The Belt Public Schools are dedicated to meeting the needs of every student. In a democratic society, which seeks to offer educational opportunities appropriate to each child’s ability, it is necessary to provide for the unique needs of the gifted and talented learners. The philosophy is based on the following beliefs:
- The belief in equal education for all, according to individual ability and need, so that each student may have his/her potential challenged to a high degree.
- The belief that this equal opportunity is necessary and good for both the individual and the society.
- The belief in the development of differentiated programs and the flexibility in the implementation thereof to provide for individual differences in regard to intellectual, social, and emotional abilities.
- The belief that the student should be able to engage in educational experiences that both provide a firm foundation in knowledge accumulated to date and enable that existing knowledge to serve as a basis for creativity, innovation, and invention.
The purpose of the gifted and talented program is to provide the academically gifted/talented students with extensions for learning. Enhancing the self as learner and as a producer is of primary concern. Activities, opportunities, and programs are thus structured to assist the student in assessing the capabilities upon the unique abilities, talents, interests, and needs which represent him/her as a “self.”
Curriculum and Instruction
The district uses multiple criteria in their identification of students for the GT program which include but are not limited to:
- Sages 2
- MAPS Assessment
- Teacher Checklists
- Parent Checklists
- Self Checklists
- Student Grades
The RTI model is used to provide differentiated instruction to students identified to be gifted and talented. In addition, in the secondary grades, students may participate in honors classes and may work toward an honors diploma. Secondary students may also participate in duel credit classes. Students have opportunities to work in ability level groups on accelerated projects.
Support Services and Parental Involvement
Ongoing assessment using MAP and AIMS web assessment tools informs instruction and grouping of students. Parents receive detailed reports of student progress and are invited to participate in student projects and programs. Parents and community are invited to share their expertise by offering instruction in areas of interest for gifted and talented students.
Teachers receive ongoing professional development in data driven instruction and in differentiated instruction. FTE assigned to the gifted and talented program participated in professional development specific to instructional strategies for gifted students.
The gifted and talented program is evaluated through formative criteria using MAP assessment and through summative criteria using MontCAS. In addition, the program is evaluated through student and parent input through survey to collect data on interest in the program.