Amelia County Public Schools recognizes "giftedness" as a definable set of learning characteristics found in the student population. Students who are identified as gifted learners have specific instructional needs that are met through appropriate instructional planning, including in-class differentiation, advanced curricular offerings, and enrichment.
We (ACPS) believe that gifted students constitute a valuable resource for the community and should be guided and provided opportunities to develop their potential. Being responsive to the individual needs of gifted students and to the issues they commonly encounter is a responsibility of the school system. We believe that these students should be identified and provided differentiated programs and services in kindergarten through twelfth grades to help them further develop their aptitude and to prepare them to assume responsible positions in society.
ACPS recognizes "General Intellectual Aptitude", as the area of giftedness, in which students are identified.
Screening Procedures: All students in grades 2 and 5 are screened annually using the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability, 2nd or latest Edition Test to determine a possible need for gifted referral. Students who score in the 80th percentile or above, on the screening tool, are referred for full evaluation to determine if they are in need of gifted services. Parents of all second and fifth graders are notified in writing of the grade-wide screening, and they may opt not to have their child screened.
Referral Procedures: Any teacher, parent, peer, stakeholder or the student him/herself may refer students at any time during the year. Review and analysis is established using a matrix which is a multi-criteria rubric used to determine eligibility by a school's identification placement committee for services. Referrals are also solicited through parent newsletters, faculty meetings, and teacher/parent communication. The search for gifted students in all populations in a continuous process.
Referral forms for the gifted program may be obtained from the School Counseling Office in any of the three schools in the County, or from the Gifted Coordinator in the Central Office for persons desiring to make a request.
Referral forms must be returned to the School Counselor in the school the child attends. Parents must complete a "Permission for Evaluation" form for any student recommended for gifted evaluation. Within 90 instructional days of receipt of parent/guardian consent the identification/placement committee of each school will determine the child's eligibility status and notify the parent/guardian of its decision.
Transfer students who have been previously identified for gifted services are automatically referred by the school counselor. Once permission for evaluation is received, the process begins. Parents are notified within 60 school days of the decision of the identification/placement committee.
Referrals are processed in order of receipt. The referral/identification process is carried out throughout the school year. However, referrals received after the end of the third grading period of a school year are automatically tabled until August of the following school year.
Identification Procedures: An identification rubric for identifying intellectual ability, creativity and originality, and academic strength is used for determining qualification for gifted services. The rubric includes the following five components: measure of intellectual aptitude, measure of academic achievement, grade point average, result of teacher/parent questionnaires, and student product.
Placement Procedures: The identification/placement committee will consist of at least 1 classroom teacher, 1 gifted education resource teacher, 1 counselor, and 1 administrator at the school-level. Following the determination of eligibility, an appropriate placement is recommended by the identification/placement committee. The School Counselor contacts parents/guardians by letter, informing them of the decision and offers the opportunity to meet and discuss their child's profile. If a child has been found eligible for Gifted Program Services, a "Permission to Participate" form is sent with the letter. Students may begin participation when this signed form is returned. Once a student has been identified as in need of gifted services, appropriate persons within the school (i.e. School Counselor, Principal/designee, Lead Teachers) will determine appropriate educational services. If the student has been determined ineligible, parents are notified by letter of the committee's decision. Parents are also notified concerning the appeals process.
Gifted Education Program Services: In addition to differentiated instruction in the classroom in grades K through 5, other services are available. Students in the Elementary School are cluster-grouped by homeroom. An after-school enrichment program is available to both elementary and middle school students during fall and spring. Students identified in first grade will be placed in an accelerated math class when entering second grade (if consistent with teacher recommendation). Beginning in second grade and continuing through sixth grade there will be a high level math and reading section at each grade level. Children identified as gifted will be placed in these groups unless academic assessment data and teacher recommendation indicate otherwise.
Educational services are provided during the summer for students who have been identified as in need of gifted services. Rising fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh graders may apply to Longwood University's Summer TAG Program. (The school division pays full tuition for students IF funds are available).