Gifted Ed - General Information
Shelby County School System complies with Alabama Act 106 that mandates school systems identify and serve gifted students. Shelby County Schools follow the guidelines set forth in the “gifted” section of the Alabama Department of Education – Administrative Code - Chapter 290-8-9-.12 for: Referral, Consent, Evaluation, Eligibility Determination, Placement and Service Delivery Options, Gifted Education Plan, Administration, Caseload, and Procedural Safeguards.
Definition of Gifted
Intellectually gifted children and youth are those who perform at or have demonstrated the potential to perform at high levels in academic or creative fields when compared with others of their age, experience, or environment. These children and youth require services not ordinarily provided by the regular school program. Children and youth possessing these abilities can be found in all populations, across all economic strata, and in all areas of human endeavor. Gifted students may be found within any race, ethnicity, gender, economic class, or nationality. In addition, some students with disabilities may be gifted..
he Shelby County School System prohibits discrimination against any student on the above basis with respect to his/her participation in the gifted program.
Gifted students are those who perform at high levels in academic or creative fields when compared to others of their age, experience, or environment. These students require services not ordinarily provided by the regular school program. Students possessing these abilities can be found in all populations, across all economic strata, and in all areas of human endeavor.
Contrary to popular opinion, the gifted do not ordinarily excel or realize their potential without assistance. As a matter of fact, unique abilities can atrophy without proper nurturing. Thus it is essential that gifted students be identified and provided with continued challenges, stimulation, and encouragement.
Education for the gifted should involve both:
- Appropriate academic provisions in grades K-12 (modified curriculum, advanced classes, compacting, contracting, cluster grouping, differentiated curriculum offerings, independent study), and
- Services by specialists trained to understand the nature and needs of gifted students and trained to offer a differentiated education which focuses on developing higher level thinking skills and exploring topics at higher levels of conceptualization.
Children who are gifted form a diverse group with a variety of needs, therefore, requiring a range of service options. Gifted children learn at a different rate from other children and crave depth in areas of learning. Accommodations of rate, pace, and depth of learning, are crucial in order to meet the learning needs of gifted students. Children who are gifted share the ability to think with more complexity and abstraction than other children of the same age, therefore, requiring a differentiated curriculum. Because of their different learning and social needs, children who are gifted require time with others who are similar to them in order to establish cognitive relationships and to facilitate their academic and social growth.
The following Program Goals are outlined in the most recent Shelby County LEA Plan:
- To provide training for all staff on the procedures for referring and identifying students for gifted education services
- To continue working toward racial equity in the gifted education program
- To continue conducting Child Find Activities
- To ensure that there are comparable services throughout the system
- To work towards a true continuum of services for high-end learners
- To provide curriculum for gifted learners that is concept & problem based.