The Southern Lehigh School District maintains ongoing procedures to locate, identify, and evaluate students who are thought to be gifted and in need of specially designed instruction.According to school district policy 114, giftedness includes an IQ of 130 or higher or a student who meets multiple criteria as set forth in Pennsylvania regulations through Chapter 16 (22 Pa.Code 16.21).The purpose of the gifted education program is to serve students whose needs require enrichment, acceleration, or both (i.e., enrichment and acceleration) beyond the general education classroom environment.Southern Lehigh School District strives to cultivate interest, capacity, and skills necessary for independent, intellectual inquiry, and life-long learning.Resources:
Gifted Referral, Screening and the Evaluation Process:
Gifted identification may start through a gifted screener. Students may be referred for screening by a teacher and/or requested in written form by a parent. If a child meets the criteria at the building level's gifted screener, individual achievement and intelligence testing is performed by a school psychologist. Gifted determination is based on a multi-criterion evaluation that includes building level evaluations of academic performance and teacher observations, along with a norm-referenced achievement and reasoning quotients assessment administered by school personnel. Once a student is identified, a team of parents/guardians and school personnel called a “GIEP Team” meets and agrees upon individual goals and specially designed instruction for that student.
If you feel that your child may qualify for gifted education programming, please contact your child's classroom teacher or the building's school counselor directly.
In our K-3 elementary schools students participate in small group, collaborative pull-out class once per cycle using creative and divergent problem-solving derived from current events and/or STEM-type scenarios. The gifted teacher also creates differentiated units for use in the general education classroom in order to meet the needs of our gifted students curricular strengths, as determined by pre and post tests.
At the intermediate level our 4th and 5th grade students participate in a pull-out program that is project based and differentiated for academic strengths. Our 6th grade students come together for their communication block and receive instruction based on academic strengths. In the area of mathematics, this grade begins our general education differentiation by ability so that all students are instructed in mathematics at their assessed level.
At the middle school level, in 7th grade, the gifted students are grouped together for a reading/language art block, which is taught by the gifted support teacher. The gifted academic literacy course provides curriculum enrichment and acceleration for the identified student based upon the GIEP goals. Students participate in activities that increase higher level comprehension, memory, evaluation skills, study skills, and convergent and divergent thinking abilities. Students are offered opportunities to participate in independent, interest-driven research projects. In the gifted language arts portion of the block, gifted students are taught the same curriculum as students taking the honors level language arts class. However, the gifted class moves at a rigorous, fast pace. The course reaches beyond basic skills and focuses on higher level tasks in writing, grammar, vocabulary, and oral communication. The teacher of the gifted also pushes in to the science classes to enrich the curriculum when necessary.
High School (9-12)
At the high school level, our program changes once again. You and your child will want to discuss with your child's middle school gifted case manager before your child officially becomes a high school student, whether or not your child continues within the gifted education program, as monitored by GIEP goals, or solely participate in the full continuum of course offerings at the high school level without the GIEP in place. Your child's middle school gifted case manager will explain both options for consideration. Even without a GIEP in place, your child can participate in a full array of offerings at the Honors and AP level, including dual enrollment opportunities that are offered to all students at our high school. If you and your child choose to continue on with the GIEP in place, your high school gifted teacher will work with you both at a GIEP meeting, with the full GIEP team, to design a GIEP goal area and identify when progress monitoring and support to achieve those goals will occur in their schedule.