Developing Talents in Kindergarten
Kindergarten services are consultative. AIG Specialists attend Buncombe County Schools' Kindergarten Open House to share information regarding K-12 AIG programs, services, and research. The AIG/Advanced Learning Lead participates in “Ready for Kindergarten”, a community partnership for incoming families of Kindergarten students. AIG Specialists are available to attend PLCs in schools and/or provide differentiation strategies or professional development as needed. AIG Specialists are also available for parent conferences with advanced learners in Kindergarten to provide resources for advanced learning activities in the home. We have a Kindergarten Enrichment Team that gathers and shares research, differentiation strategies, book lists, activities and enrichment opportunities with teachers and parents of advanced Kindergarten students.
First grade - Problem Solvers
First grade students receive both direct and indirect services. During the first quarter of the school year, the AIG Specialist observes first graders in the regular classroom; then the AIG Specialist and classroom teacher will nominate students for the Problem Solvers enrichment model based on observations and small group activity student performance. At the beginning of the second quarter, first graders work directly with the AIG Specialists for a minimum of 30 consecutive minutes every two weeks. Participation in Problem Solvers is flexible and fluid based on regular classroom and enrichment class performance.
AIG Specialists communicate, consult, and collaborate with teachers, providing additional indirect services for these advanced learners. Additionally, AIG Specialists and teachers regularly review summative assessments, formative assessments, benchmark assessments, and/or universal screening assessments to identify students who are performing well above grade level or who are considered advanced learners within their local learning environments.
Second grade - Problem Solvers
Second grade students also receive direct and indirect services. Second graders participate in our Problem Solvers enrichment model for a minimum of 30 minutes weekly. Teachers use a standardized checklist of gifted behaviors to recommend students for participation; AIG Specialists collaborate with teachers to ensure that students from special populations are recognized and included. Advanced learners within their local learning environments are also served through the Problem Solvers enrichment model.
AIG Specialists and teachers regularly review summative assessments, formative assessments, benchmark assessments, and/or universal screening assessments to identify students who are performing well above grade level or who are considered advanced within their local learning environments. Consultative service through collaboration between the AIG Specialist and the classroom teacher provides additional support to these advanced learners.
Third grade - Talent Development Program
Because third graders experience a large amount of standardized evaluations due to state requirements, an additional year of developing talent is implemented to both minimize student stress and strengthen the body of evidence required for AIG identification. Also, talents are developed another year in our special populations of advanced learners, laying the groundwork for future AIG identification in those populations. Our advisory groups and AIG Specialists supported the creation of our Talent Development program in 3rd grade because it allows a greater number of students to receive talent development services before formal evaluation for identification in 4th grade.
Third grade students receive direct and indirect services from the AIG Specialist. Students receive enrichment through the Talent Development Program for a minimum of 45 consecutive minutes weekly. Students can be recommended for Talent Development groups by their teachers at the end of the 2nd grade year and/or by their 3rd grade teachers throughout the school year. A variety of data is used for these recommendations, with focus on student performance in local learning environments.
Through participation in grade-level PLCs and school-wide “Data Digs”, AIG Specialists and teachers regularly review summative assessments, formative assessments, benchmark assessments, universal screening assessments, Reading-Beginning of Grade Test, and/or End of Grade (EOG) Tests to identify students who are consistently performing well above grade level in their local learning environments. Multiple indicators are considered on an ongoing basis in addition to collaboration between the AIG Specialist and classroom teacher. In addition to Talent Development pull out groups, consultative service through collaboration between the AIG Specialist and the classroom teacher is provided for all advanced learners.
AIG Services, Grades 4-12
It is imperative that gifted learners are provided programs and services that reflect equity and excellence and are an integral part of the comprehensive instructional program. Gifted learners require challenging, differentiated curriculum and instruction; yet, their curriculum must evolve from the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. This requires the development of curriculum, programs, and services that connect to the NC SCOS but also meet gifted students' academic and intellectual needs.
Services must match the Differentiated Education Plan (DEP) of each student identified. The DEP is aligned with the identification area, thus the needs of the student. For example, if a student is identified as AM (Academically Gifted in Math), service on the DEP would include Math clustering, math pull-out enrichment, and heterogeneous grouping within clusters in the math classroom.