Gifted and Talented
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT MOUNTAIN VIEW'S GT PROGRAM
Who works with GT students at Mountain View?
- All teachers could have identified GT students in their classrooms. Therefore, the classroom teacher is your primary contact. Each teacher is responsible for providing differentiated instruction to their GT students.
- The GT students in third through fifth grades work with Molly Gibney, one of our GT Coordinators, through a push-in/pull-out model. This means that Molly works with these students on a regular basis either in their homeroom classroom or in Room K, depending upon the project or learning target that they are addressing at the time. The goal is to develop stronger critical thinking skills in our GT students by engaging in project based learning opportunities, learning how to develop a growth mindset, and focusing on goal setting, writing and reflection. The pull-out/push-in sessions occur during literacy, so we also focus on strengthening vocabulary and literacy skills.
- Marsha Montano, our school social worker, meets with GT students that require emotional support. She offers small-group counseling for these students.
- We have two GT coordinators -- Molly Gibney and Elaina Cascini. Both Molly and Elaina have children that are identified as gifted, so they understand the issues involved in educating and raising a gifted child from both the teacher and the parent perspective! You can reach Molly at email@example.com or 720-972-5529. You can reach Elaina at firstname.lastname@example.org or 720-972-6932. Both Molly and Elaina share the responsibilities of the position, so feel free to contact either of us!
Are there any special programs for GT students at Mountain View?
- Throughout the year, we offer in-house "field trips" and workshops for all the GT students in our building. This is a time for all the GT students in one grade level to come together. Research has shown there is tremendous value in having gifted kids together so that they can learn from and support each other. "Field trips" have included visits from the Colorado Opera, the Colorado Mountain Club, All About Learning LEGO Experience, Dr. Stephen Bennett (Ball Aerospace), etc.
- Our school offers a monthly CAMP GT (Cross-Age Mentoring Program for Gifted and Talented students). These sessions are held during the school day and allow for our gifted students to come together in a Big-Brother/Little-Brother and Big-Sister/Little-Sister type setting. Older GT students are paired with younger GT students to help facilitate discussion around what it is like to be gifted and other social-emotional needs of gifted kids. We use a guidebook called Creating and Facilitating Discussion Groups for Gifted Students by Terry Bradley, M.A. as well as the book, The Survival Guide for Gifted Kids, as a resource with the students. All identified students in grades 1-5 participate in CAMP GT.
Is there a GT Parent Support Group at Mountain View?
- Yes! Our school started the very first school-based GT Parent Group in the district! We meet every other month in our school library from 6:30-7:30pm on a Tuesday evening. Please contact our parent liason, Rebecca Bennett, for further information. We would love to have you attend one of the meetings to learn about how parents can support and advocate for gifted services for their child here at Mountain View. We send home information on the specific dates of these meetings in our GT Parent Newsletter.
- The district also offer the Adams 12 GT Parent Group. This group is focused on large scale issues that relate to the district level. Attending one of these meetings is a terrific way to see a broader perspective of giftedness and to learn how other schools are helping the GT kids in their buildings. For more information, please visit the Adams 12 GT Parent Group website.
What is an ALP (Advanced Learning Plan)?
- By law, every identified gifted child must have an Advanced Learning Plan. It is written by the teacher and the parent in the fall, usually during Parent-Teacher Conferences. The plan identifies one academic goal and one social/emotional goal for the child to work on throughout the year.
- For more detailed information about ALPs, please read the Advanced Learning Plan section of the Adams 12 Gifted and Advanced Academic Services website
Is there a GT Handbook for parents?
- Yes! Scroll to the bottom of this website to download a copy of the GT Handbook.
Where is the Start of the Year Letter that goes home to all parents of gifted students?
- Scroll to the bottom of this website to find links to our "Start of the Year Letter." This letter outlines everything that our GT program will be focusing on this year!
Help! My child just got identified as gifted! What does that mean?
- At the bottom of this website, you'll find a link to a document just for you! It contains all the "need to knows" to help you understand our gifted program. The title of your document is "Newly Identified GT Parent Letter."
What is the Universal Screening Test (NNAT3) that all second graders are taking this year?
This year, all second grade students in Adams 12 will take the Naglieri Nonverbal Abilities Test (NNAT3) at school. This assessment will be given regardless of whether or not a child has been tested previously for giftedness. We are using this test to help us identify new GT students. If your child has already been identified as gifted, this test simply will serve as another piece of evidence showing his/her giftedness.
Please scroll to the bottom of this website and click on the link to the "FAQs for Parents about the NNAT3". This document will provide you with detailed answers to your questions.
You can also click on the "Parent Presentation--NNAT3 and Universal Screener" which is included in the links below. This powerpoint presentation outlines the district's reasoning for having all 2nd grade students take the NNAT3 this year.
What is the CogAT?
- CogAT is the Cognitive Abilities Test. We administer this test to all students that are going through the gifted identification process in grades K-5. Students in second grade also take the NNAT3 (see above for more details on that test). The CogAT helps us determine the cognitive abilities of each child, which is separate from academic abilities. For more information about the CogAT, scroll to the bottom of this website and download the CogAT handout and presentation.
How do I get my kid identified as gifted?
- If your child is in second grade, we administer the NNAT2 (Naglieri Nonverbal Abilities Test) to all second graders. If you child scores 90% or higher on this test, we will ask you to complete a Parent Recommendation Form and submit it to Molly Gibney. This form allows us to begin the process of creating a Body of Evidence on your child. (Read step 5 for information as to what is included in the Body of Evidence.)
- All parents wanting their child to be considered for the gifted identification process must complete a Parent Recommendation Form and submit it to Molly Gibney. Download a copy of the form at the bottom of this website.
- Once we have your Parent Recommendation Form, we will administer the CogAT (Cognitive Abilities Test) to your child if he/she is in Kindergarten, 1st grade, or grades 3-5. We administer the test one time each year in November. If you missed the testing date, then we will wait a year to test your child. Second grade students that scored 90% or higher on the NNAT2 will also take the CogAT.
- Your child's teacher will complete a Teacher Recommendation Form and submit it to Molly Gibney.
- The district will build a body of evidence about your child. This body of evidence includes (1) parent and teacher recommendations, (2) cognitive test scores that include either the NNAT2 if they are in 2nd grade or the CogAT, (3) academic test scores, and (4) demonstrated performance samples. Academic test scores are pulled from your child's annual MAPS test data, TCAP, etc. Demonstrated performance samples are requested on an as-needed basis and include sample written work, juried artwork, etc.
- The district GT office studies the Body of Evidence and makes the final decision as to giftedness. Our school provides the information for the Body of Evidence and the district office made the decision as to whether or not a child is gifted.
- The district GT office sends a letter to the parents stating whether or not the child was identified as gifted. Please note that these letters are sent 1-2 months after the CogAT is administered (i.e., expect to hear results in January or February since CogAT testing occurs in November).
How many students are identified as gifted at Mountain View?
- Our numbers vary from year to year depending upon the students in our building, but we generally have between 35 to 65 identified students.
How do classroom teachers differentiate their instruction at Mountain View?
Differentiated instruction is based upon the belief that students learn best when they make connections between the rurriculm and their diverse interests and experiences, and that the greatest learning occurs when students are pushed slightly beyon the point where they can work without assistance. Our teachers are learning how to differentiate on a daily basis by using:
- Ten Marks
- Junior Great Books
- Challenge Math Boxes
- Math Exemplars
- Kahn Academy
- Google Chrome Books
- Content extensions
- Targeted critical thinking skills development
Where can I find additional online resources for parents of gifted students?
- Dr. Jennifer A. Ritchotte, Professor of Special Education at the University of Northern Colorado, has allowed us to share her LiveBinder with you!. Please click HERE to view all of the resources that she has compiled to help parents and teachers understand the world of giftedness!