The SISD Gifted and Talented program will direct an educational program that will identify, nurture, and challenge the abilities of gifted students to a maximum capacity, thereby expanding their potential in order for identified students to realize areas of their contribution to self and society.
The ultimate goal of the gifted and talented program is to develop within a student the desire for excellence and self-directed learning, thinking, research and communication and a sense of individual responsibility to the school community and the community at large. The SISD Gifted and Talented program has developed a district plan that closely follows the five areas of accountability addressed in the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted and Talented. Included in this district plan is:
- Student Assessment: To assess students for program services with a variety instruments and procedures to measure diverse abilities and intelligences so that they are provided with opportunities to demonstrate their talents and strengths.
- Program Design: To develop throughout the district a flexible system of viable program options that provides a learning continuum and reinforces the strengths, needs (both academic and social/emotional) and interests of gifted and talented students.
- Curriculum and Design: To provide curriculum and instruction the meets the needs of gifted and talented students by modifying the depth, complexity and pacing of the general school program. To serve middle and high school identified students in their area/s of strength, based on available testing data.
- Professional Development: To provide all personnel involved in the planning, development, and delivery of services to gifted students with staff development opportunities so that they have the knowledge that will enable them to offer appropriate options and curricula for gifted and talented students.
- Family and Community Involvement: To regularly encourage community and family participation in services designed for gifted and talented students by offering a parent and community advocacy program.
What does it mean to be Gifted and Talented? The Texas Education Code's definition of a “gifted and talented student” means a child or youth who performs at or shows the potential for performing at a remarkably high level of accomplishment when compared to others of the same age experience or environment and who:
- Exhibits high performance capability in an intellectual, creative, or artistic area;
- Possesses an unusual capacity for leadership; or
- Excels in a specific academic field.