“Gifted” is term that is most accurately used when applied to adults who are “change makers.” Children have not lived long enough to be able to make such contributions. Therefore, we can only identify potential giftedness in children.
The Little Rock School District is committed to providing quality, equitable educational programs for students with a potential for giftedness. Thus, the gifted program is designed to challenge these students who have unique needs, abilities and talents through a variety of learning approaches including enrichment, qualitatively differentiated curricula and acceleration.
Characteristics of Gifted Students
Gifted students are those who have outstanding abilities and who are capable of high performance as identified by professionals using appropriate multidimensional identification instruments and procedures.
The term gifted includes the following characteristics:
-High intellectual ability
-Task commitment and/or motivation
Design of Gifted Services
The Little Rock School District’s Gifted and Talented Program is designed to challenge students who have unique needs, abilities and talents through a variety of learning approaches. The program consists of the following components:
1. K-2: Observe and Enrich – the curriculum emphasizes enrichment in the classroom.
2. 3-5: Resource Room – Gifted children engage in advanced learning activities with a gifted specialist.
Gifted education, available at every school, is designed to be inclusive rather than exclusive. Students are selected based on general intellectual ability, creative ability and leadership.
The Elementary Program
The program at the elementary level features observation and enrichment opportunities for all students in grades K-2 by means of classroom visits and instruction from the Gifted Specialist. Third through fifth graders who are identified as gifted are part of a pullout program (ETC: “Enhance the Chance”). These students spend two hours per week in the gifted classroom where they receive individual instruction to meet their specialized needs. Some schools use a combination of whole-group and pullout programs for instruction.
Gifted and Talented Classes
Identified gifted students are evaluated each spring to determine if continued placement in the program is appropriate. A team, made up of classroom teacher(s), counselor, gifted specialist/facilitator and principal, makes recommendations regarding the placement of students. Parents may also make recommendations.
Placement is According to Student’s Needs
A student who is not identified before entering middle school may be referred to the program by anyone – teachers, parents, students and/or any other person having knowledge of the student’s abilities, achievement test data, classroom performance, awards and honors and creativity measurements. The identification process is followed after the referral is made.
The success of any gifted and talented student depends on the degree of involvement from his/her parents.
Options Available in the Gifted Program
The following is a list of some program options that are available in the LRSD Gifted Program. Different schools and grade levels may offer various selections from these options; not all will be available at every school.
Quiz Bowl – A district-wide academic competition for teams of students selected by each school. Some schools offer school-wide quiz bowl competitions. (elementary & middle schools)
Fifth Grade Challenge – A day of fun competition in the areas of math, logic, spelling, current events and hands-on events for all fifth grade gifted students.
Invention Convention – Students research future needs and create inventions to meet those needs through technological advances.
Science Fair – Students use the scientific method to create and present experiments in areas of individual interest.
Stock Market – Students compete with teams from other schools in playing the stock market with a portfolio of mock stock investments.
Other – MathCounts, Odyssey of the Mind, Future Problem Solving, Spelling Bee, Math Olympiad, Mock Trial, Model U.N., Governor’s Quiz Bowl, Geography Bee, Culture Fair, Junior Great Books, History Day, AEGIS Programs, Duke Talent Identification Program, special field trips.
For more information on the Gifted & Talented Program of the LRSD, please call (501)447-7470.