Upper Merion Area School DistrictMission Statement and Goalsfor Gifted and Talented Education
MISSIONThe mission of the Upper Merion Area School District's Gifted and Talented program is to ensure that all gifted and talented students are identified and provided with individualized and challenging educational programs. We offer a range of options so that individual programs can be designed around each student's needs. These programs are based on each student's strengths and needs and are designed to develop their unique talents and abilities. We encourage gifted and talented students to join all students in making positive contributions to society.After determining eligibility and need for specially-designed instruction (in compliance with Chapter 16 guidelines), an appropriate educational program is determined by a multidisciplinary team comprised of school personnel, parents, and (where appropriate) the student.
PROGRAM GOALSThe Upper Merion Area School District's Gifted and Talented program was designed with input from teachers, administrators, parents, and students. We provide service to a diverse population of gifted and talented learners. Goals of the program include:- identifying candidates for the program and assessing their eligibility using a variety of tools and procedures.- emphasizing a positive working relationship between parents and school personnel.- creating an individualized, flexible, and appropriate program based on the measured strengths and needs of each eligible student.- providing counseling and appropriate support services for eligible students, including those who are low achieving or at risk.- providing staff development opportunities for all school personnel, including support for the preparation of differentiated educational plans, materials, and curriculum by regular classroom teachers.- promoting the use of strategies developed for challenging studentsï¿½ analytical and critical thinking skills in regular classrooms.THE PROGRAM
The Upper Merion Area School District believes that gifted learners, like all students, learn best when provided with challenging instruction which can be delivered in a range of settings. Research also shows that gifted learners benefit from being exposed to a wide range of peers, including both gifted and non-gifted learners.
Each student in the gifted program receives a GIEP tailored to each student's specific strengths and needs. The GIEP is reviewed and updated annually at a meeting involving the student's gifted support teacher, a regular classroom teacher, parents, a school administrator, and other specialists as needed.Teachers in the program have received special training in meeting the needs of gifted and talented students. In addition to their classroom teaching duties, they serve as resources for regular classroom teachers to support the use of differentiated instruction and higher level thinking skills.
When a student in grades K-2 is identified as gifted, an individualized program is developed in consultation with parents, teachers, and administrators. Enrichment options may include: cluster groups, specialized thematic units, and cross-curricular activities.In the third and fourth grades, differentiated instruction in regular classrooms is combined with enrichment classes that offer intensified instruction supplemental to the regular curriculum. The enrichment classes stimulate critical thinking skills through a varied program that incorporates intensified, thematic curriculum utilizing research, literary extensions, technology presentations, musical productions, and group projects.
MIDDLE SCHOOL LEVEL
Students in the middle school receive enrichment based upon a continuum of services model. Student needs are met through differentiated instruction within the classroom, small-group pull out services, and individual consultation. The focus is on providing relevant enrichment services that tie in closely with district standards, as well as challenging content based upon the application of critical thinking skills.
Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education
3026 Potshop Road
Norristown, PA 19403