D49 is committed to an educational program recognizing individual student differences, abilities, interests, and needs. Our goal is to enrich the education of all students through instruction, activities, and events designed to expose them to a variety of challenging and higher-order critical and creative thinking experiences. Embodied in this commitment is a responsibility to academically gifted and artistically talented students to help them maximize their high potential and allow them to thrive, flourish, and create. Students who are academically gifted differ from others in learning profile, particularly in the areas of pacing, knowledge base, memory, and depth of thinking. Artistically talented students differ from others in their intensity, level of expression, divergent thinking, and creative productivity. Providing students with enhanced, differentiated instruction enables us to nurture the diverse talents and abilities of our student body.
At SSAE, our Advanced Learning Facilitator (ALF) helps each Gifted and Talented student maximize his or her potential. The ALF works alongside students, their parent(s) and their classroom teachers and counselors to create an individualized Advanced Learning Plan each school year. Both academic and social/emotional goals are created and evaluated at several points throughout the year. In addition, the Advanced Learning Facilitator will serve as a resource for other education specialists when looking to meet the needs of high ability students.
Teachers, parents, and students themselves are welcome to nominate students for a Gifted and Talented identification. The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT), which assesses students’ reasoning and problem solving abilities in verbal, mathematical, and spatial areas will be administered. In order to qualify, a student must first score in the 95th percentile or above on one or more of the three test subsections. Additional data points are required in addition to this score and are reviewed on an individual basis. A previous GT identification from another school/school district will be recognized. Additional testing may be required if SSAE does not receive a sufficient body of evidence in the transfer of student records.