The Gifted & Talented Enrichment program at Randolph Middle School is a semester-long course for students who demonstrate high ability in one or more content areas when compared to their chronological peers in the school district. These students require modifications of their educational program so that they may achieve in accordance with their capabilities and reach their potential.
This program mirrors real-world scenarios in which gifted individuals interact and work in society as a whole. Therefore, this course recognizes not only the intellectually gifted, generally academically gifted students, but also those students who possess specialized giftedness in one or two content areas, including talents in athletics, theatre, art, or other areas beyond mainstream courses. Accommodations are made for students to express their gifts and talents through a curriculum that offers a multitude of projects with an emphasis on personal choice and flexibility.
Randolph school district has an established procedure for identifying students for this program. Initially, students apply in fifth grade to be considered for the middle school program. However, all students are evaluated for inclusion both in the fall and spring of each year during their years at Randolph Middle School. In this manner, students who did not apply, transfer students, and students who are waiting to qualify are evaluated or re-evaluated for admission into the program each semester. Additional consideration is given to twice-exceptional students (2E) who are students who are both gifted and have a disability. These students may have a 504 or IEP plan in place. Furthermore, also equally considered are ESL students who demonstrate exceptional abilities linguistically or like every other gifted student demonstrate a propensity intellectually or academically in any core subject or present a talent in any area as already mentioned. The goal is to accommodate and be as inclusive as possible to ensure that all students who require said services are accurately and appropriately identified for this program.
The multiple measures used include as indicators to evidence student ability, as recognized by the NAGC and NJAGC, include current achievement test scores in mathematics and Language Arts, at least two (2) teacher recommendations of which one must be from a core content teacher and the second may be from the area indicative of the student’s personal talent. In addition, students complete a personal statement at school as to what they see as their areas of strength, passions and interests and a parent statement is submitted demonstrating similar points from the guardian’s perspective of what they see as their child’s gifts and talents. Each of these pieces of evidence are equally weighed in the matrix for a balanced view of a student’s abilities from all angles.
In some instances, other indicators may be needed to ascertain a student’s abilities beyond the academic scope which may not be evident therein. Such sources may include a portfolio of materials, teacher observations, an ability assessment, intelligence test results or student products.
All students are evaluated for continued participation in the program from year to year, and so long as a student maintains a 90% or above grade point average, they may remain in the program for the subsequent semester.
Instruction enriches the lives of students by expanding their knowledge through compacting and acceleration in accordance with each student’s strengths. In this manner, students benefit from diverse learning opportunities in which they attain and demonstrate high critical thinking skills and delve deeper into topics with significant complexity far beyond their grade level. As such, instruction is modified to meet the needs of the individual child. Thus, these students participate in a curriculum that broadly advances their sphere of learning through a growing sense of curiosity and desire to know.