Gifted and Talented Program
The Gifted and Talented Program for the Pea Ridge School District has been operational since the spring of 1986. The program provides differentiated educational opportunities to children from kindergarten through twelfth grades.
The mission of the Pea Ridge Gifted and Talented Program is to provide an inviting, safe, engaging, and playful environment in which students engage in meaningful learning based on strengths and interests while emphasizing the process skills of risk-taking, collaborating, and creating in order to develop a growth mindset.
What is GT?
GT is an special educational service for those students who are gifted and their academic needs are not being met in the regular classroom. It is not a club or social group. GT services are in place to help the gifted students to meet their full academic potential, extend their learning, and to accelerate their knowledge.
Referring a Child for GT Consideration
Referrals for Gifted and Talented are sought from a wide variety of sources to ensure that all potentially gifted and talented students have an opportunity to be considered. Parents, staff, and community members may refer a student at anytime.
When a student is tested for GT, data is collected from teacher recommendations, observational data collected from whole group enrichment, parent recommendations, testing scores, grades, and 2 subjective and 2 objective tests. No single criterion or cut-off score is used to include or exclude a student.
Placement is decided by a placement committee (minimum of 5 members; GT Coordinator, Building Principal, Building Counselor, and at least 2 teachers). If the decision is that the student will be placed, a letter is sent home for the parent’s permission. If a student is not placed, a letter is sent home notifying the parents of the committee’s decision and also to inform them that the student can be re-evaluated in the future.
The GT Program will be evaluated each year and the results will be posted here for all stakeholders.
GT Program Offerings
Students will provide input on topics they are interested in to help tailor our curriculum to meet their interest and/or needs.
K-2 is services through whole group enrichment by certified elementary teachers trained in Talents Unlimited.
Talents Unlimited focuses on six different talent areas: Academic, Productive Thinking, Communication, Forecasting, Planning, and Decision Making. Within these areas, students are asked to think of many, varied, and unusual ways to demonstrate knowledge, forecast, plan, make decisions, communicate, and produce.
Content in these classes is differentiated via project-based extension of the regular education curriculum and enrichment based on Talents Unlimited. Process skills of critical thinking (analysis, evaluation, and synthesis), creative thinking (fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration), problem-solving, independent investigation, group collaboration, communication, and personal development are emphasized.
Products may include, but are not limited to, models, structures, posters/exhibits, etc. Students have many opportunities to share their products with authentic audiences through school-based community nights, school building or GT website, and/or class presentations.
Grades 3-5 will be pulled for 75 minutes with students with similar interests, regardless of grade, and 75 minutes with their grade level. For a total of 150 minutes a week.
Content is differentiated based on an interest survey administered to students at the beginning of the year, these could include but not limited to the content areas of STEM, creative problem-solving, dramatic arts, the humanities, and independent study.
Each year may bring different enrichment classes based on student interest and strength. Units of study vary and are based on topics not typically covered in the regular classroom as well as student interest/choice. Process skills of critical thinking (analysis, evaluation, and synthesis), creative thinking (fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration), independent investigation, group collaboration, communication, and personal development are emphasized.
Grades 6-8 are served through pre-AP, AP and/or high school level courses as well as the students will be pulled during Personalized Learning Time.
Students have given some ideas of possible topics to choose from that include creative problem solving, robotics, MathCounts, independent study, cultural studies, body systems, career studies, coding, Greek Mythology, STEM, or other topics based on their interests.
Process skills of critical thinking (analysis, evaluation, and synthesis), creative thinking (fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration), independent investigation, group collaboration, communication, and personal development are emphasized.
Students choose which types of original products to create based on the type of work or research in which they are involved. Products may include, but are not limited to, websites, exhibits, performances, documentaries, models, experiments, etc. Students have many opportunities to share their products with authentic audiences through school-based community nights, competitions, GT website, and/or class presentations.
High School GT students grade 9-12 will be served through content, process, and products are differentiated based on specialized training for pre-AP and AP teachers, and in the case of AP classes, a College Board approved AP syllabus.
Students choose the pre-AP and/or AP courses that best suit their needs, strengths, and interests.
Content for individual monthly meetings is based on the individual needs of the students and mainly focuses on student success plans, which will include High School course offerings, prep for ACT, college visits, college applications, resumes, career interests, internships, etc. Each year, these students have the opportunity to participate in 1 college campus visit and academic appointment in areas of their interest.
Process skills of self-reflection, self-awareness, and risk-taking are emphasized. Products are typically in the form of high school activity/leadership documents and student applications for leadership, summer classes, college, and scholarships.
Extracurricular Opportunities for All
At Pea Ridge, we offer extracurricular opportunities that challenge students to think, work in teams, and problems solve. These opportunities are available to any student, not just those involved in the GT program, who are interested in pushing themselves academically and creatively.
We will have 3 Quiz Bowl teams this year. The5th and 6th grade team will be coached by Amber Harrison and Sara Davis. The 7th-9th grade team will be coached by Beth Stein, and the 10th-12th grade team will be coached by Tony Carreira. Junior High(6-8) will practice during PLT time on Fridays as well as after school, 5th and 6th grade and 10th-12th will practice after school. The top quiz bowl students for each division will be chosen to compete at tournaments.
Odyssey of the Mind
Odyssey of the Mind will be offered during PLT on Thursdays. There will also be some before school, after school, and/or weekend practices. There will be one high school and one middle school OM team sponsored by the school. Nadine Telgemeier will coach the Middle School team and Barbie Humphrey will coach the High School team. I will be working with these coaches to choose the teams. If you do not make the team and are still interested in OM, we can work on long term problems and spontaneous problems in class, they will just not compete.
Parent Advisory Committee
The Parent Advisory Council is in place to help with evaluations and suggestions for the GT program. We will meet once in the fall and once in the spring. If you are interested please contact Amber Harrison, GT Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please click the button below to access the Pea Ridge GT Handbook
Questions and Referrals:
Pea Ridge Central Office
Monday - Thursday: 7:30-4:00
Pea Ridge School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin or disability in any of its policies, practices or procedures.