SOMERVILLE'S GIFTED AND TALENTED PROGRAM OVERVIEW
Somerville School District recognizes the importance of meeting the unique needs of a diverse range of learners. That is why in preschool through high school we have programs and pedagogy that support the needs of our students who are identified as gifted learners. In PK-1 the needs of the gifted students are met through small group instruction in the classroom based on data analysis at the classroom and district level. In 2-5 students are pulled in small groups outside of the classroom. In the middle school before or after school programming is utilized to engage our gifted students as well as differentiation within the classroom. At the high school, students have a range of classes they can take that present academic challenges and the ability to work with gifted peers. The curriculum is also constructed in a way that students have access to enriching learning activities based on multiple data points.
VAN DERVEER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
The Gifted and Talented program is offered to eligible students within grade levels 2-5. Utilizing multiple sources of data in accordance with the state and National Association for Gifted Children, selected students have the opportunity to engage in a variety of challenging, interest-based projects. The program will begin in October and run through the month of May. Participants will be allowed to select projects of interest. G&T projects and activities dive into a wide-range of content and themes that support student interest and will develop their abilities beyond the classroom instruction. While the program may shift direction based on the interests of the students, they will be consistently challenged through meaningful and engaging projects.
Participants - Eligible students from grades 2-5.
Duration - The program will run from October through May.
Topics - A wide variety of opportunities involving STEM, language arts, and more steered by the interests and motivation of the students.
Van Derveer continually differentiates all programs and instruction to best meet the needs of every student. While enrichment opportunities will continue to challenge students within their classroom setting, the outside of the classroom G&T program offers additional specifically differentiated opportunities to promote student engagement and development.
SOMERVILLE MIDDLE SCHOOL
The main focus of the Middle School program is STEM-based. The G&T teacher involves the students in real-world problem-solving activities that involve skills in math, science, engineering, and technology. Students are rescreened for the program prior to entering the middle school. The program happens before school.
- The students begin with small building activities (marshmallow building challenge, constructing weight bearing structures with paper) which lead to larger comprehensive bridge building project.
- The students are also taking on a school beautification project in which they are proposing a plan for in a new garden at the Middle School. Students are responsible for the design, fund raising and potential construction of the project. They are in the beginning stages now. The project process and implementation is a great experience for the students.
- Mr. Petronko has planned the construction of water bottle rockets which will be launched to test the structure’s soundness. The test flight will also include a safe landing element in which a fragile object (i.e. an egg) can land safely without breaking.
SOMERVILLE HIGH SCHOOL
Students at the high school level have a variety of options for alternative programming. Aside from challenging Honors and AP offerings, PBL offerings are integrated into many of the curriculums, and teachers are able to provide differentiated instruction. Students are allowed to select independent learning activities and can utilize Option II to take courses that Somerville may not provide at this time The high school also offers an array of extracurricular clubs and programs such as Mock Trial and Robotics.
Grades PK -1:
At this level, gifted needs are met in the classroom through differentiation and small group instruction. If you are concerned about any aspect of programming please begin by reaching out to your child's teachers.
Any student who is not identified as gifted will have access to the appeals process. The appeals process is outlined in the VDV G&T manual. The appeal is initiated by writing to the G&T specialist to re-examine the multiple criteria. If the child still is not eligible, a consent form will be issued and an alternate exam will be given. Students are encouraged to only appeal once in the two-year period following the group administration of the NNAT3 in second and fifth grade.
At SHS if you feel your child is not placed in an appropriately challenging environment please begin by reaching out to your child's teacher. Then please reach out to your child's guidance counselor. A meeting can be scheduled if needed.