• Mountainside School District
    Gifted and Talented Program

    2020-2021

     

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    Program Goals

    To provide students with high abilities in one or more areas with opportunities that will challenge them in regular classroom settings, as well as accelerated enrichment programs that will enable them to make continuous progress in school. All aspects of programming and criteria will follow Mountainside School District Board of Education policy 2464.

     

    Program Structure:

    • Students will be evaluated annually for acceptance, and continuation within the District's gifted and talented program.  Evaluation of criteria will take place at the beginning of each school year and within 30 days of entrance for new students.
    • All enrollment in Gifted and Talented programming is fluid, and continued participation and/or entry to the program is contingent upon maintaining classroom performance while participating in additional enrichment learning opportunities. 
    • Gifted and Talented projects and programs in grades K-5 will be managed by the supplemental gifted and talented teacher in each building. This staff member will work with the classroom teachers, families, administrators, and most importantly the students to support students along pathways of individualized learning interests and strengths. 
    • In grades 6-8, gifted and talented students will be guided by their Guidance Counselor, as well as their classroom teachers.
    • Students will be evaluated based upon multiple measures including, but not limited to those identified in Board Policy 2464.  
    • Parents of students identified for participation in the program will be notified of their child's acceptance as well as the program structure and expectations.

    Identification Criteria

    Student eligibility for gifted and talented will be evaluated through the use of multiple measures including the following:

    • Grades K-2: 
      • iReady LAL/Math Benchmarks (Grades 1 & 2)
      • Running Record Levels 
      • Teacher observation and classroom progress
        • Students who exceed the grade level criteria from above will also be evaluated through additional standards-based assessments to determine mastery of advanced standards
    • Grades 3-5
      • iReady LAL and Math Benchmarks 
      • Running Record Levels 
      • District created performance task
      • Prior year state assessment scores (NJSLA ELA/Math/Science - when available)
      • CoGAT testing (to be administered at the end of Grade 2 beginning in spring of 2021)

     

    • Grades 6-8:
      • LinkIt LAL and Math Benchmarks 
      • District created performance task
      • Prior year state assessment scores (NJSLA ELA/Math/Science - when available)
      • CoGAT testing (to be administered at the end of Grade 5 beginning in spring of 2021)

     

      • Honors level courses / Advanced Math Courses will utilize the following:
        • Subject area honors placement test
        • NWEA / MAP Winter Assessment
        • Average of all Grade 5 Chapter Tests (Grade 6 math only)
        • Grade 5 End of Year Math Assessment
        • Prior year state assessment scores (NJSLA ELA/Math/Science - when available)

    Continuum of Services

    • The Mountainside School District's Gifted and Talented program will provide students with high abilities in one or more areas with opportunities that will challenge them in regular classroom settings, as well as accelerated enrichment programs that will enable them to make continuous progress in school. The services will span grades K-8 and will be provided through the following continuum:
      • Grades K-2: 
        • Identified students will be grouped within the home classroom environment and provided with enrichment opportunities through differentiated instruction. This differentiation will be facilitated daily by the classroom teacher.
          • Reading/Math specialists and additional staff will be available to support teachers by providing enrichment materials, project-based tasks, and suggestions for personalized learning opportunities as needed.  
        • H.A.M.S.T.E.R (humanities, arts, math, science, technology, engineering, and reading) In this class, all students will be immersed in educational experiences to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills across multiple subject areas. Students will think critically before taking action. They will ask questions, imagine solutions, generate ideas, and then plan, collect, and present data.   

                                                    

      • Grades 3-5: 
        • Identified students will be grouped within the home classroom environment and provided with enrichment opportunities through differentiated instruction. This differentiation will be facilitated daily by the classroom teacher. 
          • Reading/Math specialists and additional staff will be available to support teachers by providing enrichment materials, project-based tasks, and suggestions for personalized learning opportunities as needed.
        • Identified students will also participate in scheduled remote sessions with the supplemental Gifted & Talented teacher.         

                                                                                    

      • Grade 6-8: 
        • Identified students have the opportunity to be placed in accelerated and Honors level academic courses. These courses are designed around a philosophy of curriculum compacting and acceleration.
        • Identified students will also be eligible to participate in scheduled remote sessions with the supplemental Gifted & Talented teacher.