The Northern Bedford County School District recognizes the need to provide gifted education services to students in grades K-12 who have exceptional achievement potential. The Gifted Education Program is designed to enhance and extend the current curriculum. Any student may be referred for a gifted evaluation. Students must qualify given the state guidelines in accordance with Chapter 16 of the Pennsylvania School Code.
The goal of the Northern Bedford County School District is to develop a consistent, stable, and educationally sound gifted education program that will encourage and expand the intellectual development of our academically precocious students.
Professional development is provided to all teachers on a yearly basis. The focus of the professional development varies from the characteristics and needs of gifted students, programming trends, and current literature and research in the area of educating a student identified as being a gifted learner.
Placements of Students in Gifted Education Programs
Placement of a student into the Gifted Education Program can only occur after the student has received a Gifted Multidisciplinary Evaluation (GMDE). Once the GMDE team has obtained data regarding the student’s skills, a Gifted Written Report (GWR) is completed and a meeting is held with the GMDE team members. If the student meets eligibility requirements and is in need of specially designed instruction, a Gifted Individual Education Plan (GIEP) will be developed at the GIEP team meeting. A Notice of Recommended Assignment (NORA) will then be issued indicating the placement into the Gifted Education Program.
Elements of the Gifted Education Program
At Northern Bedford County School District, the gifted education teacher and classroom teachers are responsible for meeting the needs of identified gifted students at all grade levels. Programming options are based upon the strengths and needs of each student identified as gifted. Programming is developed and agreed upon by the GIEP team prior to implementation.
The elementary level gifted program includes pull-out programming and differentiated instruction in the regular education classroom. The pull out program allows students to interact with peers of similar abilities while pursuing enrichment activities based on their GIEPs. Pull out programming ranges from interdisciplinary units (historical periods or persons, architecture, space, environmental sciences or to other areas including major conceptual themes) to single subject units of study. Additional types of pull out activities may include: problem solving activities such as puzzles, thinking games, deductive reasoning activities, and authentic situations. The regular education classroom teachers meet the gifted students’ needs by providing activities that integrate and correlate aspects of math, science, reading, history, creative writing, literature analysis and communication through various venues.
For students in grades 6-12, the Northern Bedford County School District meets the needs of the students through pull out programs, differentiated instruction, extracurricular activities, honors classes, accelerated courses, dual enrollment courses, elective courses, field trips, competitions, and independent studies. Additional types of pull out activities may include: problem solving activities such as puzzles, thinking games, deductive reasoning activities, foreign language study, and authentic situations. The regular education classroom teachers meet the gifted students’ needs by providing activities that integrate and correlate aspects of math, science, reading, history, creative writing, literature analysis and communication through various venues.
Support services are written into the GIEP based upon individual student need. Such services may include: psychological counseling, teacher consultation, career/guidance counseling, parent counseling and education, and transportation.
Twice during the school year(end of second marking period and end of school year), students and their parents receive a Program and Participation Report. This report documents progress on goals and objectives in the GIEP. The document also includes services and activities made available to the student.
If a student moves into the Northern Bedford County School District from another school district in the Commonwealth of PA, the district will implement the existing GIEP to the extent possible and/or will provide the services and programs specified in an interim GIEP agreed to by the parents until a new GIP is developed and implemented.
If a student who has been identified as a gifted learner in another state moves into the Northern Bedford County School District, the district will conduct a GMDE to determine eligibility.
A gifted student shall be reevaluated before a change in educational placement is recommended for the student. In addition, a gifted student may be reevaluated at any time by recommendation of the GIEP team.
Reevaluations must include a review of the student’s GIEP, a determination of which instructional activities have been successful, and recommendations for the revision of the GIEP.
Reevaluations are not required on a specific timeline for a gifted learner, but are completed based on the specific needs of the student. Reevaluations, if completed, will be done within 60 calendar days excluding summer vacation.
Parents, at their own expense, may obtain an independent evaluation by a certified school psychologist. The Northern Bedford County School District is required to consider this information when making decisions regarding student identification.