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North Star Schools Gifted and Talented Program

 

Philosophy Statement:

North Star Schools acknowledges the responsibility to provide services that meet the needs of all students to develop their potential. Highly capable students have special needs, as a result of a wide range of abilities and talents. North Star School District is committed to providing these identified students with a learning environment, flexible enough to allow diversity of options in order to maximize their potential. The District will provide a program that is qualitatively differentiated from the regular program, varied in depth, breadth, complexity and pace. (Adapted from the Golden Triangle Curriculum Committee Standards)

 

Identification Process:

The "Montana Gifted Program Planning Guide" states: Montana schools must use comprehensive and appropriate measures in identifying gifted and talented students at every level; including kindergarten through twelfth grade. Generally, five to ten percent of a school's population might be identified as gifted/high-ability/high potential. Identification and placement for gifted and talented students shall not be determined by only one particular instrument. High achievement scores shall be only one form of criteria. North Star Schools will use IQ scores, achievement data, and data from referral instruments. The initial step will be an analysis of the student's most recent achievement scores. Achievement data may include test results from: ITBS, CRT, DIEBLS, PLAN, ACT or other assessments administered by the school. Second, teachers and students will complete a survey regarding behavioral characteristics and educational challenges. The form will be a checklist describing particular character traits of a student who demonstrates learning and thinking characteristics that are noticeably different from, or more advanced than, their peers. If needed the final instrument for identification will include an achievement test (Woodcock Johnson) given by the Bear Paw Cooperative School Psychologist. Once students are identified, they will be tagged in the AIMS program.

 

Professional Development:

North Star Schools Staff will work with Golden Triangle to offer professional development for awareness and intervention strategies for such behaviors like --perfectionism, depression, isolation, suicide, etc. Differentiated instruction strategies will be taught to staff and encouraged to be utilized. Participation in Montana Association of Gifted and Talented Program Conferences and workshops will also be encouraged.

 

Services and Activities:  Gifted and Talented students will be informed of opportunities available to them outside the school. Opportunities may include, but are not limited to--Gifted and Talented Summer Camps, Academic Challenges, Educational Workshops and other activities where students may interact with individuals outside the school environment.

Advanced Placement is offered for senior English. Students may take the AP English course and take the examination - administered by the North Star Counselor. Upperclassmen that have or will have completed the North Star graduation requirements will be permitted to take on-line college courses during the academic school day.