Academic Talent Development

Identification of Students

A student’s participation in the Talent Development Program’s classes is determined on an annual basis since students needs may change over time. Therefore, the TDP staff screens students for inclusion in the program each spring. In addition, they review the files of students entering the district to determine whether further screening is warranted. At the end or beginning of transition years–presently third, fifth and eighth–the screening process is more intensive as students take the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT), a series of short examinations that provide information about students’ potential in verbal, mathematical and non-verbal thinking. Along with the CogAT and teacher recommendations, students’ scores on achievement tests such as the Northwest Evaluation Association’s Measures of Academic Progress (NWEA) are used to determine the need for Talent Development programming. At times an IQ score can be considered in addition to these tests.

K-2 LEAP (Learning and Enrichment in the Arts and Academics Program)
This program is a collaborative effort of the Talent Development Specialist and the classroom teachers to support student learning through differentiated instruction. The talent development specialist operates as a teacher, consultant, and coordinator to promote and support high quality differentiated instruction to maximize student growth for all students.

Note: The Grade 3 and 4 talent development program will continue to operate as a pull out program for Math and Literacy for the 2014 and 2015 school years. However, we are laying the groundwork to transition our K-4 elementary program to a LEAP style “push-in” talent development offering beginning in the 2016-17 school year.

Third Grade Talent Development Math Class
The third grade talent development math class is a pull-out model of implementation where students join the talent development teacher during the third grade math block each school day.  As part of the talent development Math class, students follow the Math in Focus  program and enjoy additional challenging math experiences to support their abilities in mathematics.  These additional experiences integrate with the focus of each chapter. The talent development teacher communicates regularly with the class participants’ regular classroom teacher and parents/guardians regarding test scores, behavior, effort, and progress.

Third Grade Talent Development Literacy Class
The third grade talent development literacy class is a pull-out model of implementation where students join the talent development teacher during the third grade literacy block each school day.  The talent development litracy class follows the Brunswick School Department’s Language Arts/Literacy Curriculm.  Students participant’s experience a level of learning and expectation suited to their needs. The talent development teacher communicates regularly with the class participants’ regular classroom teacher and parents/guardians regarding performance levels, achievement, behavior, effort, and progress.

Grades 4-8 Literacy Program Focus
The fourth, fifth grade and sixth grade literacy classes challenge students to press deeply and read, write and discuss literary and informational texts from a number of angles, while becoming passionate, careful and creative readers and writers. To facilitate this process each grade’s curriculum is designed around a theme, a lens through which students can examine not only literary texts, but scientific, historical and philosophical questions. Linking the different texts together allows students to engage in critical thinking at a high level by noting similarities and differences, exploring the writer’s craft, and then creating their own work using the techniques and genres each author they study employs.

During the 2014-15 school year, the fourth grade students will delve into the concept of discovery as they read about the natural world, heroes (human and animal), and ordinary children. The fifth graders will focus on the importance of effort, motivation and perseverance as they read about explorers, plague victims, medical doctors, and remarkable boys and girls. Meanwhile, at the Junior High, the sixth grade students will explore the idea of the individual in society, as they analyze and evaluate how people’s actions, inaction and words contribute positively and negatively to society.

Creativity is also encouraged in the literacy program, so along with intensive analytical and creative writing, students develop dramatic, artistic, and technological projects as ways to convey their understanding of the material they read. They also learn about the fundamentals of language by studying grammar in English and Latin. Creating grammar posters, books and games are some of the ways they reinforce the rules they’ve learned.

In the seventh and eighth grades the focus of the Talent Development Program’s literacy program shifts to the regular classroom where team teaching, special projects, differentiation and small group work are the modes for delivering services.

Grades 4-8 Math Program Focus
Beginning in grade 4, the Talent Development Program’s mathematics emphasis is acceleration. This is accomplished by teaching students in a small group separate from the regular classroom. Students are taught Common Core standards with Math in Focus materials in grades 4-5, but the pacing of the classes is generally much faster than that found in the regular classrooms. Additionally, students develop the eight mathematical practices found in the Common Core. In particular, students devote much energy to communicating effectively about their thinking and the thinking of others.

In 2014-2015, students in grade 6 are learning content presented in the 7th grade Big Ideas text. Those students who successfully meet the entrance criteria will then enroll in Algebra I as 7th graders.

Students in grade 7 are studying first year Honors high school algebra, while students in 8th grade are studying high school Honors Geometry.

To support those strong students who are not ready to learn math at the faster pace of the accelerated classes, the Talent Development Math specialist will collaborate with classroom teachers on differentiation strategies.

Brunswick Junior High – Gifted & Talented Visual Art
The GT Art program at BJHS gives identified students meaningful opportunities to enrich, nurture, and explore advanced artistic skills and appreciation for the Visual Arts.  Experiences may include field trips to local and regional art museums, day-long workshops, visits to artists’ studios, and participation in other in-depth art experiences.  GT Art students are identified each fall through an application process in which students submit a portfolio of artwork and a written artist’s statement.  Applications are scored based on a rubric – both application and rubric are available on the BJHS Art Department website.

The HBS Gifted and Talented Art program (GTArt) identifies students in grades 3, 4, and 5 each fall. The GTArt evaluation team will determine which students need GTArt services and notify their parents/guardians.  Identified students are offered differentiated experiences throughout the school year.

Brunswick Junior High – Gifted & Talented Music
The Music program at BJHS evaluates and identifies Gifted and Talented Music students each fall in their General Music and performance classes (Band and Chorus).  Identified students are offered differentiated education that leads to numerous opportunities for solo, featured, and small group performances throughout the year.

The Music program in grades 3-5 at HBS evaluates and identifies Gifted and Talented Music students each fall in their General Music classes. Identified students are offered differentiated education and enrichment opportunities.

Brunswick High School
The talent development program continues to maintain a list of identified students during the high school years. However, the unique learning needs of these students are addressed through the leveled courses and the Advanced Placement classes available as listed in the school handbook:

Five curriculum levels:
Advanced Placement,  Honors,   Accelerated,  Academic, and Preparatory

There are fifteen Advanced placement courses offered:
English IV, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Statistics, Computer Science, Advanced Biology, US History, European History, Spanish V, French IV, French V, Latin IV, Art Drawing, Art 2D Drawing, Art 3D Drawing.

Comments are closed.