Exceptionally Gifted Component
“Exceptionally gifted students are those for whom the education system must make exceptions. The social and academic environments that form the core of students’ everyday experiences play a critical role in their social and emotional adjustment, as well as their ultimate productivity and life satisfaction. Despite common wisdom and stereotypes to the contrary, exceptionally and profoundly advanced students do not show inherent social deficiencies more frequently than anyone else. It is the mismatch with the environments we afford them that isolates and discourages their efforts to relate to others. This situation is a responsibility we must take seriously."
Miraca U. M. Gross, Ph.D.
Even within giftedness, there are varying degrees of intellectual abilities and academic potential. The Exceptionally Gifted Resource Component (EGRC) was designed to identify, support, and help challenge those students within the Rockwood Gifted Program whose abilities are at the upper end of the gifted continuum (i.e., 147 IQ or above). This population of learners presents unique and extraordinary individual needs, often exceeding program options typically provided within the regular and gifted classrooms. The goal of the EGRC is to provide support to parents, teachers, and students so that appropriate learning experiences are available for our exceptionally gifted students to further develop and maximize their academic and psychosocial potential. Services provided by program staff include:
- meeting and corresponding with individual classroom teachers to provide staff development on appropriate acceleration and differentiation strategies
- consulting with content area coordinators to determine available programming options and resources for the district’s exceptionally gifted students
- facilitating independent study opportunities at the Center
- meeting with parents to discuss educational plans
- providing parent support sessions
- providing individual student support as needed
- researching current best practices in education
related to program services for exceptionally gifted individuals
"To understand highly gifted children it is essential to realize that, although they are children with the same basic needs as other children, they are very different. Adults cannot ignore or gloss over their differences without doing serious damage to these children, for the differences will not go away or be outgrown. They affect almost every aspect of these children's intellectual and emotional lives. A microscope analogy is one useful way of understanding extreme intelligence. If we say that all people look at the world through a lens, with some lenses cloudy or distorted, some clear, and some magnified, we might say that gifted individuals view the world through a microscope lens and the highly gifted view it through an electron microscope. They see ordinary things in very different ways and often see what others simply cannot see.”
Stephanie S. Tolan, 1996
For additional information on the Exceptionally Gifted Resource Component, please contact Janice Wenger, EGRC Specialist, through email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (636) 891-6570.
An excellent website to learn more about exceptionally gifted youth is http://www.geniusdenied.com
The mission of Artistic Connections, the visual art morning component of the Rockwood School District Gifted Program, is to support the goals of the Gifted program and extend the comprehensive curriculum into the art room through integrating concepts, skills, and vocabulary from the classroom units of study with challenging Discipline Based Art Education activities (history, aesthetics, production, and criticism) which appropriately engages gifted children in learning and enhances their cognitive, creative, social, and artistic growth in an atmosphere that is conducive to artistic risk
The philosophy of the integrated art component, Artistic Connections, is to provide gifted students with various opportunities to explore learning and demonstrate comprehension while increasing their interpersonal competency, art aptitude, creativity, problem solving skills, and integrated content knowledge. Children are able to internalize and make abstract concepts concrete by investigating them with a visual perspective. Interdisciplinary learning allows students to make connections across the disciplines and invigorates the entire gifted school experience.
The goal of the visual arts curriculum is to align instruction in the art room with strategies to differentiate instruction to meet the diverse needs of the gifted student. Differentiated instruction in the Artistic Connections art curriculum includes:
- Instruction which facilitates intellectual growth through visual activities
- Instruction at more abstract and conceptual levels
- Interaction with challenging and supportive peers
- Access to diverse topics and content not ordinarily taught in art education
- Curriculum, and opportunities for exploratory investigations and creative synthesizing of ideas
The Artistic Connections curriculum was implemented in 1991. Participants are elementary students in grades one through five who attend The Center for Creative Learning, the Gifted Program of Rockwood School District.
Students attend art education every other week on their attendance day at the Center. The weeks not allocated to art are spent attending physical education classes. The approximate total of art education lessons, for each child per school year, is eighteen. Each meeting is specifically designed to integrate with the classroom unit of study. Students rotate to a different unit of study at the end of the semester.
The lessons are designed and implemented by the art educator as result of collaborative planning with each gifted classroom teacher. The teachers decide which concepts, skills, or vocabulary from the classroom unit can be visually reinforced or extended in the art room, and how student comprehension will be impacted.
All phases of the curriculum incorporate opportunities for students to practice art skills, interpersonal skills, critical thinking, creative problem solving, creative production of learning products, and exploration of authentic real world issues. Each lesson clearly states learning objectives, and includes references to the core objectives, and the Missouri Show Me Standards.
- Students will integrate classroom content with artistic processes, techniques, and skills and will be able to evaluate and communicate the interconnectedness between cognitive concepts and artistic endeavors.
- Students will investigate the role that art has played in history/culture and evaluate how it affects them personally.
- Students will think critically about their own artwork, develop their skills, and will feel encouraged to take artistic risks.
- Students will analyze and solve artistic problems by applying and synthesizing art and design elements, and principles through the production of original student artwork.
- Students will demonstrate personal and interpersonal skills to independently, and collaboratively, plan and implement appropriate steps to design and present artistic products, which communicate comprehension of classroom content.
Artistically Gifted Component Identification Grades 3 - 5
The Artistically Gifted Component (AGC) is a facet of Rockwood’s elementary gifted program. The purpose of this component is to identify and serve students in the gifted program who are also gifted in the visual arts. AGC classes are offered in addition to regularly scheduled art classes that all Center for Creative Learning (CCL) students receive. The AGC offers a specialized curriculum that is both advanced and different than the curriculum offered to students at their home schools and in regularly scheduled art classes at the CCL. AGC classes are semester-long experiences scheduled in the Fall and Spring. They are offered in lieu of one afternoon kaleidoscope in quarters one and two (grade 5) or in lieu of one afternoon kaleidoscope in quarters three and four (grades 3 and 4.)
The identification process for the AGC is based on best practices described in the gifted literature and involves nomination, identification and notification procedures.
Students must be enrolled in the CCL and nominated by CCL’s art teachers in order to be considered for the AGC. During second semester of each school year, the artwork of all students in second, third and fourth grade is reviewed to determine which students will be nominated for the AGC. An Art Teacher Nomination and Rating Scale is completed on each student who is nominated by his or her CCL art teacher. During the summer, a letter is sent home notifying parents of their child’s nomination. Included in the mailing is information about the AGC, a Parent Rating Scale, a Permission-To-Test form and alternative dates available to participate in the next step of the identification process.
All students who are nominated and call or return paperwork to the CCL are scheduled to receive a one-hour assessment called the Clark Drawing Abilities Test. Parents are offered alternative Saturday testing dates and times and must bring their children to the CCL for the assessment. Based on the results of this drawing test, the Parent Rating Scale and the Art Teacher Nomination and Rating Scale, a final decision is made regarding students’ eligibility to participate in the AGC.
The results of the AGC identification process are sent to the families of all students who are candidates for the Component. Included in the letter for students who meet criteria is a permission-to-participate form that needs to be completed and returned to the CCL. Once students are identified for the AGC, they are eligible to enroll in the Component each year they attend the CCL. Retesting is not required for subsequent enrollment in the Component.
Identification for the AGC takes place once a year. The only exception to this guideline is for highly talented third or fourth grade students who begin attending the CCL second quarter of the year. In these limited cases, the art teachers will make alternative plans to assess students for the Component. Those plans include obtaining an Art Teacher Nomination and Rating Scale from the student’s elementary school art teacher.
Parents can submit a request for reconsideration to the AGC Facilitator, Lynn Blosser, if they believe their child is artistically gifted but have not received a nomination letter from the Center. A more detailed Art Teacher Nomination and Rating Scale will be completed on the student or students in question. Parents will be notified of the outcome. Reconsideration is not an option for students who were nominated by the Center but did not qualify for the AGC.
Bodies & Brains in Motion is the physical education component of the elementary gifted program. Recognized as a Best Practice in the state of Missouri, the program helps students practice skills that will enable them to succeed in the gymnasium and beyond. The program’s goal is to provide challenging activities that facilitate the child’s intellectual, physical, and social-emotional growth. The learning environment merges effective teaching strategies from both gifted education and physical education.
The interdisciplinary curriculum integrates ideas, concepts and skills from each classroom thematic unit of instruction along with opportunities to increase physical fitness. Students engage in simulations and collaborative tasks relevant to the real-world issues they investigate in the gifted classroom. Protecting the environment, proposing ways to feed the world’s growing population, evaluating the need for organ donation, investigating the impact of biotechnology, or solving local transportation problems are among the topics that provide fertile material for students to investigate in creative kinesthetic lessons. Lessons include opportunities for students to practice process skills from the Missouri Show-Me Standards such as information processing, critical thinking, problem-solving, and communicating effectively. Character education skills such as responsibility, cooperation, honesty, and perseverance are incorporated in the curriculum through innovative, collaborative physical challenges that are of high-interest to the students.
Frequently asked questions:
How often does a student attend physical education at the Center?
Students attend the Center one full day per week. On that day, they will either attend art or physical education on an alternating schedule as part of their morning learning experiences. The afternoons are devoted to elective classes called “kaleidoscopes.” The physical education classes meet for thirty minutes. Rockwood students also have daily physical education in their “home” schools.
How does the gifted program physical education curriculum differ from that in the “home” schools?
Along with any quality physical education program, the CCL physical education program strives to engage students in meaningful activities that will promote a healthy, active lifestyle, and prepare citizens who are fit for the future. However, at the Center, students do not receive instruction in basic skill mastery nor do they complete fitness assessments, as these are accomplished in their regular physical education classes. The curriculum is generally divided into two broad categories and roughly fifty percent of the instruction time is allocated to each. These are: the integration of core cognitive content and processes from the gifted classroom thematic units, and innovative collaborative physical challenges.
What are some typical activities students participate in at the Center?
Offering students choices and opportunity to work at their own pace, in a style that works best for him/her, is evident in the gymnasium. Students are often engaged in learning activities at stations around the room. The stations may involve activities that enhance manipulative skills, aerobic fitness, rhythmic ability, coordination, or creative movement to name a few. One significant characteristic of the Bodies & Brains in Motion curricular activities is a spirit of fun that “hooks” children on physical activity and instills in them a desire to participate in a non-competitive atmosphere of support and acceptance.
ILLNESS AND EXCLUSION FROM SCHOOL
Whenever your child has a temperature of 100 degrees or higher. They may return to school when temperature is below 100 for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication such as Tylenol or Motrin. Whenever your child is vomiting or has diarrhea. Whenever you suspect or note the onset of a contagious illness or rash.
MEDICATION AT SCHOOL - BASIC POLICY
Parent permission (request for medication to be given) form, filled out and signed must accompany Rx labeled container for prescription medication, and parent permission form with physician signature or separate doctor note must accompany over the counter medications in original packaging. Whenever possible, medications should be administered at home. All medications should be transported to and from school by a responsible adult/parent. The nurse may not send medications home with students. Most pharmacies will package in two separate containers when asked, so that medications used at home and at school will each have their own package, eliminating the need to transport medicine back and forth from home to school. Even cough drops are considered over the counter medication.
ADMINISTERING MEDICINES TO STUDENTS - (Board Policy 2870)
It shall be the policy of the Board of Education that the giving of medicine to students during school hours be discouraged and restricted to medication that cannot be given on an alternative schedule. The Board of Education recognizes that some students may require medication for chronic or short term illness/injury or disabling condition during the school day to enable them to remain in school and participate in their education. Thank you for assisting in this aspect of your child's education and the safe administration of medication in the school setting. Please contact your child's school nurse if you need more information.
Click here to download the Request for Medication form in a printable .pdf format. You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer in order to view the document for printing.
Click here to download a Health Examination Form. You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer in order to view the document for printing.
Learn more information about nurses at Rockwood.
Students who are exceptionally talented in math need to be challenged by higher levels of mathematical thinking. These students need opportunities to find connections among the many branches of mathematics and the real world. When solving challenging real world math problems, collaboration with other students at a similar level promotes innovative higher level thinking and problem solving.
The Center offers a semester-long class in fourth and fifth grade specifically designed to challenge mathematically gifted students. The gifted program determines student eligibility for the class by looking at both the SAT-10 (Total Math) and the MAP (Math). One of these two standardized test scores must be in the 99th percentile. The alternate score can be no less than the 90th percentile. Students who meet these criteria receive a letter in December. Math component begins each January and is a semester-long Kaleidoscope class taken in lieu of one other kaleidoscope class each quarter during second semester.
In both fourth and fifth grade math component, students use high level mathematical reasoning to solve real world problems. Students participate in simulations that enable them to apply and adapt a variety of appropriate strategies to solve the problem. Working as a team member, students make meaningful contributions, build new mathematical knowledge, and monitor and reflect on the process of problem solving. Counseling Services
The role of counselor at the Center is to respond to the unique needs of the gifted child. It is hoped that children will develop an appreciation of their talents, sensitivities and interests. Supporting the Center’s children and their families is a daily goal and is done in a variety of ways. The counselor meets individually with students, counsels students in whole group settings, facilitates family counseling sessions, conducts Care Team meetings, provides academic support and guidance, advocates for at-risk children, and provides information on gifted related topics. Both the Primary Campus and the Intermediate Campus have a counselor on staff.
The counseling curriculum can be observed daily at the CCL. The counselor does whole class instruction on topics that are developmentally appropriate for the gifted child. The overall counseling curriculum is geared towards the gifted learner, inviting them to participate in active discussion and activities. Each grade level has its over all focus for the year. They are as follows:
- Group sessions at the 1st grade level involve the teaching and practicing of verbal and nonverbal communication skills in an academically rigorous setting. Students are guided to incorporate these skills in emotional and academic realms in everyday learning and social environments. These skills help students recognize that they live in a world of others and how to have successfully interactions that enable them to celebrate the uniqueness of self and others.
- Group sessions at the 2nd grade level involve exploring peer relationships on a personal and learning level. Activities surround building relationships, personal and group goal setting, and working as a group on academic problem solving. These skills help the gifted student consider the ideas of others, recognize “failure” as a learning tool in the problem solving process, and to acknowledge their role in their own personal learning and in the learning of the group.
- Group sessions at the 3rd grade level involve learning about giftedness, creativity, attending to their ability, goal setting, and working successfully in a group. Activities directly relate to the topics through interactive sessions. After each session, the children are debriefed and conclusions are made about what they observed, learned, and ways to apply new skills to current situations. These skills help the gifted student practice strategies that encourage the development of their ability along with positive social interactions.
- Group sessions at the 4th grade level involve learning about emotional intelligence. The activities invite students to investigate relationships through observation, personal exploration, group discussion, and literature. These skills help students develop social and self-awareness. Opportunities to discuss “giftedness” are provided through student-initiated discussions.
- Group sessions at the 5th grade level involve learning more about relationships and how they work. They examine friendships traits and compare and contrast those traits to what they know about peer pressure and popularity. The students generate discussions based on their own personal observations and experiences. The 5th graders are provided the opportunity to discuss issues related to the middle school during the second semester. These sessions encourage the gifted student to establish a social and academic knowledge base related to their personal belief systems before entering middle school.
Kindergarten students begin in January and they too have visits with the counselor. The counseling curriculum at this level utilizes literature to present a number of topics focusing on early learning as a gifted student.