At Fairfield Area School District there is a continuum of services that exist for the gifted student. This means that services are based on a student’s strength(s), interest(s), and ability(ies). There is no single practice or “program” that matches every student’s need, so through the GIEP process, teams determine how to best enrich and accelerate students through various methods.
We implement research-based practices that are designed and implemented based on the needs of our students and the nature of our school/community. This will ensure that students receive an individualized approach based on their strengths and interests. Services include various acceleration and/or enrichment opportunities within the general education setting and, if needed, within a gifted setting that is linked to the district’s curriculum. Fairfield has full-time gifted teacher that collaborates with regular education teachers and develops opportunities for gifted students to work with their intellectual peers through hands-on and research projects. Within the classrooms, students are presented with accelerated content and various individual and group extension activities and participate in flexible instructional groups. Additional opportunities include:
- Early entrance to kindergarten based on mental age and individual readiness
- Cluster grouping based on instructional level
- Level, grade and/or subject acceleration with flexible pacing
- Advanced placement and honors courses with earlier-than-normal access
- Independent studies designed to meet a gifted student’s long-term interests and expertise in a given area
- Online courses
- Opportunities for gifted students to work with their peers through flexible grouping and scheduling targeted group time with a Gifted teacher
- Alternative scheduling to support independent needs
- Dual Enrollment/Post-secondary courses
It is our goal to ensure that services:
- Build on individual strengths and interests
- Increase depth of knowledge and problem solving skills through challenging experiences
- Foster maximum development and personal actualization
- Empower students self-awareness and self-advocacy
- Nurture academic, creative, and leadership skills
- Build constructive competition and team work through group/team experiences
Our students are unique individuals with qualities and strengths that will continue to evolve and develop. It is our responsibility to ensure that we provide services that assist students in reaching their maximum potential. A common myth is that students who are gifted will be successful no matter what. While everyone can agree, our students within the gifted program have academic strengths, our students face challenges with their social-emotional development which may reduce their participation/motivation, and stifle their rate of learning. The goals above will provide the necessary services to support student’s academic and social-emotional development. Positive, effective collaboration with all stakeholders is essential as we expand our gifted program for years to come.
On January 14, 2019 the board was presented with an update on the gifted program. You can view the powerpoint presentation here.