• Pompton Lakes Public Schools

    Gifted and Talented Identification, Screening, & Programming

    Per N.J.A.C. 6A:8-3.1 & P.L. Board Policy 2464

    What defines a student as gifted and talented?

    The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) defines gifted students as: "Those students who possess or demonstrate high levels of ability, in one or more content areas, when compared to their chronological peers in the local district and who require modification of their educational program if they are to achieve in accordance with their capabilities."  

    Advanced students are those with outstanding intellectual or academic abilities, in one or more content areas, when compared to their chronological peers in the local district.  

    Students can also be considered twice exceptional.  According to the National Association of Gifted Children (NAGC), the term “twice-exceptional,” also referred to as “2e,” is used to describe gifted children who have the characteristics of gifted students with the potential for high achievement and have one or more disabilities as defined by federal or state eligibility criteria. 

    Academic Characteristics of Gifted Learners

    • Rapid Learners

    • Highly Curious

    • Advanced Readers and Writers

    • Many Interests

    • Abstract & Complex Thinkers

    Social & Emotional Characteristics of Gifted Learners

    • Expectations of Idealism/Justice

    • See NAGC for more Social & Emotional Characteristics

    A Bright Child …

    • Knows the answers

    • Shows interest in topics

    • Has good ideas

    • Works hard

    • Learns with ease

    • Understands ideas

    • Enjoys school

    • Memorizes Quickly

    A Gifted Learner …

    • Asks the questions

    • Is highly curious

    • Has divergent, sometimes wild ideas

    • May not have to work hard to test well

    • Already knows

    • Requires 1-2 repetitions for mastery

    • Constructs abstractions

    • Manipulates information

    • Creates a new design

    • Enjoys learning

     

    How will these students be served in the Pompton Lakes Public Schools?

    The Pompton Lakes School District will provide a continuum of services for the exceptional learner, designed to address specific needs and levels of giftedness from Kindergarten through grade 12. According to the New Jersey Strengthening Gifted and Talented Education Act (2019), “instructional adaptation" means an adjustment or modification to instruction enabling a student who is gifted and talented to participate in, benefit from, and demonstrate knowledge and application of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards in one or more content areas at the instructional level of the student, not just the student’s grade level.

    Kindergarten through Grade 2

    Students identified as advanced learners in the primary grades will receive instructional adaptation, which will be provided by the general education teacher. Such educators will leverage technology in addition to other evidence-based instructional practices to increase access to high-level programming.

    Grades 3-5

    Students identified as advanced learners in the primary grades will receive weekly instructional adaptation, which will be provided by the general education teacher or be enrolled in an academically talented course and attend at least 1x per week. Such educators will leverage technology in addition to other evidence-based instructional practices to increase access to high-level programming.

    Grades 6-8

    Students identified as advanced learners will be enrolled in an academically talented course and attend at least 1x per week where they will participate in enrichment and project-based* initiatives that integrate ELA, Mathematics and S.T.E.A.M.. Educators will leverage technology to increase access to high-level programming by providing digital learning options.  Students identified as advanced learners in Math or ELA may receive academic instruction at the accelerated or honors level.  

    Grades 9-12

    Students identified as advanced learners in secondary grades may receive academic instruction at the honors and/or advanced placement level in all major content areas and in specialized courses as identified in the Pompton Lakes School Program of Study. Advanced coursework affords students the opportunity to master accelerated curriculum as well as earn college credits through dual enrollment.

     

    Gifted and Talented Identification, Screening, & Programming 

    Per N.J.A.C. 6A:8-3.1 & P.L. Board Policy 2464 

    1. Phase 1: General Identification

    1. Students in Grades K, 2, 5, 7, and 9 will be administered a standardized test of cognitive skills (e.g. CogAT Grade K, 2, 5, & 7) and/or the PSAT (Grade 9)) to establish a pool of students who might qualify for Gifted and Talented services, ensuring an equitable process. This universal screening process involves formal designated times at which students in Grades K, 2, 5, 7, & 9 are assessed, including students whose primary language is not English and students with disabilities (Morgan, 2020).  Dates will be determined and posted on the district website via the annual Notification of Standardized District Testing. 

    2. Screening methods at all other grade levels will rely on multi-measure student data points that are readily available for all students (e.g., standardized scores taken for state assessments; scores from formative/summative classroom assessments; and/or student portfolios).

    3. Comprehensive screening may also include recommendations from students, teachers, parents/guardians and counselors to suggest names of individuals who might need services. Other applicable assessments such as WIDA ACCESS 2.0 or the WISC-V may be viewed as part of the screening as determined by appropriate district personnel. School staff will be provided with training resources to assist with the identification process for all students including multilingual learners and twice exceptional (2e) students. The recommendation questionnaire is available by clicking here.  

    4. Universal screening should also be ongoing to allow for identification throughout the school year and to increase the representation of low-income and minority students in gifted education (Card & Giuliano, 2016; Yaffe, 2019).

    5. All students recognized in this phase move to the next phase in the identification process. 

     

    2. Phase 2: Screening Students for Eligibility

    1. The purpose of this phase is to review the students, determining which students would benefit from formal identification and services. At this phase all the data points are reviewed by a committee. The committee includes the school principal or designee, a school counselor representative, a member of the child study team or ESL program (if applicable), a designated department chairperson or supervisor, and a designated Gifted and Talented teacher who review indicators that may demonstrate eligibility for services. Such indicators that may be used are highlighted on the NJDOE’s Multiple Pathways/Universal Screening tool

    2. A given student may be designated as clearly needing or not needing gifted services, as potentially eligible at a later review, or as tentatively placed to see whether the available services are a good match. In the decision-making process it is essential to remember that no single piece of evidence should disqualify a student, but any single piece of evidence that is strong enough can reveal a need for services (Schultz, 2018; Yaffe, 2019).

    3. Students who receive the following scores on the CogAt or PSAT may be considered for Gifted and Talented services:

    Gifted and Talented Eligibility Scores 

    CogAt (Kindergarten)

    Stanine score of 7 or higher

    PSAT (Grade 9)

    English - 600 or higher  Math - 540 or higher

     

    1. Information regarding the student’s identification of being found eligible for Gifted and Talented services will be captured in the district’s student information system (OnCourse SIS) each year and be submitted to the NJDOE per its reporting requirements.  

    2. The identification process itself will be periodically reviewed to make sure that it is valid for the population being served and the types of services being provided.

    3. Phase 3: Programming  

    1. Services provided in the Pompton Lakes School District may include one or more of the following: differentiated experiences in the general education classroom, self-contained accelerated classes provided in school or virtually, invitations to content-specific accelerated events (e.g. Rube Goldberg Challenge, Battle of the Books, Debate Team, Artistically Talented, etc.) and/or independent study. Based on a comprehensive review of the student's strengths and needs and the availability of services within the district, the best match for services can then be made. 

    2. Students whose first language is not English, students who also have a disability, and students whose experiences may not have prepared them for advanced academic challenges may need special consideration in the configuration of their services (Novak, Lewis, & Weber, 2020).

    *Annual Review: 5/15/24

     

    Gifted and Talented Recommendation Form

     

    District Gifted and Talented Board of Education Policy 2464

     

    District Policy 9130 - Public Complaints and Grievances

     

    **To translate any of these documents into another language, set the district homepage to your desired language by clicking on Translate. 

    ** Para traducir cualquiera de estos documentos a otro idioma, configure la página de inicio del distrito en el idioma que desee haciendo clic en Traducir.

    ** Për të përkthyer ndonjë prej këtyre dokumenteve në një gjuhë tjetër, vendosni faqen kryesore të rrethit në gjuhën tuaj të dëshiruar duke klikuar në Përkthe.

    ** لترجمة أي من هذه المستندات إلى لغة أخرى ، اضبط الصفحة الرئيسية للمنطقة على لغتك التي تريدها من خلال النقر على ترجمة.