EXCEL / Gifted and Talented
According to Connecticut State Statute Section 10-76a.-2(a), " 'Extraordinary learning ability' means a child identified as gifted and talented on the basis of either performance on relevant standardized measuring instruments, or demonstrated or potential achievement or intellectual creativity, or both. The term shall refer to the top five percent of children so identified." The identification of gifted and talented students is mandated by the state of Connecticut. However, the state does not mandate programs for these students, but does mandate that students be identified and reported to the State Department of Education on an annual basis.
One EXCEL teacher assists elementary and middle school teachers in the development of independent study units and the identification of materials that will provide for the delivery of differentiated instruction to identified students. The EXCEL teacher will also develop both evening and weekend programming that enables identified students from each of the elementary schools to come together and work on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) activities.
The South Windsor Public Schools follows the guidelines set forth by the Connecticut State Department of Education for the identification of gifted/talented students. Initial gifted/talented identification will be based on data gathered from grade three. Subsequent identification will take place in grades four through seven. Historically, South Windsor has used various practices to identify the approximate top five percent of academically advanced students. This approach will continue. For further information regarding state guidelines please visit the "links" page found at http://www.southwindsorschools.org/page.cfm?p=2980
A student is nominated by a classroom teacher or any staff member who thinks the student should be considered for the screening process. This individual completes a student nomination form and submits it to the building principal by May 11. In addition, upon release of Connecticut Mastery Test scores, all students are reviewed for possible identification.
The building principal forwards all nomination forms to the EXCEL teacher by June 1 for review.
Upon release of Connecticut Mastery Test scores the EXCEL teacher will apply a numerical rating for each student's completed nomination form, based on a weighted matrix.
The EXCEL teacher will review the tabulated results with the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. The determination of a threshold score for identification purposes is made at that time.
Parents of students identified as academically gifted will be notified of the district's decision and provided with information about the EXCEL program.
Students not identified as academically gifted during this process may be nominated and reconsidered for program placement at a later time.
Students new to the district who have not taken the Connecticut Mastery Test will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
For additional information regarding the EXCEL program please visit http://www.southwindsorschools.org/excel.