How does a student become identified as gifted in APS?
A Referral for Gifted Services initiates the evaluation process. This referral can be made by anyone– a parent, teacher, or even the student. A referral can be submitted to Mrs. Reilly from the beginning of the school year until April 1, however it is preferred that referrals not be submitted until the second quarter because it allows teachers to approach the referral file with a greater understanding of the student’s abilities.
Once a referral is submitted, the teachers will begin collecting/generating work samples, observational notes, and testing data that will be used during the gifted identification meeting. This meeting, which will be attended by the teacher, administration, and Resource Teacher for the Gifted, will be held to evaluate the student’s file, and determine whether or not gifted services should be provided to the student. Since parents are not a participant in the meeting, we ask that the Parent Information Form (sent to each family after the referral is submitted) is completed so that it can be added to the file as a way for parents to share their insights about their child.
Students can be found eligible for gifted services in Math, Language Arts, Science, and/or Social Studies as early as the end of Kindergarten, although identification at this young age is not typical. Once a child is in third grade, he or she may be identified in Music or Visual Art.
Once an identification decision is made, notification to the parents will be sent via mail. Gifted services will begin the next school year.
Once a child is identified as gifted, how long does the identification last?
A gifted identification will be part of a student’s file within APS until he/she graduates from high school.
Should I tell my child he/she has been referred for gifted services? Should I tell my child that he/she has been found eligible for gifted services?
As always, talking to your child about educational abilities is a parental decision that needs to be made on an individual basis. However, most parents do not tell their child that they are being referred for gifted services because it can set them up for disappointment if they are not found eligible by the evaluation committee. In terms of telling a child that he/she has been found eligible for gifted services, about 50% of parents in our Tuckahoe community do not tell their children. The teachers at Tuckahoe do not do or say anything to set gifted children apart from other children in the classroom. All teachers utilize small group instruction as part of their daily workshop model, so children taught in a small group for gifted services appear no different than children taught in a small group for any other level of instruction.
What is the Naglieri? What is the CogAt?
The Naglieri and CogAt are ability tests that APS uses as universal screeners for gifted services. An ability test is different than an achievement test in that an ability test measures intelligence in a specific category (nonverbal ability, verbal ability, and quantitative ability). An ability test cannot be studied for since it measures natural ability. Conversely, an achievement test measures if a student has learned information that has been taught– such as an end of unit test or SOL.
The Naglieri is a nonverbal ability test. This test is administered so that we can learn which students have a high natural ability in nonverbal intelligence, since nonverbal intelligence is less likely manifest in the general classroom when compared to verbal or quantitative ability– especially within underserved populations such as English Speakers of other Languages (ESOL). Students who score a 120 or above on the Naglieri are automatically referred for gifted services since nonverbal ability is one indicator of giftedness.
The CogAt is also an ability test, however it provides verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal data points. Students who score 120 or above in any subtest category of the CogAt are automatically referred for gifted services.
- Grade 1- Naglieri (April)
- Grade 2- CogAt (March)
- Grade 3- Naglieri for those who did not take it in Grade 2 (April)
- Grade 4- CogAt (October)
- Grade 5- CogAt for those who did not take it in Grade 4 (October)
How are gifted services delivered at Tuckahoe?
Gifted services are delivered by the homeroom teachers in the general education classroom. Teachers with clusters of gifted students work with Mrs. Reilly (Resource Teacher for the Gifted), Mrs. Zarkowsky (Math Coach) and Mrs. Parrish (Literacy Coach) to plan differentiated instruction that will take place during reading, writing, and math workshop as well as during science and social studies class. The workshop model allows for small group instruction based on pre-assessed data as well as provides a choice of activities for students to access as they progress in each subject area.
What are the components of Mrs. Reilly’s job?
As Resource Teacher for the Gifted, I wear many hats throughout the day!
- I meet with grade level teams at least once per week to plan instruction and ensure that all teachers, not just those housing gifted clusters, have access to higher level resources that can be used in their classrooms.
- I meet individually with cluster teachers to plan and/or coach them through best practices in teaching gifted learners.
- I teach small groups of students during their reading, writing or math workshop. My goal is to have “facetime” with each identified student once per week.
- I manage the gifted identification process (data collection, parent communication, administrative tasks)
- I strive to maintain ongoing parent communication with parents of students identified as gifted as well as those wanting to learn about the program.
My child was identified as gifted as our previous school. How will that work when we come to Tuckahoe?
If your child attended a school in APS the identification will transfer automatically. However, please contact the front office at Tuckahoe over the summer to ensure classroom placement into one of the classes containing a cluster of gifted students.
If your child is coming from a different school district, please try to have identification paperwork with you when registering your child at Tuckahoe and alert the front office staff of the identification so that your child can be properly placed in a classroom with a cluster of gifted students. Also, upon registration, feel free to contact Mrs. Reilly to provide a heads up! That will help get the proper paperwork in place at the start of the school year.
How are gifted services in Art and Music delivered?
Beginning in third grade, a student may be referred for gifted services in Visual Arts and Musical Performance. A referral can be submitted by a teacher, parent, or student.
- Gifted services will be delivered by the child’s music or art teacher during the regularly scheduled music class.
- Music teachers will strive to incorporate projects into their teaching that will allow for a natural extension.
- Parents will receive a gifted services report as part of the child’s final report card detailing the activities and projects from the previous school year.