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Special Services » Gifted

Gifted

Gifted & Talented Education Program
 


Mission

The Decatur City Schools District Gifted Services provides exceptional students of all races and socio-economic groups educational experiences in which students construct knowledge through active learning and that are rigorous and relevant to students’ interests, abilities, culture, and readiness to learn.

Philosophy

Decatur City Schools District Gifted Services seeks out students from all racial and socio-economic groups with advanced capabilities, both academic and creative, and facilitates their fullest potential. The State of Alabama defines intellectually gifted children and youth as those who perform or who have demonstrated the potential to perform at high levels in academic or creative fields when compared to other students of their age, experience, or environment. These students require services not ordinarily provided by the regular school program. Children and youth possessing these abilities can be found in all populations, across all economic strata, and in all areas of human endeavor. Students are identified as gifted in a multitude of areas using multiple criteria.  We recognize that talents and gifts may manifest in multiple disciplines. Talent areas are best nurtured through facilitating students actively acquiring knowledge and skills in processing information. Deep and complex understanding of the disciplines, social and emotional stability, and critical thinking allow students to become independent, lifelong learners. Gifted and general education teacher collaboration differentiates instruction, continuing the gifted students’ engagement in learning.

Gifted Identification

The Decatur City Schools District defines gifted and talented students as:

  • Children and youth with outstanding talent who perform or show the potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared with others of their age, experience, and/or environment.
  • These children and youth exhibit high performance capability in intellectual, creative and/or artistic areas, may possess an unusual capacity for leadership, or excel in specific academic fields. These students require services beyond the rich and varied services normally provided by the regular classroom.
  • Outstanding talents are present in children and youth from all cultural groups, across all economic strata and in all areas of human endeavor.

Typically, gifted students fall within the top 5-7% of the general student population. The purpose of formally identifying gifted students is to plan for and monitor services to ensure the appropriate academic growth for each child. The Decatur City Schools District has established guidelines for identifying students eligible for gifted programming. These guidelines support the approach of looking at a variety of information on a student, both quantitative and qualitative, in building a "body of evidence." It is the preponderance of evidence that will determine if a student needs targeted or intensive programming beyond the regular classroom.