Grades 2 and 3
Students initially are nominated in the spring of their second grade year by their classroom teachers. A behavior checklist rating scale is completed on each recommended child. The first step is a screening process which includes review of the students’ standardized testing and discussion with the nominating party and other teachers that may have worked with the students. Upon completion of the screening, potential program candidates participate in an extensive assessment. All data is compiled and reviewed to determine the top 5 percent of each grade level, district-wide. A similar process occurs at the end of grade 3 to identify students specifically for math/science enrichment.
Grades 7 and 8
In the spring of the sixth grade year, students currently receiving services in the Enrichment program and newly nominated students are considered for an accelerated English class in seventh and eighth grade. Each student’s history of standardized testing, report cards, NWEA testing, nomination forms, and other relevant data is considered. After screening, potential candidates are tested using materials designed to identify gifted attributes and complete a writing prompt. The Enrichment Resources department carefully reviews and evaluates the file information, test results, and writing skills demonstrated in the writing prompt to determine if the student is qualified and will benefit from the challenges of an accelerated program.
In the spring of the sixth grade year, students follow the same procedure as ELA for screening and testing to determine if students qualify. Students meet twice a week for enrichment services which are held during the study hall block. Activities and lessons are to prepare for an accelerated, graded class in eighth grade.
In the spring of seventh grade, all identified enrichment students, and new nominations made by the seventh grade classroom math teachers, are considered for testing to be placed in the high school Honors algebra class held at the middle school. Student files are screened: NWEA scores, classroom performance, and the results of a placement test for algebra determines qualification.
Out of Cycle
Scheduled testing takes place at the end of grades two, three and six. Outside of that schedule, students may be referred at any time during their educational career via an educator, a parent, or even themselves. Once a referral is made, the information remains confidential and is discussed only within the enrichment department. A form must be completed by the nominating party and a behavior checklist rating scale is completed by the classroom teacher. As with scheduled testing the first step is a screening process which includes review of the student’s standardized testing and discussion with teachers that may have worked with the student. Upon completion of the screening, if it is determined that the student has the potential to test within the top five percent, they would undergo an extensive assessment. All testing data is then compiled and reviewed to determine qualification.
Visual and Performing Arts
Maine school districts are required to identify Gifted/Talented students in arts domains that all students have opportunities to access as part of their established curricula; identification is required starting with grade 3 and involves identifying up to five percent of a grade level population as Gifted/Talented. In RSU 54/MSAD 54, all students in grades 3-6 study music and visual arts; therefore, the district identifies Gifted/Talented students in those grades for the given arts domains. The identification process must involve a minimum of three identification tools. RSU 54 uses three arts identification tools: teacher nomination and student learning behaviors checklists; student interviews; and a creative thinking test.
Arts teachers will complete learning behaviors checklists on their grade 3 students whom they observe to demonstrate above-average arts abilities. Enrichment staff will score the checklists and compile student lists in each arts domain. For each student on the lists, Enrichment staff will obtain testing permission from the parent/guardian; administer the creative thinking test; and conduct the domain-appropriate arts interview. Scores will be compiled, and students determined to be Gifted/Talented will receive oversight from the Enrichment department and appropriate differentiated instruction in their arts classrooms. Depending on individual student interest and need, Enrichment staff may assist identified students who wish to access enriching arts opportunities both in and outside of school. Parents will be notified of the results. Stakeholders will be notified of the arts identification process.
Students identified as Gifted/Talented in the arts will receive support in the form of Enrichment department awareness/oversight, classroom differentiation, and opportunities outside of the regular arts classroom. The District does not offer discrete G/T arts classes.