Gifted and Talented in West Ada School District
In West Ada School District, we work to support the gifted and talented learner in many ways. We want to help the whole child develop. We focus on depth and complexity of learning, rather than acceleration. None of our GT courses are accelerated into another grade level. We want to help students find the love of asking questions and delving into new realms. We know that the students we have today are preparing for jobs that we cannot name, but we know they need to be problem solvers and have persistence in the face of challenges. We understand that social and emotional needs of the students must be addressed for them to maximize their potential, so we have affective curriculum built into each grade’s GT service - second grade through eighth grade.
Our Gifted and Talented program allows for many points of entry. We begin testing students for services in 1st grade, and we continue to offer identification testing through eighth grade. In second grade, services are provided at the home campus by one of our GT Facilitators. Beginning in third grade, families and students have two options. one option is a weekly pull out. We bus students one day a week from approximately 9:30-1:30 to one of five GT centers. During this time students work on units and projects that are aligned to standards, but allow for creativity and collaboration. The other option is our self-contained classrooms. We currently have three schools that house this program- Andrus, Discovery, and Hillsdale (will be Siena in August 2019). The seats chosen through a lottery system that opens every February. In these self-contained classrooms, we work from compacted curriculum to allow for more cross-curricular connections and more depth of learning.