Troy Independent School District

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Gifted and Talented

Gifted and Talented

Program Philosophy

It is the intention of the Troy Independent School District to provide a program of quality, equity, and accountability for academically talented students in compliance with state and local requirements.

The Gifted and Talented (GT) Program of the Troy ISD is designed to meet the needs of those students who are identified as having superior intellectual abilities or potential for outstanding academic achievement. It is acknowledged that these children are found in all races, socioeconomic groups, and at all levels of society.

The school district must meet these students’ unique needs and prepare them to deal with the challenges of a rapidly changing society. It is the philosophy of the Troy Independent School District to provide opportunity within the educational program for each individual to develop to the fullest of his/her capacity. 

Program Goals

State Goal

According to Section 29.123 of the Texas Education Code, the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students forms the basis of program accountability for state-mandated services for gifted/talented students. The plan is developed to be compatible with the Texas accountability system. The overall state goal for services is stated as follows:

Students who participate in services designed for gifted students will demonstrate skills in self-directed learning, thinking, research, and communication as evidenced by the development of innovative products and performances that reflect individuality and creativity and are advanced in relation to students of similar age, experience, or environment. High school graduates who have participated in services for gifted students will have produced products and performances of professional quality as part of their program services. 

District Goals

The Troy ISD district goals for the Gifted and Talented Program reflect the specific areas of accountability required in the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students:  
  1. Provide an assessment process designed to measure diverse abilities and intelligence and give students an opportunity to demonstrate talents and strengths.
  2. Encourage community and family participation in services designed for gifted and talented learners.
  3. Provide an educational experience that involves a higher degree of complexity in content, process, and product.
  4. Provide opportunities for students to become independent self-directed learners.
  5. Provide opportunities for students to develop skills in self-evaluation.
  6. Provide experiences for students that promote the development of higher-level thinking skills. 

Screening Process

Troy Independent School District will identify students with superior intellectual ability or specific academic aptitude in grades K-12 using multiple and specific criteria. All kindergarten students will be administered a general abilities test to ensure that students from all populations in the district have access to assessment. Those scoring in the top ten percent will be administered further testing. At least three measures including both quantitative and qualitative will be used in student assessment. These measures might include the NNAT, SAGES-2, ITBS, Renzulli Rating Scales, SOI, portfolios, and parent inventories. Assessment will be conducted in the language the student understands or with nonverbal measures. Written parental consent shall be obtained before any special testing or individual screening occurs within the identification process.

Selection Process

Selection committees shall be established at each campus including, at a minimum, the G/T coordinator and two other professional educators who have received training in the nature and needs of gifted students. Parents and students shall be notified in writing regarding the outcome of the selection process. Participation in any program or services provided for gifted students is voluntary. The district shall obtain written permission of the parent(s) before a student is placed in a gifted program. After placement in the program, the district will not perform routine reassessments. 

Notification

A parent or guardian will be notified in writing if his/her child qualifies for the Troy ISD Gifted and Talented Program. The parent/guardian of qualifying a student will be provided with a Parental Permission to Enroll Form which must be completed to indicate acceptance of GT services. The signed form must be returned to the office of the GT Program Coordinator or the campus counselor. 

Placement

GT students will be placed on their home campuses with teachers who have completed the TEA required 30 hours of GT training and have received training updates annually. Teachers will differentiate instruction to maximize the advanced abilities of GT students. Teachers may utilize a variety of differentiation strategies including but not limited to the Texas Performance Standards Project, GT cluster or individual projects/enrichment opportunities, and off-campus (field trip) experiences. 

Texas Performance Standards Project

The Texas Performance Standards Project was developed in alignment with the State Goal for Services for Gifted/Talented Students and provides one option for schools to meet the state requirements. TPSP is available for any Texas public school district or charter school to improve the rigor and relevance of its advanced academic instruction in Kindergarten to grade 12. For more information on TPSP, please visit http://www.texaspsp.org/.  

Additional Information

If criteria are not met for inclusion in the G/T Program, students may be referred after a period of one year. Because of the nature of the tests administered, a full year must lapse before re-screening may occur. 

Program Furlough

All students who are unable to maintain a satisfactory performance within the structure of the Gifted and Talented Program may be placed on furlough by the selection committee. The purpose of a furlough is to provide the student the opportunity to attain performance goals established by the selection committee.

A furlough may be granted at the request of the parent or guardian. A student may be furloughed for up to one school year. At the end of the furlough, the student's progress will be reviewed by the selection committee. At that time, the student may re-enter the GT program or exit completely from the program. 

Program Exit

Student performance in the Gifted and Talented Program is monitored for satisfactory progress. Before determining removal from the program, a conference with the parent/guardian and the campus selection committee must be held. Once this conference takes place, information will be shared with the selection committee to determine the best placement for the student.

If a parent or guardian requests removal from the program, a written request from the parent must be submitted to the GT Program Coordinator’s office. The selection committee shall meet with the parent and student before honoring the request.

Exiting from the GT Program is permanent. Students must complete the entire screening process to be considered for re-admittance to the program. 

Appeals

A parent or student may appeal any final decision of the selection committee regarding selection for or removal from the gifted program. The appeal shall be made first to the selection committee via the office of the GT Program Coordinator. See EHBB(LOCAL). Any subsequent appeals shall be made in accordance with FNG(LOCAL) beginning at Level Two.

Professional Development

Classroom Teachers

Teachers who provide instruction and services that are part of the program for gifted students have a minimum of thirty hours of staff development that includes nature and needs of gifted-talented students, assessing student needs, and curriculum and instruction for gifted students.

Teachers without the required training who provide instruction and services that are part of the gifted/talented program must complete the thirty-hour training requirement within one semester.

Teachers who provide instruction and services that are part of a program for gifted students receive a minimum of six hours annually of professional development in gifted education. 

Administrators and Counselors

Administrators and counselors who have authority for program decisions have a minimum of six hours of professional development that includes nature and needs of gifted/talented students and program options. 

Transfer Students

When a student identified as gifted by a previous school district transfers into the Troy ISD, the student’s records shall be reviewed by the selection committee to determine if placement in the Troy ISD Gifted and Talented Program is appropriate. The committee shall make its determination within 30 school days of the student’s enrollment in the district and base its decision on the transferred records, observation reports of district teachers who instruct the student, and student and parent conferences, if necessary. The committee may choose to recommend assessment using local criteria for placement into the Gifted and Talented Program.

Transfer students who qualify for placement in the Troy ISD program have the same placement options as Troy ISD students.