About Gifted

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Introduction

The mandate of School District 67's Gifted Program is to provide differentiated learning opportunities for designated gifted students in grades K - 5.  Students are referred for testing by teachers and parents and they must score in the 'Very Superior' range on the Woodcock-Johnson IV Cognitive Battery of Tests.  Click here for more on the testing and referral process. 

The program goal is to encourage critical and creative thinking through active participation in challenging activities while facilitating interaction with intellectual peers.  The program format is Pull In, one session per week, concentrating on creativity, critical thinking, divergent thinking, and presentation skills.

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Contact

The Gifted Program teacher is Claire Thompson.  She is based at Wiltse Elementary School.  Ms. Thompson has been teaching in the Gifted Program since the fall of 2012.  She can be reached at cthompson@summer.com and (250)770-7694 ext 6283.

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Gifted Program Classes

The Gifted Program is a theme based program.  Each year a new theme is chosen and class activities and projects centre around the theme.  Some past themes have been:
  • X Marks the Spot!  The Search For Treasure  (2014/15) 
  • Top Secret Communication  (2013/14)
  • Inventors and Inventions  (2012/13)

Ms. Thompson maintains a blog which provides weekly to bi-weekly updates on what the students have been working on.

Classes usually begin the first week after Thanksgiving in October, and end the last week before the May long weekend.  Students attend a morning or afternoon class one day a week.  Penticton students attend Gifted Program Classes at Wiltse Elementary School in room 32.  Summerland students attend Gifted Program Classes at Trout Creek Elementary School in portable #2.

Classes begin with Social Time, followed by Circle and then we move on to the different activities or projects for the day.  Social Time allows for a 'soft start' to the classes since students are arriving from the different schools in the district.  As students arrive they can finish their lunch, pick out a game to play, work on a puzzle, or build with some of our building sets.  Social Time also allows for the students to reconnect with each other and with their teacher.  After Social Time we go to Circle.  Circle allows students to share with each other and to work on their presentation skills in a low risk environment.  From there it is on to the various projects and activities that we are working on.

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Referral and Testing Process

Students who may be good candidates for the Gifted Program are referred to their school's School Based Team.  Usually the student's classroom teacher will request the referral, but parents can also request a referral.  If the School Based Team approves the referral it is forwarded to the Gifted Program Teacher.  She follows up with the classroom teacher, usually getting them to complete the Gifted Rating Scales; a survey of the student's different skills and abilities related to giftedness.  A time is then arranged for the Gifted Program teacher to come to the school and do the cognitive assessment with the student.  The Woodcock-Johnson IV Tests of Cognitive Abilities are used.  A student must score in the 'Very Superior' range on these tests in order to be eligible for the Gifted Program.

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Resources for Parents &Teachers

The following resources are useful prior to and during the referral process:
  • Trying to decide if a child should be referred to the Gifted Program?  Check out this chart on the differences between bright and gifted children.  *Note: a gifted child would be expected to exhibit some, but certainly not all, of the gifted traits.
  • Teachers: Ready to refer a child?  Please fill in the district's SpEd -- Referral for Student Services form*Note: some schools have their own version of this form.  If you are unsure, ask the chair of your School Based Team.
  • Parents: This Parent Identification Form can also help you get a sense of where your child is at.
The following resources are useful for who those adults who live and work with gifted and talented children.
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