Gifted Students

The mission of the Rossford Schools GEARS program is to

- Facilitate the development of the gifted child by addressing his/her unique needs both academically,
socially and emotionally.

- Enhance the academic achievement and motivation of gifted students by engaging them in an academically enriched and accelerated curriculum structured to meet their needs.

- Give the gifted students the necessary tools to help them understand and use effective problem solving and decision making strategies to prepare them for a meaningful participation in future endeavors and a global society.

- Allow them the opportunity to interact and learn from their academically and socially similar peers.

Identification

Children are assessed in second and fifth grade for superior cognitive ability, specific academic ability, creative thinking ability and visual or performing arts. The district’s assessment instruments for screening and identification are in accordance with Ohio Law and can be located via the district website. Students may qualify based on one or more of the following criteria in accordance with the State of Ohio: superior cognitive ability, specific academic ability, creative thinking ability and visual or performing arts. Children may be referred by parents, teachers, or self-referral for possible identification in an ongoing basis in Rossford for any area of giftedness as defined by Ohio Law.

Cluster Grouping

Cluster grouping involves placing several gifted students with one teacher for instruction and receiving a differentiated curriculum for that class. Studies have shown that grouping students together who are identified as gifted produces advanced academic achievement. Students learn far more effectively when grouped together and provided with challenging material adapted to their learning style (Biddick, 2009). Gifted students often feel more comfortable when they are surrounded by other students who are like them. They are more likely to choose challenging tasks when other students are working on similar tasks at higher levels (Winebrenner and Devlin, 2001). Cluster grouping also allows gifted students the opportunity to work together on a fulltime basis without needing to be pulled out of the classroom one day a week. With the full day pull-out model, students miss opportunities for advanced achievement in the regular education classroom with only part-time differentiated instruction and material. This model provides a lack of integration with the regular classroom work.

Inclusion Model

The inclusion approach is when students remain in the regular education classroom and are visited there by a gifted intervention specialist. The opportunity for differentiated instruction is much stronger with this method. The intervention specialist can provide the students with more in depth studies, accelerated material, or enrichment opportunities. Having two teachers in the classroom can free one teacher up to work with a small group or one-on-one. Keeping the students in the classroom allows for more focus on core instruction with opportunities for acceleration and in-depth studies.
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