Elementary Services Overview
In the elementary grades, identified gifted students are clustered together with Talented and Gifted (TAG) trained teachers in otherwise heterogeneous classrooms. An ideal cluster is 6-8 students. The campus TAG specialist(s) works closely with the grade level cluster teachers to meet the needs of each identified child. They determine the best learning plan for him/her including aligned TEKS-based lessons which explore content in depth and with complexity. Some differentiated lessons occur in the regular classroom with the cluster teacher and/or the TAG specialist, and some occur in the TAG resource room. Opportunities exist for students to engage in independent study options that allow them to go into great detail in their areas of interest and strength. Students may also compact and accelerate through the curriculum commensurate with their abilities. Specific services may vary based on campus and student needs.
At the primary level (K-2) services are primarily provided by the cluster teacher within the regular classroom with support from the TAG specialist. As time allows, enrichment activities in the TAG resource room are encouraged. In addition, kindergarten enrichment is provided which involves the TAG specialist rotating through the kinder classrooms providing at least one lesson per class per month in creative/critical thinking.
For 3rd-5th grade math instruction, the TAG math curriculum, a combination of accelerated pacing and depth/complexity which takes the 3rd-8th grade TEKS and compacts them into 3rd-6th grade, is taught through TAG academic classes with the TAG specialist. Accompanying benchmarks for the TAG students are administered in place of regular grade level benchmarks to ensure proper delivery of the TAG curriculum occurs.
For 3rd-5th grade language arts instruction, the TAG LA Curriculum is currently under development. The delivery of this curriculum will be through TAG academic classes as much as possible, although due to staffing constraints at some campuses, the cluster teacher may need to incorporate some components of the curriculum in the cluster classroom.
Science and Social Studies
At all grade levels, science and social studies differentiation will mainly occur in the cluster classroom with the support of the TAG specialist as needed. This should also include independent study opportunities, which may be facilitated by the TAG specialist.
To address the affective needs of TAG students, a social and emotional needs curriculum which includes one lesson at the end of the year for newly identified kindergarteners, four lessons for first graders, eight lessons each for second and third graders, and nine lessons each for fourth and fifth graders exists. A kit of all needed materials to deliver this curriculum exists at each campus in August and is processed through the campus librarian. The curriculum may be delivered by the campus counselor or by the TAG specialist or some combination thereof.
Secondary Schools Overview
In middle school, Talented and Gifted (TAG) courses are available using curriculum designed specifically to meet the special needs of gifted students with emphasis on modifications in content taught, processes used for learning, and student products. Students in these courses are required to complete guided as well as independent research.
At the high school level, programs are provided for students who demonstrate talent in academic areas. These programs are designed for students who wish to delve into the disciplines in more depth and expand their understandings at a faster pace. The structure of the classroom encourages students to be more involved in the direction of their learning, and to approach their studies as though they were professionals in the field. In addition, TAG high school students may be interested in several programs including Pre-Advanced Placement, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate (Westwood High School and Stony Point High School), Virtual High School, and Dual Enrollment. Classes are offered in language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, foreign languages, art, music, and computer science. College credit may be received after participation in AP classes and successfully passing the appropriate AP exams. Select Virtual High School courses are also offered.
On an annual basis, the Campus Placement Committee will evaluate the progress and review the placement of students served by the program.
As part of the annual review process, a member of the committee or person designated by the campus principal will complete the RRISD TAG Annual Review Form.
After review of the updated data and discussion (as needed) with the student, teacher(s), counselor(s), parent(s)/guardian(s), and others regarding the progress made during the year, the Campus Placement Committee will recommend that a student proceed in the gifted program, be furloughed or be exited.
A copy of the Annual Review Form will be filed in the student’s TAG folder and one copy will be sent to the Director of Gifted and Advanced Academic Services.
Gifted Services Standard
National Association for Gifted Children
In 1998, NAGC developed the Pre-K – Grade 12 Gifted Program Standards which were designed to assist school districts in examining the quality of their programming for gifted learners. The NAGC Program Standards detail a framework that include both minimum standards and exemplary standards in seven key areas: Program Design, Program Administration and Management, Student Identification, Curriculum and Instruction, Socio-Emotional Guidance and Counseling, Professional Development, and Program Evaluation. Districts throughout the United States use the standards for both evaluating and improving programs and services.
- NAGC Gifted Program Standards
- Teacher Preparation Standards in Gifted Education
- Knowledge and Skills Standards in Gifted Education for All Teachers
Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students
State Goal for Services of Gifted Students
“Students who participate in services designed for gifted students will demonstrate skills in self-directed learning, thinking, research, and communication as evidenced by the development of innovative products and performances that reflect individuality and creativity and are advanced in relation to students of similar age, experience, or environment. High school graduates who have participated in services for gifted students will have produced products and performances of professional quality as part of their program services.”