About the Gifted and Talented Program
The program is designed to challenge our gifted learners with relevant activities to meet their academic needs. Our program begins in Kindergarten, with teachers pushing into classes K-2 to provide extension and enrichment activities. Then, identified students in Grades 3-5 are invited to participate in a program of regular pull-out classes. Students are engaged in both critical and creative thinking activities designed to provide an emphasis on research through an in-depth study of differentiated learning strands. The program addresses the New Jersey Student Learning Standards at an advanced level and aligns with the National Association of Gifted Children (NAGC) Standards. Furthermore, it meets the needs of gifted and twice-exceptional students by focusing on creative problem solving, research & writing, critical thinking skills, communication skills, and leadership skills within a highly engaging format.
Then, beginning in Grade 6, the district offers accelerated programs in English Language Arts, Mathematics, World Language, and the Visual / Performing Arts. In this matter, the district is able to meet the goals of meeting the NJSLS to match each student’s instructional level. Lastly, the course offerings at Barnegat High School provide a bevy of opportunities for students to enrich their learning through a comprehensive programs of Honors courses, as well as seventeen (17) different Advanced Placement (AP) courses.
How is the G&T program good for our gifted learners?
Our Gifted & Talented program draws heavily on project-based learning as the vehicle for enriching and extending the curriculum. Although project-based learning is a great strategy for all learners, it is especially advantageous for gifted learners due to the fact that it offers the following:
- Depth and complexity
- Individualized pace
- Student choice
- Student accountability and empowerment
- Incorporation of real-world skills in the classroom
- Collaborative learning
- Relevance and authenticity
How are students selected for the G&T program?
In accordance with Board of Education Policy 2464- GIFTED AND TALENTED PUPILS (M), a process has been created to identify eligible students. Specifically, student selection is based upon multiple measures from the following criteria:
- The Renzulli Scale for Characteristics of Gifted Children
- Report Card Grades in Reading, Writing, and Math
- Teacher Recommendation
- Student’s STAR Reading Percentile Ranking
- District Benchmark assessments aligned with NJSLS
- CoGAT or SAGES test results (when available)
All students in the district (including Special Education, ELL, and 504 students) are eligible for G&T. Each spring, teachers score students on the Renzulli Scale, and compile the other metrics listed above in a report to the District Supervisor of Elementary Education. Then, the achievement data of all students is reviewed each summer by the administrative team as part of the selection process. Letters are sent home to eligible students by the start of each school year in September. Children not selected for the program have the opportunity to appeal via a portfolio process.
“Strengthening Gifted and Talented Education Act”
Recently, the NJ Legislature passed the “Strengthening Gifted and Talented Education Act”, which established each school district's responsibilities in educating gifted and talented students. A copy of the document can be accessed by clicking here. Further, one provision of the law states that an individual may lodge a formal complaint if he/she feels the district is not in compliance with this mandate. A complaint submitted to the executive county superintendent pursuant to this section may only allege noncompliance that has occurred within one year prior to the date that the complaint is submitted. The complaint shall include: (1) a statement that the identified school district is not in compliance with the provisions of this act, and the specific facts on which the allegation of noncompliance is based; and (2) the name, address, and contact information of the complainant. Should you wish to lodge such a complaint, please contact the Executive County Superintendent at this contact information. Thank you!