Gifted Program

Gifted Lead Teacher

Paula Poss

 Gifted and Talented Program:
Excel is a K-8 program of study. Students in kindergarten through fifth grade will be served using the innovative model, meaning students will be pulled from regular classes, along with other high achieving students, to participate in the gifted classes. Students will receive the equivalent of five 45-minute sessions with a gifted-certified instructor each week.  Those students identified as gifted may also receive additional services within a cluster group setting if their homeroom teacher is also certified as gifted.  Students qualify for this additional service based on CRCT, ITBS, GPA, and teacher recommendation.

Program Goals:
•    To identify gifted students of all grade levels using a variety of means which recognize all forms of exceptionality
•    To use information gained during the assessment process to identify specific areas of strength and interest
•    To provide instructional opportunities in those areas of strength and interest revealed during the assessment process

Curriculum Goals:

    Our gifted curriculum will provide opportunities for identified students to: ➢    achieve proficiency in areas and disciplines of the prescribed district gifted curriculum; ➢    excel in areas of individual interest or study, develop creative products, and share results of these studies with the appropriate audiences;
➢    learn to make informed decisions and integrate processes of thinking to resolve issues both cooperatively and independently;
➢    demonstrate personal growth through the development of positive attitudes, leadership skills, and community and cultural involvement;
➢    develop skills to become an effective communicator using various forms of media; and
➢    develop self-awareness in order to learn to cope with their weaknesses, to explore and appreciate their strengths, and to see oneself as acceptable.

Frequently Asked Questions:
What is a gifted student?
  A gifted student is one who demonstrates a high degree of intellectual, creative and/or artistic ability(ies), possesses exceptional leadership skills, or excels in specific academic fields and who needs special instruction and/or special ancillary services to achieve at levels commensurate with his or her abilities.

How do students qualify for Excel?

  The "Multiple Criteria Rule" mandates that information be gathered in each of four categories: mental ability, achievement, creativity, and motivation. A student must meet criteria in any three of the four categories to qualify for gifted program placement, with at least one of the criteria being met by a score on a nationally-normed test. Any test score used to establish eligibility should be current within two years.

What tests are used to qualify students for Excel?
  The following tests or checklists are used in Dawson County for the purpose of evaluating students for the gifted program:
Mental ability - CogAt - Cognitive Abilities Test
Achievement - SAT9 - Stanford Achievement Test or ITBS - Iowa Test of Basic Skills
Creativity - TTCT - Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (Figural Edition)
Motivation - Renzulli/Hartman Motivation Behavioral Checklist (K-4) or Product/Performance
GPA - Grade Point Average for fourth and fifth graders or Product/Performance

When are students tested for Excel?
Dawson County students are tested during the months of October and April.

What should I do if I want to refer my child for gifted testing?
Contact your child's homeroom teacher or Paula Poss, Gifted Lead Teacher, to receive the Parent Referral forms. These forms must be turned in by September 15th (for testing in October) or February 10th (for testing in April). As in any evaluation process, you will be asked to give permission for the evaluation to take place.