The Willingboro Public Schools Gifted and Talented Program strives to provide exceptional learners with the opportunity to collaborate in order to explore and apply higher-level thinking skills to real-world experiences. These skills include but are not limited to the following:
STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics)
Our standards-aligned curriculum immerses students in activities that support the 21st Century Career Ready Practices. We acknowledge that exceptional learners present themselves on a variety of performance levels, such as ELLs, Special Education, and Bilingual Learners.
Our goal is to provide every exceptional learner with instructions that meet their specific needs. Although every student in the district does not attend the Gifted and Talented program, the office of curriculum and instruction has worked extremely hard to revamp our curriculum so every classroom lesson provides an opportunity for all students to be challenged according to grade-level standards determined by the NJSLS. The Gifted and Talented program services students K-4 up to twice a week in their home school.
What are some characteristics of gifted and talented learners?
A. Gifted Learner Characteristics
Extraordinary quantity of information, unusual retentiveness
Unusually varied interest and curiosity
High Level of verbal ability
Flexible thought processes
Heightened capacity for seeing unusual and diverse relationships
Early differential thought patterns for processing ideas
Persistent, goal-directed behavior
Keen sense of humor
Feelings of being different
Idealism and sense of justice
Advanced levels of moral judgment
B. Sensation Characteristics
Unusual discrepancy between physical and intellectual development
C. Societal Characteristics
Strongly motivated by self-actualizing needs
Advances capacity for conceptualizing and solving societal problems
How are Gifted and Talented students identified?
Gifted and Talented students are identified through the use of multiple data points as students who present characteristics of gifted learners can present them through various ways. These assessments gather information from multiple areas helping to clearly indicate students who in addition to academic achievement are also exceptional learners. In order to determine eligibility the Willingboro Public Schools looks specifically at the following:
Slosson Intelligence Test
Fountas and Pinnell Assessment
District Assessment Data
If a student is identified, parents will receive a permission slip as well as a welcome letter to the program. Students will begin participation once a permission slip is returned. The Gifted and Talented curriculum consists of three units that are exploratory in nature to help support problem-solving and abstract thinking through the use of technology.
The New Jersey Department of Education requires that each school district provide services to meet the needs of students who have been identified as gifted and talented. Each school district must establish a process to identify students as gifted and talented using multiple measures. These students require modification to their educational program if they are to achieve in accordance with their capabilities (N.J.A.C. 6A:8-3.1).
The New Jersey Department of Education has not adopted standards for gifted and talented programs. However, there are standards that have been developed by the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC). Districts may find them useful in developing curriculum and planning classroom instruction. National standards have been created for specialized programs and services. For teacher preparation in gifted education, knowledge and skills for all teachers and advanced standards in teacher preparation will help guide and improve teaching and deepen student learning.
Pre-K to Grade 12 Gifted Education Programming Standards
National programming standards assist school districts in examining the quality of their programs and services for gifted learners. Recognizing that the ongoing evaluation and retooling of a successful gifted program is an evolutionary process, the NAGC pre-k-grade 12 programming standards detail a framework that focuses on student outcomes. Districts use the program standards both as mileposts for improving programs and services and as rubrics for evaluation. The standards have been endorsed by The Association for the Gifted of the Council for Exceptional Children-The Association for the Gifted (CEC-TAG).