Gifted Education in the North Bolivar Consolidated School District
The Mississippi Gifted Education Act of 1989, as amended in 1993, mandates that each public school district within the state provide gifted education programs for intellectually gifted students in grades 2-6.
"Intellectually gifted children" shall mean those children and youth who are found to have an exceptionally high degree of intelligence as documented through the identification process. The needs of these students should be addressed based on the program options provided in the Outcomes for Intellectually Gifted Education Programs Grades 2-8 in Mississippi.
The "Intellectually Gifted Children" of NBCSD are called the "BLAZERS" (Boosting Learner's Academic Zone, through Exploration Resources and Support). The NBCSD BLAZERS is an enrichment program of instruction based on process skills, not content, for intellectually gifted children in grades 2-6 designed to meet individually needs of gifted children and is addition to and different from the regular program of instruction of the district.
Characteristics of Intellectually Gifted Students
- Highly curious
- Constructs abstractions
- Draws inferences
- Initiates projects
- Creates new designs
- Manipulates information
- Thrives on complexity
- Keenly observant
- Highly self-critical
- Discusses and elaborates on questions
- Masters skills quickly or already knows the skill
- Provided an equitable identification process that is inclusive and meets requirements as outlined in state regulations.
- Provided an environment that fosters/encourages opportunities for gifted students to interact with intellectual peers.
- Provide a qualitatively different program of instruction in compliance with MDE regulations, standards, and learning outcomes that addresses individual student strengths, and interests, learning styles, and unique needs of gifted students.
- Provide specialized training for gifted education teachers, counselors, and other personnel on appropriated instructional strategies, and the nature and needs of gifted students.
- Provide differentiated guidance efforts for gifted students including those who are underachieving, twice exceptional, and at risk through the assistance of school counselors.
- Provide an on-going and annual evaluation of each student's progress in
- the gifted program
- Provide for an annual comprehensive assessment of the effectiveness of the district's gifted program
The mission of the BLAZERS is to insure that intellectually gifted children, as defined by the Mississippi Department of Education, are offered appropriate educational experiences that are qualitatively different from those available in the regular classroom in order to provide opportunities for them to realize their abilities and potential.
STUDENT IDENTIFICATION PROCESS
The student identification process is separated into six stages which include (1) referral, (2) LSC review of referral data, (3) parental permission for testing, (4) assessment, (5) assessment report, and (6) the LSC eligibility determination stage.
-LSC-Local Survey Committee will be known as BPC-BLAZERS Placement Committee.
The identification process consists of a combination of subjective and objective measures to determine eligibility for the gifted program and includes an equitable opportunity for the inclusion of students who are culturally diverse, underachieving, disabled under Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) guidelines, physically handicapped, or ADD/ADHD, as well as students who exhibit classroom behavior such as extreme shyness, short attention spans, disruptiveness, continual questioning, and anxiety. Throughout the identification process, district personnel are careful to select measures that target the student's strengths.
All data collected as part of the identification process are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Access to this information is restricted to those personnel working directly with the identification process, working directly in the gifted education program, or that have a documented need to access. Parents will be informed of the information/data collected and may gain access to their children's records by written request to the school's gifted education personnel at any time. Upon completion of the identification process, results of the Assessment Team Report will be explained to the parents, and a copy of the assessment report provided.
STAGE 1: REFERRAL
Referral for the gifted education program is based on consideration of performance in the regular classroom, potential ability, test performance, intellectual characteristics, creativity, and/or leadership potential. While grades and/or achievement test scores might be an indicator of giftedness, by MDE Regulations, neither classroom behavior, grades, or achievement test scores may be used to eliminate a student from the identification process.
As mandated in MDE Gifted Regulations, the North Bolivar Consolidated School District follows the state minimal scale/percentile score criteria on all referral measures.
There are two types of gifted referral processes:
- Type One - The Mass Screening Referral Process addresses those students who are mass screened for gifted eligibility.
- Type Two - The Individual Referral Process addresses those students who are individually referred for gifted eligibility.
Type One: Mass Screening Referral Process
A normed group measure of intelligence will be administered to all students in the mass screening referral process to assist in identifying students in underrepresented populations. All students who obtain a full scale/composite score at or above the 90th percentile shall move forward in the referral process. In addition to the normed group measure of intelligence obtained in mass screening, a student shall satisfy two of the following criteria before moving forward to Stage 2 of the identification process,
LSC Review of Referral Data:
- a score at or above the superior range on a normed published characteristics of giftedness checklist,
- a score at or above the superior range on a normed published measure of creativity,
- a score at or above the superior range on a normed published measure of leadership,
- a score at or above the 90th percentile on a normed measure of cognitive ability,
- a score at or above the
90th percentile on an existing measure of individual intelligence that has been administered within the past twelve months, and/or 6. other measures that are documented in the research on identification of intellectually gifted students.
Type Two: Individual Referral Process
This process involves students who are individually referred for gifted eligibility. Any student who does not meet the minimum acceptable criteria (score in the 90th percentile) on the normed group measure of intelligence during the Mass Screening Referral Process and does not qualify for the Emerging Potential for Gifted criteria, can be referred by anyone for the Individual Referral for Screening Process. The individually referred student shall not be excluded from the referral process by his or her performance on the normed group measure of intelligence administered during the Mass Screening Referral Process.
All students in grades served by the program comprise the initial screening pool of potential recipients for gifted education services. A student may be referred for consideration, pending documentation of the above criteria, by a parent, teacher, counselor, administrator, peer, self, or anyone else having reason to believe that the student might be academically and intellectually gifted. A referral must be initiated by written request to the teacher of the gifted. The person initiating the referral shall sign the referral form and date it. Once the student is referred, the district personnel shall collect the data required to satisfy the referral criteria. Once a referral form has been initiated, signed, and dated, only the LSC or parents can stop the identification process.
Students participating in the Individual Referral Process shall satisfy three of the following criteria before moving forward to the LSC Review of Referral Data Stage: 1. a score at or above the 90th percentile on a group measure of intelligence that has been administered within the past twelve months, 2. a score at or above the superior range on a normed published characteristics of giftedness checklist, 3. a score at or above the superior range on a normed published measure of creativity, 4. a score at or above the superior range on a normed published measure of leadership, 5. a score at or above the 90th percentile on a normed measure of cognitive ability, 6. a score at or above the 90th percentile on an existing measure of individual intelligence that has been administered within the past twelve months, and/or 7. other measures that are documented in the research on identification of intellectually gifted students.
STAGE 2: LSC REVIEW OF REFERRAL DATA
Once the referral data has been collected, the LSC shall review all data and make one of the following recommendations: 1. the student has satisfied minimal criteria on at least three measures and should move forward to the assessment stage, or 2. the student has not satisfied minimal criteria on at least three measures, however, the LSC feels strongly that additional data should be collected and the student reconsidered at that time, or 3. the student has not satisfied minimal criteria on at least three measures and the identification process should stop.
PROVISIONS FOR EMERGING POTENTIAL FOR GIFTED POPULATIONS
At this point the LSC shall make the decision as to the possibility that the student could be eligible for consideration as a candidate for an emerging potential for gifted assessment. If it is believed that the student might have emerging gifted potential, then the Emerging Potential for Intellectually Gifted Assessment Checklist will be completed for possible use during the assessment process. The Emerging Potential for Gifted category makes provisions for factors that exist and may put the student at a disadvantage when inappropriate instruments are used during the assessment process.
STAGE 3: PARENTAL PERMISSION FOR TESTING
If a student meets the criteria for referral, the Gifted Local Survey Committee will recommend individual assessment to determine eligibility for an "Intellectually Gifted" ruling. Written parental permission for testing must be obtained before any individual testing is initiated and parents will be notified in writing of their rights under FERPA.
STAGE 4: ASSESSMENT
District personnel shall review and compile all data available on the student. This data shall be made available to a licensed examiner who will administer an individual test of intelligence. In no case will the examiner be related to the student being tested. The examiner shall review all available data on the student to select the most appropriate test of intelligence. Standard operating procedures will be followed during the selection and administration of all assessments as reflected in the examiner's manuals. A student must score at or above the 91st percentile composite/full scale or the 91st percentile on approved subtests (as per publisher) in order to satisfy eligibility criteria. Identification criteria, as approved by the MDE on the North Bolivar Consolidated School District Gifted Education Program Proposal, must be satisfied for a student to be ruled eligible by the LSC for the intellectually gifted education program.
Emerging Potential for Gifted
Students who have satisfied criteria on the Emerging Potential for Gifted Checklist who did not satisfy minimal acceptable criteria on an individual test of intelligence, but, did score at least at the 85th percentile or have a scale score that falls within the range of the 90th percentile confidence interval of the state minimum scale/percentile score, may be administered one of the following additional measures to determine eligibility: 1. A test of cognitive abilities with a minimal score at the 90th percentile, 2. A group intelligence measure with a minimal score at the 90th percentile, or 3. A district-developed matrix approved by the MDE.
Potentially Twice-Exceptional Students
In compliance with MDE gifted regulations, students who already have an eligibility ruling under IDEA and are being assessed for an intellectually gifted eligibility, will be considered potentially Twice Exceptional. Students who did not satisfy all of the required minimal acceptable referral criteria, but did meet at least one referral criterion, shall have their results reviewed by the LSC and a licensed examiner. If the student scores at or above the 91st percentile on the individual test of intelligence composite score or approved subtest score or, in the opinion of the reviewing committee, would benefit from participation in the intellectually gifted program, the student may be granted a provisional eligibility for the intellectually gifted program for a period of one year. At the end of that year, the student's teacher of the gifted shall meet with the review committee to discuss the student's performance in the program. If the student has demonstrated success in the program, the LSC shall change the eligibility status from provisional to regular eligibility. If the student has not been successful in the program, the provisional eligibility shall be revoked.
STAGE 5: ASSESSMENT REPORT
District personnel shall compile an Assessment Report, which contains all the MDE required components: Student's name, 1. Name of at least three measures from Stage 1: Referral that were used to determine the need to administer an individual test of intelligence, 2. Results of each measure, 3. Name of individual who administered or completed each measure and the date administered or completed, 4. Test behaviors for any individually administered test(s), 5. Interpretation of the results of each individually administered test(s), 6. Name of the person who administered the individual test of intelligence and date test was administered, 7. Qualifications of the individual who administered the individual test of intelligence, 8. Results of the individual test of intelligence to include scores on all subtests and, identified strengths and weaknesses, 9. Name of the person responsible for writing the Assessment Report, his/her signature, and position, and 10. Date of the Assessment Report.
STAGE 6: LSC ELIGIBILITY DETERMINATION
Once the Assessment Report is finalized, the LSC shall meet to review all data and determine if eligibility criteria have or have not been satisfied. The LSC shall rule that the student is or is not eligible for the intellectually gifted program.
Parents of each student tested will be notified in writing about the results of their child's assessment for the intellectually gifted program and their rights under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). District personnel shall offer to explain any of the results about which the parents have questions.
OUT-OF-STATE GIFTED ELIGIBILITIES
As each state has a unique set of eligibility criteria for placement in a gifted program, a student moving to Mississippi with a gifted eligibility from another state must satisfy Mississippi eligibility criteria before being considered for placement in the gifted program. The eligibility ruling from another state may be used to initiate the referral process in Mississippi. There is no temporary placement in the gifted program while the student goes through the eligibility process within the district.
PLACEMENT IN THE GIFTED PROGRAM
Once a student is ruled eligible for placement in the gifted program, the parent has the right to agree to placement or withhold placement of the child in the program. Written parental permission must be obtained before the child can be placed in the program.
Participation in the Gifted Education Program is NOT a reward. It is an Entitlement under State Law (Mississippi Gifted Education Act of 1989, Mississippi Code Sections 37-23-171 through 3723-181).
Once a student is determined eligible for a gifted program in Mississippi, no reevaluation testing is required to remain in the program. Although criteria may vary from district to district, an eligible determination is accepted by all school districts within the State of Mississippi.
As outlined in MDE Gifted Regulations, gifted students may not be required to make up class work missed when they are scheduled to be in the gifted classroom. Gifted students shall be held accountable for demonstrating mastery of concepts and information on regularly scheduled tests. Homework assigned to the regular classroom students for the evening of the BLAZERS day must be completed.
ANNUAL REASSESSMENT FOR CONTINUED PLACEMENT
A committee shall meet at least annually to reassess each gifted student's continuation in the gifted program. The committee must include at least the student's teacher of the gifted and a designated administrative representative. As stated in the MDE Gifted Education Regulations, "since participation in the gifted program is an entitlement under the law, the students should remain in the gifted program as long as they are being successful in the program. Grades and/or success in the regular education program are the responsibility of the regular classroom teachers and should not be considered as a reason for removal from the gifted program."
In the event a student fails to make progress or exhibits unsatisfactory participation in the gifted program, a meeting of the reassessment committee will be held to consider the student's performance. If the committee determines that the student is failing to make progress in the program, the student will be placed on probation in the gifted program for the next 9-weeks term. The parents will be notified and given an opportunity to meet with the committee to discuss the decision and develop a plan of action. During this time, the student will continue to participate in the gifted program. If at the end of the period of probation, the student's performance improves to a satisfactory level, the student will be removed from probation and recommended for continued placement. If at the end of the 9-weeks term the student has failed to improve his/her performance to a satisfactory level, the reassessment committee can recommend the student be removed from the program. Documentation of all reassessment committee meetings must be maintained.
If the committee determines that the student should exit BLAZERS due to lack of progress and/or unsatisfactory participation in the program, the student's parents will be notified and given the opportunity to discuss the decision with the committee before the student is removed. Should the parents not agree to the removal of the student from the program, the district shall grant the parents a hearing.
Parents who are not in agreement with the school based committee decision to remove a student from the gifted program will present their concerns, orally or in writing to the principal of the school. The principal and parent will attempt to resolve the matter informally. If the parents are not satisfied with the action taken by the principal, the parents shall, within five (5) school days after the meeting with the principal, put their concerns in writing and present them to the North Bolivar Consolidated gifted contact person. The gifted contact person will schedule a meeting with the Hearing Committee within five (5) school days or a time frame agreed upon by the parents. Parents will be extended an invitation to attend the Hearing Committee meeting. The Hearing Committee will render a written decision based on information shared during the meeting.
Students will be considered for reinstatement in the gifted program at the request of the parents and with the recommendation of classroom teachers. Consideration and arrangements for reinstatement in the program will be made through the Local Gifted Survey Committee and documented in the minutes. Written notification of the student's eligibility for reinstatement will be forwarded to the parents and teachers of the student. Written parental permission must be obtained before the student can be placed in the program.
PERFORMANCE IN THE REGULAR CLASSROOM
In the event a student has difficulty keeping up with regular classroom work, a conference will be held with the parent, classroom teacher, teacher of the gifted, and the student, if appropriate, to discuss the problem and to determine an appropriate course of action. The conference and plan of action will be documented and follow-up conferences will be held as needed. As the academic progress and welfare of the students are of prime consideration, special situations will be handled on an individual basis.
Parents and interested parties are welcome to visit the BLAZERS classes. Please contact the school office or teachers of the gifted to make arrangements.
For additional information or questions about the North Bolivar Consolidated School District Gifted Education Program please contact Bobbie Moore, Gifted Coordinator at 662-398-2974.
- Mississippi Gifted Education Act of 1989, Mississippi Code Sections 37- 23-171 through 37-23181
- Regulations for Gifted Education Programs in Mississippi (2006) REGULATIONS FOR GIFTED EDUCATION
Gifted Curriculum Material
- Differentiated Literacy Strategies for Student Growth and Achievement in Grades K-6 Gayle H. Gregory, Lin Kuzmich, 2005
- Differentiated Literacy Strategies for Student Growth and Achievement in Grades 7-12 Gayle H. Gregory, Lin Kuzmich, 2005
- Differentiated Instructional Strategies for Reading in the Content Areas Carolyn Chapman and Rita King, 2003
- Differentiating Instruction with Menus Math Laurie E. Westphal, 2016
- Daily Warm-Ups Character Education J.Weston Walch, Publisher, 2003
- Parent Resources Mississippi Association for Gifted Children
- National Association for Gifted Children
- Uniquely Gifted (twice-exceptional)
- Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted
- Families of the Talented & Gifted
Xandra Brooks-Keys, Assistant Superintendent (Gifted Coordinator) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kolandra Jackson, Gifted Teacher/Contact Email: email@example.com