• Montgomery PS
Gifted Education
Related Documents: 
Gifted Acceleration Program

Program QUEST Parent Handbook

Gifted Grievance Procedures  
The Montgomery Public School System is committed to an education program that recognizes individual differences for students in grades K-12. Embodied in this commitment is a responsibility to intellectually and creatively gifted students to assist them in maximizing their potentials.

Intellectually gifted children and youth are those who 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. Montgomery public School System shall prohibit discrimination against any student on the above basis with respect to his/her participation in the gifted program.

Service Delivery-LEAs must utilize a variety of service delivery options that may include but are not limited to resource room pull-out, consultation, mentorships, advanced classes, and independent study. Gifted students' need for complexity and accelerated pacing must be accommodated for in the general education program. Accommodations may include strategies such as flexible skills grouping, cluster grouping with differentiation, curriculum compacting, subject and grade acceleration, dual enrollment, and advanced classes. Services for students of the same grade level on different campuses must be comparable in quality and duration. This means that if third graders at one school receive 3 hours a week pullout services then third graders at all schools should receive 3 hours a week pullout services. The following are examples of appropriate services for various age groups.

In the Montgomery Public Schools the following services are defined by the LEA Plan for Gifted:

Elementary Schools:

Grades K-2: Consultative services from the gifted specialist provided in the regular classroom setting (e.g., extra materials, learning centers)

Grades 3-5 (6): Traditional pullout services for 3 hours a week (QUEST)

NOTE: Services to grade 6 students depends on whether they are scheduled as middle school or elementary school students.

Middle Schools/Junior High Schools: advanced classes, electives, extracurricular activities on site

High Schools: advanced classes, electives, extracurricular activities on site

Magnet Schools: enrichment and/or acceleration through the magnet program

QUEST (Questioning, Understanding, Enriching, Seeking, and Thinking) is the gifted program for elementary students in grades 3 and above in the traditional elementary school. The QUEST Program strives to provide opportunities and enriched experiences beyond traditional classroom academics. In the QUEST Program, students are provided opportunities for learning the skills underlying the thinking process, for experiencing an understanding for the world's people and their relationships to each other, for exploring personal futures, and for the independent quest of knowledge in areas of interest. The differentiated curriculum is designed to mesh with and extend the regular school curriculum. QUEST emphasizes student-initiated learning and offers academic challenges through enriched content, long-term projects, and interaction with intellectual peers. The QUEST curriculum includes humanities/literature, science/math, visual arts, thinking skills, computers/technology, and research.

Curriculum-The Montgomery Public Schools Gifted Program has studied the research on learning and the brain, and has chosen a curriculum and instruction path that teaches standards-based facts and skills in relationship to the concepts and principles/generalizations of the disciplines.

The gifted specialists have identified concepts or the organizing ideas for their units, and written deep conceptual understandings (enduring, transferable, conceptual ideas) in addition to identifying the factual knowledge and skills necessary for developing conceptual understanding. They have developed guiding or open ended questions that frame the activities and lessons that lead students toward essential understandings along with instructional activities which focus on thinking and producing rather than memorizing facts.

Katrina Johnson, Department of Special Education Director

Location: Bellinger Hill

Phone: (334) 269-3808

Jacqueline Davis, Gifted Coordinator

Location: Bellinger Hill

Phone: (334) 269-3808

Email: jacqueline.c.davis@mps.k12.al.us

Standard Gifted Referrals-A student may be referred for the gifted program by teachers, counselors, administrators, parents or guardians, or other individuals with knowledge of the student's abilities.

To initiate a referral, the person making the referral should complete the Request for Gifted Referral form and give it to the Gifted Specialist assigned to that school.

The gifted specialist will send home the QUEST Information for Parents letter, Notification and Consent for Gifted Screening, and the Rights in Gifted Education form.

Upon receipt of signed consent for gifted screening, the gifted specialist will initiate the gifted referral process.

During gifted screening, information is gathered in the following three areas:

  • Aptitude. Assessed through a group test of non-verbal intelligence and administered by a gifted specialist or full scale SAI (OLSAT) scores may be used.
  • Characteristics. A behavior rating scale designed to assess gifted behaviors is completed by a classroom teacher.
  • Performance. At least three indicators of performance at a gifted level such as achievement test scores, grades (gr. 3-6 only), products, work samples, and/or portfolios.

The scores from the assessment/items used are entered on a matrix where points (1-5) are assigned according to established criteria.

A GRST team which is comprised of three individuals (gifted specialists, principal, classroom teacher, administrator, etc.) meet to determine the total number of points earned and if the student qualifies for gifted services, additional testing is needed, or if the student does not pass gifted screening.

Tests and evaluative materials selected are sensitive to cultural, economic, and linguistic differences and administered by qualified personnel under the supervision of Montgomery Public Schools. Tests not administered under the administration of an LEA cannot be used for gifted eligibility.

Once all testing is complete, a GEDT (Gifted Eligibility Determination Team) meets to determine final eligibility.

The referral to placement process can take up to 90 days for a standard referral.

2nd Grade Child Find-Recently Alabama began looking at the criteria for the identification of potentially gifted students. OCR found that Alabama has an under-representation of minority and economically disadvantaged students in gifted programs.

They asked that school systems consider every student as a potential gifted referral at some point in their school career. Second grade was chosen because that is when most referrals are generated and assessment becomes more valid and reliable.

During the first semester of 2nd grade, each student is observed as a potential gifted referral. The purpose of this requirement is to ensure that students from all populations and socio-economic groups, as well as students with disabilities and students who are limited-English proficient are given the opportunity to be considered for gifted services.

During this process the classroom teacher and the gifted specialists look at aptitude, characteristics and performance indicators. (student work samples, STAR Diagnostic Reading scores), characteristics (the TABs Classroom Observation Checklist) and the NNAT-2 (a nonverbal aptitude screener). By looking at all these indicators, teachers should be able to make accurate decisions regarding student selection for gifted referrals.

This is not the only time a child can be referred. It is just ensuring that every child has been considered at some point in his/her school career.

Second grade child find referrals follow the same process and eligibility criteria as standard referrals.

Second grade child find referrals do not have to follow the 90 day rule concerning referral to placement; however, all 2nd grade child find referrals must be complete in the fall before gifted services can begin.