After continuing to operate under the 2008 gifted operating standards for several additional years, the Ohio Department of Education has rewritten these guidelines for gifted education in Ohio. The guidelines became effective on July 1, 2017, but our staff had been watching the proposed changes very carefully and had started making transition plans in January to address them. So really, there are no lions, tigers or bears to worry us!
I would like
to highlight a few of the changes that you may have already noticed or will
notice in the upcoming months. The first one deals with an increase in the
required amount of time a gifted intervention specialist is to be present for
direct gifted services. This increase of 20 minutes per day required the
district to add 3 gifted specialists at grades 1-5 to maintain our service
model. You may not have noticed this additional time, but I hope your child is
experiencing the benefits!
to increasing time requirements, the state also increased the amount of
professional development that classroom teachers must receive to be a part of
direct or indirect gifted services. All classroom teachers are required to
complete 60 hours of training on gifted topics which include: differentiated
content, instruction and assessment; social and emotional needs of gifted
children; recognizing and responding to needs of gifted students from
underrepresented populations; use of data to measure student growth; selection,
use and interpretation of assessments for academic decision making; and
knowledge necessary to participate in the Written Education Plan process. We
already had a robust professional development plan for our teachers, but we did
have to add approximately 18 hours more of training to meet this requirement.
The state has also for the first time mandated a minimum testing schedule for school districts. Springboro’s testing schedule for superior cognitive and specific academic identifications already exceeds these requirements. We are fortunate to be able to provide this valuable data to our teachers about all students in addition to fulfilling these requirements. The one area that has changed is a requirement to screen for creative thinking identification. Our district will be instituting this requirement in combination with the CogAT (Cognitive Abilities Test) in second and fourth grades. After reviewing the results of this screener, we will determine any necessary changes to our service delivery model for next school year..
The last change I will highlight is the requirement for Written Education Plans (WEPs) and progress reporting. The new guidelines require measurable student goals and at least one must be academic. Parents will see different goals and progress measures for each area of identification. In addition, we will be providing two progress reporting documents – at the end of third and fourth quarters.
Don’t let any fears of lions, tigers or bears go unanswered. If you have any questions about the changes either here in Springboro Community City Schools or in the ODE Gifted Operating Standards, please contact your child’s gifted intervention specialist (GIS) or grade level liaison. All names and emails are listed on the gifted home page.