1. Provide challenging curriculum that aligns with and extends beyond the regular classroom curriculum. According to the Indiana Department of Education Service Options for Students with High Abilities in Indiana, "If students of high ability are to make continuous intellectual growth and 'adequate yearly progress' as defined by No Child Left Behind, then students of high ability must be taught curriculum that ensures they will learn something new every day."
- The curriculum will be mapped so teachers can create a cohesive program for students allowing them to continue to develop each year academically, recognizing that there is little need to overlap and repeat content with high ability students. There will be on-going communication between the grade levels regarding this curriculum map due to the fact that teachers recognize the curriculum pace may require some flexibility depending on students' needs.
- The curriculum will be such that the academic standards will be addressed at an accelerated pace that is at the level of rigor appropriate for high ability students. Teachers will use pre-assessment data to determine appropriate levels of acceleration.
- Teachers of high ability students will be provided above-level resources and materials through textbook adoptions as well as supplemental enrichment materials through the program coordinator. Community resources will also be utilized by providing opportunities for students to engage in special programs, internships, and mentorships when appropriate.
- Students in grades K through 5 will be placed in clusters and/or self-contained classrooms with like ability peers for instruction in language arts and mathematics in order to maintain appropriate levels of acceleration. In accordance with Indiana Department of Education Service Options for Students with High Abilities in Indiana, "It is best that these classes not also have another special needs group." (unless a student is identified as twice exceptional)
- In grades 6 through 8, advanced course offerings will be available to students in the areas of language arts and mathematics.
- In grades 9 through 12, advanced classes, Honors classes, Advanced Placement, and dual enrollment will be offered to high ability students in various subjects including language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and foreign language.
2. Provide support for the unique social and emotional needs of high ability students. According to Robinson, Shore, & Enersen in Best Practices in Gifted Education (2007), "...it must be understood there are unique stresses and dynamic issues associated with a person's giftedness. It is important to consider all of the dimensions of a gifted child's life: academic, self-concept, social skills and well-being, emotional health and talent maturation."
- 1.The counselor, advisory, and/or homeroom teacher will conduct special small group discussions with an emphasis on topics that impact high ability students.
- 2. At the elementary level (K-5) students will be placed in clusters and/or self-contained classrooms with like ability peers with teachers who are aware of the social and emotional characteristics of high ability students.
- 3. A corporation guidance and counseling plan is in place, which specifies the specific needs of high ability students. All teachers will be presented with this plan in order to understand their role related to the development of social and emotional aspects of high ability students.
3. Provide professional development opportunities to train those working with high ability students on how to meet their needs. As stated in Gifted Program Standards a publication by the National Association for Gifted Children, "Gifted education is a specialized field of study. Teaching gifted learners reflects particular knowledge and competencies. Therefore, those who are most qualified to teach gifted learners are those who have participated in a gifted education professional development program."
- 1. The coordinator will provide training sessions to those teachers working with high ability students during in-service days, common planning times and faculty meetings.
- 2. Teachers and other staff will be strongly encouraged to participate in workshops, coursework, and training in the area of high ability education by providing release time and financial assistance to teachers for such training.
- 3. Counselors will have training in the social and emotional needs of high ability students.
- 4. Per Indiana Code, regular meetings of the Broad Based Planning Committee will take place at the minimum of twice per year. This will help to ensure communication regarding best practices in the field of gifted education.