initiated a study of the gifted program.

Page 38: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT RECOMMENDATIONS

Gifted facilitators, teachers, and administrators need to discuss and determine an appropriate continuum of gifted programming K-12.

Observations in regular classrooms should be ongoing so gifted teachers can see what students are learning in regular education, and how they are learning it.

Teachers of the gifted should visit other programs.

Page 39: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT RECOMMENDATIONS

Gifted facilitators should be involved in professional development in the following areas: Differentiating content Process Product Creativity Problem solving Ascending levels of difficulty

PAGE Conference April 2010, Mars, PA On-line or On-site coursework

Page 40: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT RECOMMENDATIONS

All teachers need ongoing professional development to understand the characteristics of gifted students, programming options, meeting the needs of gifted students in the regular ed. program, and their role in the GIEP process.

Page 41: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

PROGRAM EVALUATION-WHAT THE DISTRICT IS DOING WELL

Program evaluation in 2008-2009 school year has been a cooperative model involving administrators, parents, teachers, and students. The report from each focus group shows interest and enthusiasm for the study and support for change. The on site program study was completed on May 13 and 14, 2009 with recommendations included in this report.

Page 42: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

PROGRAM EVALUATION-WHAT THE DISTRICT IS DOING WELL

The program review was initiated by the administrative assistant to the superintendent who was completely open to the structure of the on-site study. He attended each focus group session, listened with an open mind, and responded positively to suggestions. In one instance two middle school girls talked about the facility and a need for a trash can, so they could clean up after making a creative project. He immediately called maintenance for one. The young ladies were impressed that their ideas mattered.

Page 43: Gifted Support Program.  Teacher of Gifted Students K-12  Author  Gifted Curriculum Coordinator  Instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

PROGRAM EVALUATION-WHAT THE DISTRICT IS DOING WELL

Each focus group offered suggestions from their observations and experiences. The parents and students appreciate this initiative and are very positive about the administrators, teachers and the program.