Gifted & Talented

Gifted & Talented 2020-2021

Goals of our Program

To provide students with high abilities in one or more areas with opportunities that will challenge them in regular classroom settings, as well as accelerated enrichment programs that will enable them to make continuous progress in school.

Grade Spans of our Programs

  • Identified students in grades K-6 are eligible for participation in the programs at Altantic Highlands and Highlands Elementary schools.
  • Identified students in grades 7-8 are eligible for Pre-Algebra and Enrichment Science/ELA course opportunities at Henry Hudson Regional School
  • Students in grades 9-12 are afford extended opportunities through participation in honors and advanced placement (AP) courses, as well as through differentiation in the regular classroom setting.  We also offer a STEM Academy sequence of courses for eligible students, which follow an accelerated and enriched pace and curriculum. Our robust selection of electives also serves as a vehicle for enrichment opportunities in various areas of student strength and interest. 
  • Please note: Enrollment in elementary G&T programming does NOT guarantee continued enrollment in Enrichment or Pre Algebra courses at Henry Hudson Regional School, nor is a student required to have prior G&T experiences in order to access such courses. Enrichment/Challenge courses at the elementary level are opportunities for enrichment, but do not constitute a "track" for students - the entry and exits to this program are flexible and contingent upon identification and continued student success. In addition, participation in G&T programming is optional for families and students, and we recognize that a number of our students may be gifted and talented, yet choose not to participate in any given year for various reasons.

Identification Process

  1. Multiple-measure identification matrix for academic criteria based on grade-level specific expectations in ELA and Mathematics
    • AHES/HES: 
      • iReady ELA/Math Benchmark
      • Running Record Levels (suspended for the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year)
      • Prior year assessment scores (Spring benchmarks, NJSLA - when available)
      • Class performance
    • HHRS:
      • (entering 7th) iReady Spring benchmark scores from the elementary schools
      • Prior year grades
      • Prior year assessment scores (NJSLA ELA/Math/Science - when available)
  2. If a student meets the academic criteria listed above, the teacher completes an evaluation which measures learning behaviors and areas of exceptional student strength. These areas include core academic areas as well as critical thinking, creativity, leadership, intrinsic motivation, task commitment, and curiosity.

Program Structure:

  • At the elementary level, screening opportunities take place three times per year, and students are flexibly entered and exited from the program at these points. This cycle affords more students with the opportunity to be captured within the screening process, and aligns with our growth-mindset philosophy.
  • All enrollment in Gifted and Talented programming is fluid, and continued participation and/or entry to the program is contingent upon maintaining classroom performance while participating in additional enrichment learning opportunities. 
  • Gifted and Talented projects and programs at the Elementary schools will be managed by the Educational Technology Specialist in each building. This staff member will work with the classroom teachers, families, administrators, and most importantly the students to support students along pathways of individualized learning interests and strengths. 
  • In grades 7-12, gifted and talented students will be guided by their grade level Guidance Counselor, as well as their classroom teachers.

Program Design

  • Grades K-2: Identified students will be grouped within the home classroom environment and provided with enrichment opportunities through differentiated instruction. This differentiation will be facilitated daily by the classroom teacher and supplemented through biweekly push-in visits by a supplemental Gifted & Talented teacher who will provide additional activities and scaffolds in various areas. Pull-out opportunities may also be added periodically, but the central goal is to have each student's individualized learning pursuits integrated into the core classroom setting as much as possible.
    • Please note: Grouping is not synonymous with tracking. “Grouping is flexible, targeted, and not permanent; tracking historically refers to an inflexible approach to placing students in tracks from which they could not move" (Plucker, Burroughs & Song, 2010). 
  • Grades 3-5: Identified students have the opportunity for the above modifications to core curriculum, as well as periodic (either weekly or biweekly) pull-out consultations with the Gifted & Talented teacher. Students who are pulled out for these enrichment opportunities are expected to maintain their core classroom performance
  • Grade 6: Identified students in grade 6 have the opportunity to be placed in "Enrichment ELA/Math" courses at Highlands Elementary and "Challenge ELA/Math" courses at Atlantic Highlands Elementary. These courses are designed around a philosophy of grouping, curriculum compacting and acceleration.
  • ***Initial program identification will take place following the first benchmark window in September.