In striving to meet the needs of all students, the elementary schools in GISD have established a gifted program that responds to the unique characteristics and needs of gifted students. In accordance with the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted and Talented Students, the elementary schools serve gifted students in the area of general intellectual ability in grades K-5. The Texas state definition of giftedness is as follows: “…gifted and talented students means a child or youth who performs at or shows the potential for performing at a remarkably high level of accomplishment when compared to others of the same age, experience, or environment and who: exhibits high performance capability in an intellectual, creative, or artistic area; possesses an unusual capacity for leadership; excels in a specific academic field.”
The primary delivery method of G/T services for grades K-5 is through a pull-out program. The pull-out program provides gifted children with the opportunity to work with other gifted children on an advanced curriculum that utilizes a variety of differentiation strategies.
The curriculum used within the elementary G/T program provides students with an array of learning experiences that promote “...self-directed learning, thinking, research, and communication as evidenced by the development of innovative products and performances that reflect individuality and creativity and are advanced in relation to students of similar age, experience, or environment (State Goal for Services for Gifted/Talented Students).” The curriculum is also aligned with and includes the Texas Performance Standards Project (see below).
In addition, the curriculum centers on a universal theme each year as follows:
Texas Performance Standards Project
The Texas Performance Standards Project (TPSP) is a resource for providing differentiated instruction to gifted/talented (G/T) students. The TPSP provides a coherent package of standards, curriculum, and assessments for use in G/T programs from kindergarten through high school.
The goal of the TPSP is to provide the opportunity for G/T students to create professional quality work in alignment with the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students.
At each grade level, the TPSP provides guidelines for independent learning experiences and research projects. The projects, or “tasks,” are based on the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and focus on the foundation content areas of English language arts and reading, mathematics, science, and social studies with interdisciplinary connections. More information can be found at www.texaspsp.org.