Gifted & Talented

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GT After School Program

UPDATE 1/24/17

Hello Parents!

Thank you for your understanding about our scheduled January time being canceled. It turned out to be too much to pull off right out of the gate!

Our program on February 1 will be all about Rube Goldberg and simple machines. The kids will have an opportunity to create their own project during our time together. We will be doing some work in class to help them be familiar with these concepts before we meet.

If you have supplies that you think we could use for these feats of engineering, please send them in. We could use things like Hot Wheels Ramps, Marble Run supplies, etc.

Thanks you all! We look forward to seeing your kids there.

http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0c4facab2ea3ff2-february

After School Program Dates

Attention all Gifted and Talented Students!! This year we are offering an after school program just for you and your siblings, usually on the first Wednesday of the month from 3-4:30 p.m. This year you will be required to sign up in advance for these dates to help us plan our time together. Please save the tentative dates below!

February 1, 2017
March 1, 2017
April 5, 2017
May 3, 2017

If you have any questions about this program or want to volunteer, please email Denise Richey at denise.richey@austinisd.org

Nomination Process

Each year parents and teachers are invited to nominate students who exhibit exceptional abilities in math, science, language arts, and/or social studies to be screened for the Gifted and Talented Program (GT).  The nomination period, or window, is usually 2-3 weeks long at the beginning of each semester, but precedes a much longer testing window of 6 – 8 weeks.  Traditionally, students in kinder through 5th grade can be nominated in either semester’s window, but this year we are piloting a new way of handling our GT nominations and tests.

We will be testing students in grades 3-5 in the Fall 2016 Semester and students in grades K-2 in the Spring 2017 Semester (This school year we are piloting a change in the GT Screening Process at Summitt Elementary. Students in grades K-2 will be tested in the Spring 2017 Semester with the nomination window of January 13 through January 27.) This change will allow younger students to have an opportunity to adjust to the new school year before the students participate in the lengthy GT Screening Process. The GT Screening Process does include online testing which is timed and the gathering of student work samples for the Student GT Portfolio.  By separating students into two groups for testing, the campus will be able to test students in smaller groups and provide teachers with more time to collect student work samples and other screening data for younger students.

As the GT Advocate for Summitt Elementary, I am available by phone (512-414-4249), email (denise.richey@austinisd.org), or appointment for any questions or concerns you may have.

The following link offers the nomination paperwork and parental forms to be signed and to be returned to Summitt before any testing can begin. www.austinisd.org/academics/advancedacademics/gifted/parent-corner. Any parents interested in nominating their Kinder through 2nd grade student should do so beginning this week. Thank you!

Frequently Asked Questions.

What does GT mean?

GT stands for “gifted and talented.”  This designation is different in different districts.  Some people recognize it as TAG or GATE.  AISD uses the moniker GT to designate students with high abilities in one or more of the 4 core academic areas, language arts, math, science, and social studies.  The AISD GT screening process is limited in its utility for recognizing artistic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and/or kinestic gifts and talents.  Additionally, it is in no way a limitation to a student’s future pursuit of honors or AP courses at the middle or high school level.

What grades can be tested for GT?

Kinder through 12th grades

Can my student be tested anytime?

AISD offers testing at the elementary level twice a year.  Due to the lengthy process, students must be nominated within the given window to allow for enough time to order materials, and collect work samples.  The Fall nomination window is September 12 – 23, 2016.

How do I nominate my child?

Parents are encouraged to talk with their child’s teacher about possible GT testing.  A parent survey can be found online in English or Spanish at :

https://www.austinisd.org/academics/advancedacademics/gifted/parent-corner

Additionally, we have paper copies as well as Vietnamese translations in the office.  This form must be filled out, SIGNED, and turned in via email or the office by 5pm Friday, September 23.

What happens after I nominate my student?

A portfolio of work is compiled and surveys and observational checklists are completed.  Regular and perhaps, specially designated, assignments in their classrooms are added to their portfolios.  These are selected by the teacher and student.  Additionally, teachers will observe their skills and abilities closely as well as confer with previous teachers.  The students also complete a student survey and  take the CogAT sometime in October.  The test is completed over several sessions during the school day, with each session to last 30-45 minutes.  This usually takes several tests days so as not to induce test fatigue.

What is the CogAT?

The CogAT is a cognitive abilities test.  It is not a test over accumulated knowledge ,so much as a test over one’s fluency and flexibility with regards to verbal, quantitative, and non-verbal concepts.

What happens after the test?

After testing is complete, and portfolios are submitted, the GT committee will deliberate over the results.  We will use the test results, the parent survey, the teacher survey and observational checklists, as well as the students’ surveys , on which to base our decisions.

Announcements and test scores will be sent home via sealed envelope addressed to parents in your child’s folder.

Should my child study?

No.  You do not need to do any test prep with your child.  Rather, please take a few minutes to talk with your student about this testing, and perhaps why you have chosen to have them tested.  I’ve been asked to stay away from the word, “test,” so more than likely I will use language a little more vague such as screening, series of questions and puzzles, and, of course, I let them know that this is not for a grade.

Will my child need to retest each year?

Children who are designated as GT do not need to test again to retain their GT status.

What happens if my child is really only gifted in one subject?

It is not uncommon to designate a student GT in one area only.  In fact, it is more rare for a child to receive a GT designation in all subject areas.

My student did not qualify for GT?  Now what?

Parents are eligible for renominating/testing students each year.  However, AISD requires a minimum of 12 months between tests.

Or, nothing.  There is a lot of research that indicates GT testing is flawed.  And, very little evidence that indicates these tests are future indicators of a child’s adult success. Rather, inspiration and motivation to work hard and pursue their interests over time is a better indicator.  So, celebrate your child for where they are in their learning journey, and praise them for their efforts and courage to keep trying.

Where can I find more information?

Please visit the AISD parents Corner to learn more about GT students. https://www.austinisd.org/academics/advancedacademics/gifted/parent-corner

On behalf of me and the teachers that make up the GT Committee, thank you for all your support.  As always, I welcome any and all feedback, questions, and concerns.  Again, I can be reached by phone at (512) 414-4249 or by email at denise.richey@austinisd.org