Nomination, Identification, and Placement Guidelines
The Benton School District Gifted Program strives to provide educational experiences that extend beyond the classroom curriculum and that build creative and critical thinking. In order to place in our program a student must show an interaction of high or superior ability, task commitment, and creativity.
Act 445 of 1983, the Quality of Education Act, established minimum standards for accreditation of public schools and authorized the State Board to appoint a committee to recommend regulations and minimum standards. The Standards and Accreditation of Arkansas Public Schools of 1984 included a provision that all districts must provide a program for gifted/talented students. The State Board of Education approved rules and regulations, known as Gifted and Talented Program Approval Standards, in 1987.
The Arkansas definition of Gifted and Talented students serves as a guide in providing services and opportunities for students identified as gifted and talented in Arkansas. This definition follows: Gifted and talented children and youth are those of high potential or ability whose learning characteristics and educational needs require qualitatively differentiated educational experiences and/or services. Possession of these talents and gifts, or the potential for their development, will be evidenced through an interaction of above average intellectual ability, task commitment and/or motivation, and creative ability.
A comprehensive identification plan for the Benton School District is based on the research and recommendations of experts in the field and the guidelines found in the Gifted and Talented Program Approval Standards. The purpose of identification is to find and serve those students who need special programs to develop their exceptional abilities.
BENTON SCHOOLS GUIDELINES:
- Nominations are accepted from students, parents, teachers, counselors, and administrators.
- Students may nominate themselves.
- All nominations are sent to the parent or legal guardian to ensure permission to assess.
- Students are assigned an individual identification number to maintain confidentiality and impartiality.
- During first grade whole group enrichment activities taught by a Gifted and Talented Facilitator, the classroom teacher and facilitator collect observation data to be added to the screening information.
- Teachers and parents of nominated students complete a behavioral rating scale.
- Proficiency data is gathered from various district and state level assessments available at the time of screening.
- Parental permission is obtained initially before any testing occurs.
- All nominated students are given a creativity assessment.
- All nominated students are given an assessment to measure potential intellectual ability.
- All student data is kept confidential. Records on all nominated students will be kept for a minimum of five years or as long as needed for educational decisions.
- Parents may request a conference with the Gifted and Talented Coordinator to review their child’s assessment data.
- Data is collected from all stakeholders. All information is placed on a student profile sheet with the student’s identification number.
- A selection committee of at least five members studies the individual data and makes suggestions for placement. This committee can include, but is not limited to, the Gifted and Talented Coordinator, Gifted and Talented Facilitators, counselors, classroom teachers, and building administrators.
- Once an initial impartial decision is made, the committee looks at the data on students for which additional information is needed to determine a placement decision. The committee decides what additional assessments are needed and the timeline for which these should occur.
- If additional information is needed, parents are contacted for further appraisal. Additional information may include individually administered intelligence tests, additional assessments to measure creativity and ability, student samples, or observational data.
- Multiple criteria are used in identification. No single score is ever used to include or exclude a child from the program.
- Procedures used in the identification process are non-discriminatory with respect to race, cultural or economic background, religion national origin sec, or handicapping condition.
- Notification of placement decisions are sent to all parents regardless of placement decision.
- All placed students must sign and return permission to place to the Gifted and Talented Coordinator before services can begin.
- If the selection committee determines that the student does not qualify for gifted services at the time of screening, the student must wait a year to be screened again.
- Should a parent/guardian/student disagree with the selection committee’s placement decision, it should be communicated to the Gifted and Talented Coordinator in writing.
- The coordinator will review the data with the parents and discuss possible options from the selection committee.
- If a consensus on the decision cannot be reached between all parties, the dissatisfied party will be asked to make a signed written appeal that contains the following: a short statement of their disagreement and any additional information which might be useful in a review of the placement decision.
- The selection committee will meet within 10 school days of receiving the written appeal and discuss the data. The parent or guardian will receive a letter notifying them of the appeal decision.