Gifted & Talented Program
The purpose of the Manchester Township School District’s Gifted and Talented program is to encourage and support academic excellence for students and to assist them in developing their unique abilities, social and emotional growth, and their intellectual capabilities. In order to do so, students who have been identified as ”students who possess or demonstrate high levels of ability in one or more content areas when compared to their chronological peers in the local school district and who require modifications of their educational program if they are to achieve in accordance with their capabilities” N.J.A.C. 6A:8-1.3 are provided with programs that modify content, process, products, and learning environment to meet the needs of these students. The identification process for the Gifted and Talented program includes a yearly review of multiple measures of students.
MTSD offers a Continuum of Services
- Cluster grouping
- Accommodations in the regular classroom
- Curriculum compacting
- Differentiated and tiered instruction
- Pacing (less repetition for gifted learners, even on new content)
- Access to higher level materials
- Push-in: enrichment lessons, tier 1, tier 2, tier 3 (Renzulli)
- Formats: provide multiple options for programming (not a single program)
- Cluster group with teacher who is trained in gifted and talented instruction
- Show modifications in lesson and unit plans
- Pull-out (can be G & T specialist, area specialist, media specialist, tech teacher, guidance counselor)
- Need time in homogeneous group to address social and emotional needs
- I & RS teams consider matching services to needs of gifted students,
- including social and emotional
Students at the elementary level are identified for the gifted and talented program through multiple measures. They are then invited to participate in pull out programs run during the typical school day. The activities are designed to promote critical thinking and accelerate understanding of content and skills. See below for detailed gifted and talented screening procedures.
At the middle school level, identified students are invited to participate in the Gifted and Talented program that runs during the normal school day. Students meet daily to work on enrichment curricular activities designed specifically for them. See below for detailed gifted and talented screening procedures.
- Middle School Gifted and Talented Screening Procedures
- Multiple Measures Grade 6
- MS GT Multiple Measures Grade 7 and 8
Incoming 6th grade students
The Elementary Eligibility Profile along with Renzulli Characteristic Trait Scale, Szabos Observation of Higher Level Performance Sheet and Multiple Measure Form will be sent to the Middle School. Any student that receives a score of 160 or higher will be invited to be a part of the Gifted and Talented program. This data is shared with the Gifted and Talented teacher. A list of Gifted and Talented eligible students is sent out to all of the teachers. If a teacher would like to recommend a student that they believe should be eligible, they may request that a student is evaluated for GT. Math and ELA teachers of that student will be asked to complete the Renzulli Characteristic Trait Scale, Szabos Observation of Higher Level Performance Sheet, and provide a scored writing sample.
High school students are able to develop their unique abilities by participating in Advanced Placement classes. See below for detailed Gifted and Talented screening procedures. Students who demonstrate high levels of ability are also able to nurture their exceptional skills through diverse extra-curricular offerings.
Students New to the District
When new students enter the district, the cumulative file and student records will be reviewed to determine whether students received Gifted and Talented services in the previous district. Assessment results will be reviewed once all beginning of the year testing and benchmarks are complete. Classroom teachers will be given the Renzulli Characteristic Trait Scale and Szabos Observation of Higher Level Performance Sheet to complete. The Gifted and Talented teacher will complete the Eligibility Profile and determine eligibility.
The Ethnicity Report is created and sent to the following individuals: Director of Curriculum, the Technology Supervisor and building Principal. A copy of the Ethnicity Report is then uploaded into folders that contain student letters. Copies of Eligibility Profiles are provided to the building principal.
Teachers have been involved in several professional development opportunities including but not limited to Genius Hour, Guided Inquiry, Differentiated Instruction, Learning Science Institute, Sensitivity Training, ESL, Social Emotional Learning, and addressing the needs of our exceptional students. Teachers at the middle school and high school were also involved during the opening of school in a keynote address that reconnects educators with their passion and purpose while addressing the key, research-based practices that must be in place to ensure that all students learn. A series of sessions will be offered to enhance teachers' professional practice in the critical competencies that impact student achievement: clarity of learning intentions and success criteria; student engagement in meaningful tasks; formative assessment and feedback, and student use of data, self-assessment, and goal-setting. All will be addressed through the introduction, practice, and application of these research-based best practices as they apply to instruction in a digital/virtual setting and/or a "brick and mortar" classroom. Teachers are also provided the opportunity to attend professional development outside of the district as it pertains to the level in which they teach.
Affirmative Action team members conduct a comprehensive needs assessment that reviews gifted and talented enrollment at all levels within the district. During the process, data analysis is conducted and members of the team analyze gender, ethnicity, demographics and race. This helps to ensure that the services provided are proportional to the population within each level throughout the district.
Teachers across the school district participate in County roundtable discussions to articulate and share resources, supports and screening procedures. Teachers meet together in grade level bands to discuss best practices.
Educational Services Staff:
Educational Services staff are provided the opportunity to attend several professional development opportunities including but not limited to Genius Hour, Guided Inquiry, Differentiated Instruction, Sensitivity Training, ESL, and addressing the needs of our exceptional students. Teachers are also provided the opportunity to attend professional development outside of the district as it pertains to the level in which they teach.
School Leaders attend all professional development opportunities that are provided to teachers and educational service staff. Professional development has been provided pertaining to the following topics:
- How to Use Social, Emotional and Academic Data to Support Student Growth
- How to Know Where Kids "Are" & Get Them to Where They Need "To Be"
- Using High-Impact Instructional Practices to Accelerate Achievement
Policies and Procedures
- 2464 - Gifted and Talented Pupils
- 5755 - Equity in Educational Programs and Services
- 2260 - Affirmative Action Program for School and Classroom Practices
- 9130 - Public Complaints and Grievances
- Parents or students may appeal the selection committee’s decision.
- Written notification must be given to the building principal and the gifted and talented teacher stating the request for appeal.
- A meeting will be scheduled with the parent, the gifted and talented teacher, an administrator, and the school psychologist or counselor to discuss the appeal.