Gifted Education

Gifted Education at SHE

Mandy Smith
Mandy Smith

My name is Mandy Smith and I am thrilled to be the Gifted and Talented Facilitator here at Soaring Hawk! I have been a teacher in Douglas County for the past 18 years. I have mostly taught 4th grade, but also have spent several years in 2nd and 5th. I strongly believe advanced/gifted students, like all students, need and deserve the opportunity to learn something new every day. Parents and educators of gifted students are tasked with recognizing their strengths and talents while simultaneously allowing them to pursue their individuality and interests. These students require challenges that spark their curiosity and teachers who understand their unique, and often complex, social-emotional needs. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about gifted education at Soaring Hawk; my email address is [email protected]

DCSD Gifted Education Website

Giftedness can be defined as is asynchronous development in which advanced cognitive abilities and heightened intensity combine to create inner experiences and awareness that are qualitatively different from the norm. This asynchrony increases with higher intellectual capacity. The uniqueness of the gifted renders them particularly vulnerable and requires modifications in parenting, teaching and counseling in order for them to develop optimally. (The Columbus Group, 1991).

In Colorado, gifted and talented students are those students between the ages of four and twenty-one whose abilities, talents, and potential for accomplishment are so exceptional or developmentally advanced that they require special provisions to meet their educational programming needs. Gifted students include students with disabilities (i.e. twice exceptional) and students with exceptional abilities or potential from all socio-economic and ethnic, cultural populations. Gifted students are capable of high performance, exceptional production, or exceptional learning behavior by virtue of any or a combination of these areas:
* General or Specific Intellectual Ability
* Specific Academic Aptitude
* Creative or Productive Thinking

* Leadership Abilities

* Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Musical or Psychomotor Abilities

Gifted Programming at SHE is designed to meet the academic and social/emotional complexity of students identified with advanced learning needs. Programming for identified students will be collaboratively designed by teachers, parent(s)/guardians, and students, and will be documented through an individualized Advanced Learning Plan (ALP). Instructional strategies utilized in the classroom for gifted learners may include:

* Curriculum compacting

* Content acceleration and/or enrichment

* Tiered assignments

* Cluster grouping and/or flexible grouping

* Independent study

* Project based learning