Gifted and Talented Sections
Maryland State Definition of Giftedness
The Annotated Code of Maryland § 8-201 defines a gifted and talented student as “an elementary or secondary student who is identified by professionally qualified individuals as having outstanding talent and performing, or showing the potential for performing, at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared with other students of a similar age, experience or environment.”
TCPS Program Goals
- To provide services to challenge students who demonstrate advanced learning capabilities and nurture those who show potential for high levels of performance.
- To ensure equitable access for ALL students, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, and physical or learning disability.
- To provide staff development for all personnel who work with advanced students including administrators, teachers, and school counselors.
TCPS Gifted and Talented Identification Process
According to COMAR, districts are to utilize three data points in the identification process of Gifted and Talented (GT) students. Districts utilize scores from behavioral assessments, cognitive assessments and achievement indicators. From PK to 2nd grade, all students engage in Primary Talent Development (PTD) lessons, taught by the GT teacher. Students are observed for specific learning behaviors, such as creativity, resourcefulness, and persistence. Universal screening begins in Kindergarten with the administration of the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT-3). In third grade, students are assessed with the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT). Students with superior scores, on either assessment, are identified for the TCPS Gifted and Talent Program.
The TCPS GT team has been gathering data for over 3 years that has enabled us to identify student profiles that are successful in our problem-based, cross-curricular, program. It has been found that there is a correlation between CogAT performance, PARCC scores, and behavioral/performance scales. Students who do well tend to have scored well in each of the three areas, with an exception in one way. Students who score below a superior rating, along with high scores on PARCC and behavioral/performance scales, have been able to perform in the curriculum, but with struggle. Students who entered the program through referrals and have scored far below a superior rating on the CogAT, and/or have lower scores in the other two areas, have had difficulty in the curriculum by 5th/6th Grade.
Talent Development PK-2nd Grade
The GT Identification Process begins with Primary Talent Development in PK-2nd grade and the administration of the NNAT-3 in Kindergarten.
GT teachers will deliver Primary Talent Development lessons. Classroom teachers and GT Teachers will observe all students and identify students who are demonstrating advanced capabilities with respect to analytical thinking, creativity, and task commitment.
Students in 1st and 2nd grade that are identified on the NNAT3 will receive specialized pull-out instruction throughout the school year.
Talent Development 3rd-5th Grade
In grade 3, the Gifted and Talented Identification process continues with the administration of the CogAT. In addition to those previously identified on the NNAT-3, students identified on the CogAT will receive GT pull-out services in grades 3-5. GT teachers will implement specific curriculum and best practices to provide an appropriate program that will challenge gifted students. These programs promote advanced work in interdisciplinary units, utilizing William and Mary curriculum.
Talent Development 6th-8th Grade
A dedicated Gifted and Talented class is available for students in grades 6-7. These courses balance aspects of advanced math, applied sciences, research, technology use, and engineering. Students engage in algebraic concepts, environmental mysteries (6th) or medical mysteries (7th), and exploration through research and the scientific method through the flipped classroom instruction approach.
Additionally, a variety of Gateway to Technology classes are offered, including, but not limited to, Automation and Robotics, Design and Modeling, Medical Detectives, and Pre-Engineering. These classes are available for all students in grades 6 – 8.
Advanced/accelerated math is also available for students in 7th Grade. Students in grades 7-8 may also qualify for advanced courses in Algebra I and Spanish I. These courses are taken for high school credit. Opportunities exist for students to pursue interests in theatre and the arts.
Talent Development 9th-12th Grade
Talbot County high schools provide programs for advanced students in a variety of academic subject areas.
Advanced Placement courses are offered in a variety of subject areas. Advanced Placement courses are challenging and rigorous studies comparable to college-level work. They provide opportunities for students to take national exams and receive advanced placement in college, college credit, or both.
Career and Completer Courses
Programs including Biomedical Science, Pre-engineering, Interactive Media Production and Curriculum for Agriculture Science Education are offered. Students completing the curriculum sequences may earn college credits.
Pre-professional students may participate in their junior and senior years. Placements might include but are not limited to, veterinary science, medicine, law, education, and biological sciences.
Juniors and seniors may take courses at Chesapeake College. Students earn both high school and college credits. Certain restrictions may apply. Program information is available from high school counselors.
Each school implements a procedure consistent with Talbot County Public Schools’ guidelines for talent-spotting students. Multiple criteria are used, which include standardized test results, a variety of rating scales, and teacher and/or parent recommendations. Teachers and school-based grade-level teams consisting of the school counselor, principal or designee review data each spring to determine student needs for the following school year. Students are assigned to cluster groups that are part of the heterogeneously-grouped classroom and provide an opportunity for students to work with others who have similar needs. Students may be accelerated through total grade advancement, or by grade advancement for a specific subject. (See Board policy 9.31)