Kyrene Gifted Services
Elementary School Services
Gifted Resource Model (Grades K, 1, and 2)
Gifted teachers provide direct resource services to students for 60 to 90 minutes a week. The focus of this resource support is development of thinking skills as well as support in a student’s particular area(s) of giftedness.
Gifted Academic Enrichment Model (Grade 3, 4, and 5)
Students identified as gifted receive 120 to 180 minutes of academic enrichment a week delivered by a gifted teacher specialist. Students are grouped by grade level and receive instruction aligned with grade level content standards and themes with a STEM/STEAM or Humanities focus. The academic enrichment modules are interdisciplinary, problem or project-based, aligned to NAGC standards, and embed social emotional supports.
Academic Replacement Model (Math Grades 4 and 5)
Students identified in the area of quantitative reasoning participate in a mathematics academic replacement model along with academically talented students. This opportunity is a general education initiative; the advanced math course is taught by classroom teachers with specialized training in mathematics content and strategies for meeting the needs of gifted and advanced learners. These classes occur during the math block for a grade level.
Gifted Cluster Classroom Model (Grades 1 through 5)
At each elementary school without a self-contained gifted program, it is recommended that students in grades 1 through 5 who are identified as gifted are clustered, or grouped together, in a mixed-ability classroom. Research shows there are positive student outcomes with this approach. This model allows for focused pacing, a greater depth of understanding, and differentiation in all subjects. The goal is to provide challenging curriculum and instruction throughout the school day, rather than in one isolated period. The cluster teachers are supported by a gifted specialist at each school who assists with planning and implementing differentiated curriculum and instruction.
Self-Contained Gifted Model (Mirada and Monte Vista)
Self-contained gifted classrooms are available at two Kyrene elementary schools starting in Grade 2. In the self-contained classes, gifted students are grouped together all day, every day. Students who qualify for this program benefit from the support and challenge provided by a peer group of students with similar academic interests and abilities. Self-contained gifted classes follow regular class size guidelines and students participate in the school's regular art, music and physical education curriculum. Structures such as orientation activities, social events, buddy classes and lunches with the principal are in place to promote student and parent interaction with the rest of the school community.
Students in grade 1 receive support through a gifted cluster classroom model. All kindergarten and grade 1 teachers at the self-contained gifted model schools receive specialized training in working with gifted learners, provide support in a student’s particular area of giftedness, and implement thinking skills lessons.
Middle School Services
The Middle School Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) Pathways provide for advanced learning in all four core content areas at every middle school. GATE courses are designed to meet the needs of gifted learners in four domains: challenge, complexity, choice and control. Specially trained, caring teachers understand differentiation and provide social emotional supports. GATE teachers will employ advanced instructional strategies, higher depth of knowledge, differentiation in product and process, and flexible grouping as well as interest surveys, independent projects, and learning menus. Additionally, the Second Step SEL (Social-Emotional Learning) Program will be implemented in all middle schools during advisory period. Social-emotional lessons teach students techniques to gain confidence, set goals, make better decisions, collaborate with others, and navigate the world more effectively.
Initial placement of students into GATE courses is determined during the latter part of the 5th grade year. Criteria include identification in one or more areas of giftedness and/or multiple measures of high ability. Subsequent course placements are defined by the course of study and informed by student progress.
GATE coursework is available in all four core areas (ELA, Science, Social Studies, and Math) and there are opportunities for HS credit in mathematics. Students also have two electives of choice. GATE courses are taught by a content specialist in the area of study who has received specialized training to address the needs of gifted learners. Over the next few years, Kyrene is working toward gifted endorsement for all teachers of GATE courses.