MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

October 19, 2008

Top pupils need more

Stakeholders say gifted, talented program needs support

(Continued)



“This could also help grow the program services for those schools in the future,” Carey said.

She said she is developing a newsletter “to increase communication with parents.”

“Parents were also invited to call anytime with ideas, input or concerns about the GT program, and they truly can,” Carey said.

To be designated as gifted and talented, a student must score in the top 3 percent on a nationally standardized assessment. Multiple criteria are also used in the capability areas, such as music or art, Carey said.

As a result, students need challenges beyond what other students receive.

“These students need challenging work, not just more work,” said Beverly Boyer, who teaches about 57 gifted and talented students at Creek. “They need to use part of their brains they do not normally use.”

She said this year’s students are concentrating on the presidential elections and “keeping the earth green.”

Last year, the students created models of such international sites as the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Great Pyramid.

“Then, each child had to write a song about it, or a poem or a children’s book,” Boyer said.

Crotty said that, despite Sadler’s “phenomenal program,” gifted students at some schools are “rarely challenged or allowed to work at their level.”

“Much of their day is spent waiting on everyone else to catch up,” she said. “Gifted programs are important tools for keeping students engaged and working at an appropriately challenging pace. There is a high dropout rate among gifted kids. Gifted kids are easily bored, as they learn at a rapid rate and often are labeled as discipline problems.”

Carey said the district is working to get more continuity and vertical alignment through its curriculum.

“The theme this semester is ‘It's a Flat World After All,’ after the physics theory that the world is a hologram and after the flat theories in economics and technology,” she said.

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