Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

Duneland Gifted and Talented program to undergo changes

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By KEVIN NEVERS

It won’t be your mother’s Gifted and Talented (G/T) program anymore.

As Gloria Horn, coordinator of the Duneland School Corporation’s G/T program, told the Duneland School Board at its meeting Tuesday evening, recent changes in state law will dramatically alter the program, making it—among other things—more inclusive, standardized, and comprehensive.

Begin with this new requirement: the program must now identify and serve gifted and talented—or as the state now calls them, “high ability”—kindergartners and first and second graders. Up to this point the DSC had the option of including K-2 in the G/T program, Horn said. Now it must do so.

Meanwhile, the DSC must prepare and implement a comprehensive G/T plan, through a “broad-based planning committee comprised of teachers, at least one principal, students, parents, and community members at large.

And that plan must formulate a “multi-faceted assessment” protocol based on more than ISTEP scores to identify high-ability students. Those assessments, Horn said, may be performance-based, for example, or potential-based, and incorporate such elements as behavior ratings and the results of standardized intelligence tests.

More: the demographics of students enrolled in the G/T program must exactly mirror the demographics of the student population at large, Horn said. Thus if 12 percent of students at large receive free lunches, then 12 percent of the students enrolled in the G/T program must similarly receive free lunches. If 5 percent of students at large are Hispanic, then 5 percent of the students rerolled in the G/T program must also be Hispanic.

There will be one other major change in the G/T program. The broad-based planning committee must prepare a corporation-wide K-12 high-ability curriculum to make the services provided more uniform from school to school and from classroom to classroom, Horn said.

Horn noted that staff will need to work hard and fast to make the changes, but will have the assistance of a “field coach,” at no charge to the DSC, who will help in assuring compliance with the new state law.

Board members expressed their appreciation to Horn and to her aides, Sharon Rothenberger and Sarah Pavlovic, for their dedication and industry.

Personnel

In other business, the board accepted the resignations of the following staff: Judith Polite, 4th grade, LES; Susan Shingler, 4th grade, BES; Vanessa McCusker, Title I aide, LES; Carol Parry, Title I aide, LES; and Lorie Corbett, instructional aide, WIS.

The board also voted 5-0 to make the following appointments: Leslie Tarnowski, Title I aide, LES; and Sarah Williamson, Title I aide, LES.

 

Posted 8/6/2008

 

 

 

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