School District 49's strategic plan fully embraces and supports gifted learners through its fifth Big Rock, "Every Student": "District 49 will ensure educational experiences are individualized, capable of launching every student toward success." If you have any questions about gifted education in District 49, please contact the district gifted coordinator, Diane Neff.
District 49 Definition of a Gifted Student/Child. A student/child between 4 and 21 whose aptitude or competence in abilities, talents, and potential for accomplishment in one or more domains are so exceptional or developmentally advanced that they require special provisions to meet educational programming needs. Gifted students/children are hereafter referred to as gifted students. Children under five who are gifted may also be provided with early childhood special educational services. Gifted students include gifted students with disabilities (i.e. twice exceptional) and students with exceptional abilities or potential from all social-economic, ethnic and 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 of giftedness:
- General or specific intellectual ability
- Specific academic aptitude
- Creative or productive thinking
- Leadership abilities
- Visual arts, performing arts, musical or psychomotor abilities
District 49 Gifted Education Vision. All Gifted students will accomplish challenging post-secondary work/force goals and become productive, creative citizens capable of succeeding in their area of strength.
District 49 Gifted Education Mission. Ensure gifted student growth and achievement through systems of support, programming, and advocacy.
District 49 is dedicated to identifying and providing exceptional programming for gifted students. Schools throughout the district are committed to identifying those students who meet the district and state criteria of a “gifted learner.” Teachers work collaboratively with Gifted Specialists to develop Advanced Learning Plans for all our identified gifted students to ensure gifted children are challenged and experience academic growth throughout the year.
Gifted needs are addressed using a variety of instructional strategies and programming options. District 49 offers early access for highly gifted kindergarten and first-grade students who do not meet the age requirements for enrollment. Elementary schools provide differentiation instruction through grouping, advanced learning opportunities, and after-school academic classes, clubs, and contests. Our middle schools provide a wide range of honor and enrichment classes as well as many academic after-school opportunities. High school students have many opportunities to individualize their learning by choosing to attend one of our Career Academies, earn an International Baccalaureate Diploma, select from a wide variety of Advanced Placement courses, or take concurrent enrollment courses, which provide both high school and college credit simultaneously. Additionally, for students who desire a self-paced online curriculum, Falcon Virtual Academy provides a rigorous, digital learning environment. In District 49, we strive to provide gifted students with a wide range of opportunities to support their academic, social, and emotional development.
District 49 believes that parents are partners when it comes to meeting the needs of gifted learners. Parents and teachers work together to ensure children are not only challenged but also valued for their unique abilities. The gifted education website is designed to provide parents of gifted learners support and resources as well as provide information on District 49 gifted education and associated processes and procedures.