Academically intellectually gifted program
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Academically / Intellectually Gifted Program. Winston-Salem / Forsyth County Schools Bud Harrelson, AIG Program Manager. What are some characteristics of giftedness?.

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Academically / Intellectually Gifted Program

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Academically / Intellectually Gifted Program

Winston-Salem / Forsyth County Schools

Bud Harrelson, AIG Program Manager

What are some characteristics of giftedness?

  • Many gifted children learn to read early, with better comprehension of the nuances of language. As much as half the gifted and talented population has learned to read before entering school. 

  • Gifted children often read widely, quickly, and intensely and have large vocabularies. 

What are some characteristics of giftedness?

  • Gifted children commonly learn basic skills better, more quickly, and with less practice. 

  • They are better able to construct and handle abstractions.

  • They often pick up and interpret nonverbal cues and can draw inferences that other children need to have spelled out for them. 

What are some characteristics of giftedness?

  • They take less for granted, seeking the "hows" and "whys." 

  • They can work independently at an earlier age and can concentrate for longer periods. 

  • Their interests are both wildly eclectic and intensely focused. 

What are some characteristics of giftedness?

  • They often have seemingly boundless energy, which sometimes leads to a misdiagnosis of hyperactivity. 

  • They usually respond and relate well to parents, teachers, and other adults. They may prefer the company of older children and adults to that of their peers. 

What are some characteristics of giftedness?

  • They like to learn new things, are willing to examine the unusual, and are highly inquisitive. 

  • They tackle tasks and problems in a well-organized, goal-directed, and efficient manner. 

What are some characteristics of giftedness?

  • They exhibit an intrinsic motivation to learn, find out, or explore and are often very persistent. "I'd rather do it myself" is a common attitude. 

Who are the gifted?

Children and youth with outstanding talent perform or show the potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared with others of their age, experience, or environment.

Who are the gifted?

These children and youth exhibit high performance capability in intellectual, creative, and/or artistic areas, possess and unusual leadership capacity, or excel in specific academic fields. They require services or activities not ordinarily provided by the schools.

Who are the gifted?

Outstanding talents are present in children and youth from all cultural groups, across all economic strata, and in all areas of human endeavor.

Office of Educational Research and Improvement in the US Department of Education (1993)

What is a gifted child’s development like?

  • Asynchronous development

    • More advanced mentally than others their chronological age

    • Disparities between their intellectual abilities (mental age) and their physical abilities (chronological age)

Giftedness as described through asynchronous development

“…a greater awareness, a greater sensitivity, and a greater ability to understand and to transform perceptions into intellectual and emotional experiences.” (Roper, 1982, p. 21)

Giftedness as described through asynchronous development

  • “…advanced cognitive abilities and heightened intensity combine to create inner experiences and awareness that are qualitatively different from the norm.” (Columbus Group, 1991)

Giftedness as described through asynchronous development

…highlights the complexity of the individual’s thought process, the intensity of sensation, emotion, and imagination, and the extraordinary awareness that results from this fusion. (Neihart, 2002)

What is a gifted child’s development like?

  • Feeling out of step with societal norms

    • Results in cognitive (academic) needs

    • Results in social / emotional (affective) needs

What are the theories regarding intelligence?

  • Entity theory (Dweck, 1975, 2000) maintains that intelligence is a fixed trait of which we each have an allotted share and that there is little we can do to change it.

What characterizes an entity paradigm of intelligence?

  • Important to appear smart

  • Need to excel over others

  • Seek safe, low-effort successes in order to achieve performance goals such as good grades or praise

  • Will only try something new if they are assured of appearing to be an expert instantly

  • Highly vulnerable to minor setback

  • Defensive

What are the theories regarding intelligence?

  • Incremental theory (Stipek & Mac Iver, 1989) states that, even though we differ in ability, intelligence is malleable and can be cultivated and increased through effort.

What characterizes an incremental paradigm of intelligence?

  • Focus on the challenge

  • Engagement in learning at a risk of appearing less smart

  • Sticking with tasks until reaching mastery

  • Persisent / resilience

  • Focus on using rather than demonstrating their new knowledge

Who perpetuates the entity paradigm?

  • Schools

    • Rarely encounter a task in school that they can not master the first time

  • Parents

    • Well meaning praise from adults on how smart the kid is instead of praising the child for hard work, trying new challenges, persistent efforts, and hardiness in the face of difficulties.

What all does this mean for my child?

  • Unique academic needs

  • Unique social needs

What does this mean academically?

  • A gifted child has an advanced mental age when compared to her age-mates

  • The curriculum and expectations of their regular grade level are not aligned with their academic potential

What model does WSFCS use to meet the academic needs of gifted students?

  • Acceleration

    • Gifted students receive daily instruction in reading and mathematics that is beyond their current grade level

WSFCS Program Description

  • We offer different levels of advanced instruction to meet the academic needs of students.

    • Academically Gifted – AG

    • Highly Academically Gifted - HAG

Elementary Program – AGThird through Fifth Grade

  • Minimally, AG students receive…

    • 1.5 hours of AG instruction daily

    • in a separate classroom

    • Reading and mathematics

    • AIG licensed teacher

    • Content is one or more years above grade level

Elementary Program – AGThird through Fifth Grade

Elementary Program – AGThird through Fifth Grade

English / Language Arts

  • Strengthen their knowledge of concepts covered in the grade level curriculum with the regular education teacher

    • Rapid, sophisticated, abstract

    • More challenging reading

    • Sophisticated writing

Elementary Program – AGThird through Fifth Grade

Schools have flexibility in program delivery

  • Homogeneous grouping of AG students

  • Resource model as described

  • Regular educational classroom

Elementary Program – HAGThird through Fifth Grade

HAG students receive…

  • All-day program

  • Self-contained classroom

  • Accelerated instruction in

    • Reading, Math, Science, Social Studies

  • Generally two years above grade level

  • Student product expectations are much higher than their age-mates

  • Offered at Brunson

Middle Program – AGSixth through Eighth Grade

  • Continue to receive gifted instruction in language arts and math

  • Team approach

  • Match continues to be one grade level ahead, but students can choose not to be accelerated

Middle Program – AGSixth through Eighth Grade

Middle Program – HAGSixth through Eighth Grade

HAG students receive…

  • Gifted instruction in Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, and Science

  • Complete two high school math courses

  • Complete on high school science course – Environmental Science

  • Self-contained classes

  • Electives – Spanish, Latin, French

  • Project Lead the Way – Engineering Magnet

  • Offered only at Hanes

Middle Program – HAGSixth through Eighth Grade

WSFCS Program Description

  • Start in elementary school and continue through high school

  • We emphasize academic achievement and higher-level thinking and reasoning skills

WSFCS Program Description

  • Curriculum guidelines are pulled from the NC Standard Course of Study

  • Locally developed units enrich and accelerate the state curriculum

  • Schools have the flexibility to design services to meet students’ needs

WSFCS Program Description

  • To emphasize quality of work, to encourage creativity, problem solving, extensive reading, and peer interaction

  • To nurture students by combining academic rigor with encouragement and flexibility

Elementary Services – AGKindergarten – Second Grade

  • Services for students in kindergarten through second grade are provided on a consultative basis

    • AG resource teacher consults with regular education classroom to differentiate curriculum, process, and products

High SchoolNinth through Twelfth Grade

  • Honors Courses

  • Advanced Placement (AP)

  • International Baccalaureate

  • Early College at Forsyth Tech

  • Early Graduate

What does all of this mean socially?

  • Remember that one of the greatest needs of youth as they mature is to be accepted by their peers

    • We ALL want friends

What does all of this mean socially?

  • Perfectionism

  • Underachievement

  • Positive friendship attributes

What does all of this mean socially?

  • Perfectionism

    • Normal

      • Derive a very real sense of pleasure form the labors of a painstaking effort and who feel free to be less precise as the situation permits

    • Neurotic

      • Are unable to feel satisfaction because in their own eyes they never see to do things good enough to warrant that feeling

What does all of this mean socially?

  • Underachievement

    • Discrepancies between ability and achievement over a substantial period of time

    • Caused by

      • Unchallenging classroom

      • Peer pressure to conform – be like everyone else

      • Isolation from classmates

      • Family dynamics

What does this look like socially?

  • To date, most interventions to reverse underachievement have met with limited success

What does all of this mean socially?

  • Aggravated by being part of another minority group…ethnic minority, child of poverty, female, learning disabled, limited English proficient, gay

What does this look like socially?

  • Positive friendship attributes

    • Competition

Academically Gifted (AG) Program

Group or Individual IQ/Aptitude Score is 95thpercentile

The sum of Achievement and Aptitude percentile scores is 180 or more

93rd* Percentile in Aptitude or Achievement with K-2 Assessment one year or more above grade level or End of Grade at the 92nd percentile in Reading & Math

Highly Academically Gifted (HAG) Program

IQ/Aptitude score is 99thpercentile with minimum 95thpercentile in Achievement

The sum of Achievement and Aptitude percentile scores is 195*or more

99th percentile in Aptitude or Achievement with K-2 Assessment two years or more above grade level or End of Grade at the 99th percentile in Reading & Math

Procedures for Identification


At least one score of an 85


At least one score of a 99 and one score of 94

Retest Options – Second Grade

  • Retests are administered at the school level

  • Parent(s) choose which test students will retake

Retest Options

  • Students are given one retest option

  • If additional retesting is desired, parents pursue testing at their own expense with a private psychologist

    • Submit – AIG-2 Form: Prior Notice of Independent Evaluation Form

Further testing – Fifth Grade

  • AG / HAG services for middle school

  • Students who have a 93rd %ile on Reading or Math 4th EOG

  • Tested regardless of AG status

Quarterly Testing Opportunities

  • New Students

  • Private School Students

  • Home Schooled Students

  • May test at any of our 4 quarterly testing sessions

  • Join the test roster by contacting their residential public school

What is the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT)?

  • Aptitude Test

    • Measures a student’s potential for future learning

  • Three sections

    • Verbal (48 questions)

    • Nonverbal (48 questions)

    • Quantitative (48 questions)

Primary uses of CogAT

  • To guide efforts to adapt instruction to the needs and abilities of students

  • To provide an alternative measure of cognitive development

  • To identify students whose predicted levels of achievement differ markedly from their observed levels of achievement

Primary Battery (K-2)

No reading

Tests untimed (paced by teacher)

Mark directly in booklet

Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT)

  • Raw score is converted to percentile score by comparison to other children the exact same age and grade

    • Age is given in year and month

  • We use the highest of the two scores in AIG Identification

Relationships among Stanines, Percentile Ranks, and Standard Age Scores

134 - 150

Ability Profile Level

  • Median (middle) age stanine

    6 A

    5 B (V+)

    8 C (Q+ V-)

    2E (N+ V-)

CogAT 6 ‘ABC’ Profile system

Measuring the pattern

  • “A” profiles: Confidence bands overlap for all three scores. Scores are at roughly the sAme level

  • “B” profiles: One score is aBove or Below the other two scores, which do not differ

  • “C” profiles: Two scoresContrast

  • “E” profiles: Extreme B or C profiles (>=24)

“A” Profile


1 25 50 75 99

V 120 89

Q 116 84

N 125 94


1 25 50 75 99

V 120 89

Q 116 84

N 100 50


1 25 50 75 99

V 95 38

Q 92 31

N 110 73

“B” Profiles




1 25 50 75 99

V 120 89

Q 110 73

N 100 50

“C” Profile

V+ N-


1 25 50 75 99

V 120 89

Q 107 67

N 92 31

Extreme “C” Profile

SAS Max – SAS Min = 28

E (V+ N-)

Interpretation of Ability Profile

Parenting Gifted Students

  • Creativity

  • Imagination

  • Opportunity

  • Questioning

  • Exploration

  • Encouragement

What role do parents play in developing the gifted student?

  • Importance of finding and developing one’s abilities

  • Achievement at the highest level possible

  • Independent thought

  • Independent expression

  • Active-recreational pursuits

  • Cultural and intellectual pursuits

What role do parents play in developing the gifted student?

  • Demonstrate the love for work and learning

  • Model independent learning outside of structured settings

  • Model risk-taking, coping with setbacks, and failure

  • Build social networks that can give emotional support

Parenting Gifted Students

  • Items to pay attention to in school

    • Rich vocabulary instruction

    • Choice

    • Comparisons among genre

    • Process, process, process

    • Depth and detail

    • Rigor

What is rigorous instruction?

  • Goal of helping students develop the capacity to understand content that is complex, ambiguous, provocative, and personally or emotionally challenging (Strong, Silver, and Perrini, 2001).

What legal rights does my gifted child have in NC?

  • Article 9B mandates and funds gifted education in NC

  • State allows the district to determine identification and service model

  • Three year plan for services

What is rigorous instruction?

  • Rigor is the quality of instruction that requires students to construct meaning and impose structure on situations rather than expect to find them already present (Resnick,1987).

Organizations and Resources

NC Association for the Gifted and Talented

National Association for Gifted Children

Central Office Contact Information

Bud Harrelson

AIG Program Manager


[email protected]

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