Educational Programming and Services Robin J. Carey, Ph.D. Director. Dear Parents,

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1 Educational Programming and Services Robin J. Carey, Ph.D. Director Dear Parents, The Douglas County School District has designed programming for gifted elementary school students whose needs require intensity of instruction and acceleration beyond what can reasonably be expected from the regular school program. These students can be identified by the following characteristics: They make connections between and among disciplines and concepts beyond what may be expected among their age peers. They are able to learn quickly and require appropriately paced instruction. They are usually inquisitive and often passionate about one or more areas of interest. They have interests beyond those which could be expected of their age peers. They are advanced academically in literacy and/or math concepts. They have academic needs that require modifications beyond what can be expected in the regular classroom. They display a high level of cognitive potential. They have social and emotional needs which are suited to grouping with intellectual peers. The Discovery Program will address the needs of identified students by: Allowing for both acceleration and enrichment in one or more areas of the curriculum, ensuring student progress commensurate with ability. Stressing academically rigorous content in order to excel in meeting or exceeding the Douglas County World Class Outcomes in identified areas of strength. Supporting academic, emotional and social needs. Fostering self-motivation, responsibility and self-confidence, and establishing patterns of independent lifelong learning. Application The nomination process may be initiated by a teacher or other professional, parent or student. Completed packets are to be submitted by December 2, 2013 to: Gifted and Talented Education Douglas County School District 620 Wilcox Street Castle Rock, CO Fax:

2 Homeschool Parents Please see enclosed instructions regarding achievement test results, current teacher rating form, and writing sample requirement. Identification Process Due to the intensive nature of the Discovery Program, a body of evidence is needed to determine the best match between student and programming. Information considered must include documented cognitive ability, additional standardized testing, progress reports, student, parent, and teacher input. Three major criteria for placement are 1) Advanced intellectual/cognitive ability, 2) Classroom performance above grade level in at least one content area, and 3) no below grade level performance in any content area. Multiple criteria will be considered in the identification process that gives evidence of the best match between student academic need and the rigorous environment of the program. The Elementary Discovery Program is located at the following magnet sites: Acres Green Acres Green Dr. Littleton, CO Pine Lane Elementary South (K-3) 6475 E. Ponderosa Dr. Parker, CO Coyote Creek 2861 Baneberry Ct. Highlands Ranch, CO Pine Lane Elementary North (4-6) 6450 East Pine Lane Ave. Parker, CO Northridge 555 Southpark Rd. Highlands Ranch, CO Renaissance 3960 Trail Boss Ln. Castle Rock, CO While every effort is made to assign students to the site in their feeder area and closest to their neighborhood school, assignments may be offered based on space availability. (Note: The Discovery Program could be relocated to other sites due to the needs of the District.) Please contact our office with any questions or concerns. Christina Levesque Program Assistant Natasha L. Straayer Coordinator, Gifted Education Sincerely, Robin J. Carey, Ph.D. Director Educational Programming and Services

3 10/1/2013 cml Checklist for Elementary Discovery Program Application packets must be completed and received by December 2, 2013: Douglas County School District Office of Gifted Education 620 Wilcox Street Castle Rock, CO Fax: Please submit all information regarding each applicant in a single packet. An application will not be considered complete until all required materials are received. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to ensure that the application is in the Office of Gifted Education and complete. Application for Admission Parent Rating Form Student Questionnaire Required Materials Checklist: Copy of the most recent Elementary Progress Report for current grade level Teacher Rating Form and writing sample (both to be sent directly to our office by the teacher completing the form, parts 1 and 2) Copy of ability and/or achievement test results. Primary students may not have taken these tests. We welcome any available objective data. 1) Ability: CogAT, WISC-IV, DAS-II, Stanford-Binet V 2) Achievement: Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS), MAP, TCAP, etc. If your student was tested by the Douglas County School District within the past 3 years and you would like these results included in your application package, please check this box.

4 Douglas County School District Elementary Discovery Program Application for Admission Last Name: First Name: M.I. DOB: GT Office Use: RCV ENT Address: Home Phone: City: State: Zip: Male Female Address: School of Residence: Applying for Grade: Present School: Present Teacher: In most cases students will be placed at the Discovery Program site in their feeder and nearest their neighborhood school. Applicant resides with: Placements are made on a space available basis. Relationship: Mother s Name: Alternate Phone: Work Phone: Address (if different from above): Father s Name: Alternate Phone: Work Phone: Address (if different from above): Please list the names and grades of siblings who: Are already in the program Will also be applying for the program Will open enroll at the magnet site with their Discovery Program sibling Has the applicant been formally identified as gifted and talented by a school district? If so, when and by whom? What tests were administered? Results: (Please include a copy.) PLEASE NOTE: THIS INFORMATION WILL NOT SOLELY DETERMINE ADMISSION. Is applicant on any type of plan currently? (e.g. IEP, ILP, 504, ALP, Behavior, etc.) (Please include a copy.) PROGRAM EXPECTATIONS THE LEARNER WILL STRIVE TO: Demonstrate above grade level performance in more than one core content area (reading, writing, math) Perform at advanced literacy and numeracy levels Work above and beyond expectations of regular classroom Respect and support the learning of self and other students Seek out challenging learning tasks Student Signature: Parent Signature: THE FAMILY WILL: Regularly monitor the progress of the learner Partner with the teacher and learner to ensure success Support the learner by providing an appropriate study environment for homework and/or projects Be responsible for transportation to and from school Date Date If you have any questions call the Office of Gifted

5 Douglas County School District Elementary Discovery Program Parent Rating Form: Part 1 of 2 Student s Name: Applying for Grade ( 14-15): Current Teacher s Name: School: PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING STATEMENTS CAREFULLY AND CIRCLE THE APPROPRIATE NUMBER ACCORDING TO THE FOLLOWING SCALE: 1 Seldom or never 2 Occasionally 3 Frequently 4 Almost always PLEASE GIVE SPECIFIC EXAMPLES FOR EACH STATEMENT. LEARNER CHARACTERISTIC SPECIFIC EXAMPLES OF OBSERVED BEHAVIORS Easily makes connections and sees relationships among unrelated ideas Learns quickly with little repetition Inquisitive, constantly asking questions Passionate in one or more areas of interest Possesses a large storehouse of information about a variety of topics Shows unusual abilities in mathematics Uses advanced vocabulary Displays a high degree of creativity Is emotionally sensitive Is persistent in task completion Expresses self clearly and accurately either through writing or speaking Displays a keen sense of humor Is competitive Strives toward perfection, is not easily satisfied with own speed or products Is uninhibited in expressions of opinion Has a high concentration level Seems to never proceed sequentially

6 Student s Name: Parent Rating Form: Part 2 of 2 Is idealistic May be a loner, quiet, complacent, invisible Is energetic Displays independence in work habits Why do you feel your child s needs would best be served in the Discovery Program? Please describe in more detail any characteristics which seem outstanding or would especially facilitate your child s progress in a challenging academic program: Please describe any challenges your child might have in particular areas or other exceptionalities which could affect progress in the program:

7 Douglas County School District Student Questionnaire: Part 1 of 1 Elementary Discovery Program (To be completed by the student, in his/her own hand writing) Student s Name: Date: Present School: Applying for Grade ( 14-15): 1. If you could design a school, what kinds of learning experiences would you offer? 2. Tell about the special interests, hobbies or talents you have. 3. When you have time to do just as you please, what do you do? 4. List the titles of books and magazines you have read in your free time during the last three months. 5. Feel free to add an additional page to include any further information about yourself that you would like to share.

8 Teacher Rating Form: Part 1 of 2 (To be completed by the student s CURRENT teacher.) Douglas County School District Elementary Discovery Program Student s Name: Applying for Grade ( 14-15): Teacher completing this form: School: Date: Phone: What grade was this student in when you were his/her teacher? Gifted and Talented Program Office Please return this form directly to: 620 Wilcox Street (scan and attach to an , mail or fax) Castle Rock, CO Fax: Please attach a writing sample (copy) that the student prepared within your classroom (not a homework assignment). Teacher s Signature: PROGRAM DESCRIPTION The Douglas County School District Elementary School Program provides an opportunity for children whose demonstrated abilities are so outstanding that they require differentiated programming to meet their needs. This program will enhance academic achievement by creating a learning environment that utilizes peer groupings, provides experience beyond the regular classroom and incorporates educational programming that is commensurate with learner capacity for growth. PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING STATEMENTS CAREFULLY AND CIRCLE THE APPROPRIATE NUMBER ACCORDING TO THE FOLLOWING SCALE: 1 Seldom or never 2 Occasionally 3 Frequently 4 Almost always LEARNER CHARACTERISTICS Gifted children commonly exhibit these characteristics. Easily makes connections and sees relationships among unrelated ideas Learns quickly with little repetition Inquisitive, constantly asking questions Passionate in one or more areas of interest Possesses a large storehouse of information about a variety of topics Has advanced mathematical thinking beyond age or grade level Uses advanced vocabulary for age or grade level Why do you feel this student s needs are best addressed in the Discovery Program? If you feel the student s needs are best addressed in his/her current setting, please elaborate. Please describe in more detail any learner characteristics that seem outstanding or would especially facilitate this student s progress in a challenging academic program.

9 Student Name: Teacher Rating Form: Part 2 of 2 Please describe in more detail any learning challenges the student might have in particular areas or difficulties that could affect progress in such a program. Is any type of plan in place (e.g. ILP, IEP, 504, ALP, Behavior)? Please attach a copy of plan. Describe how the student interacts with peers in various grouping arrangements (pairs, small groups, large groups)? How well do the characteristics of this learner make her/him a good candidate for the Discovery Program (see page 1 for description)? extremely well well somewhat very little Dear Teacher, Students nominated for the Discovery Program must be performing at grade level in all content areas as a minimum requirement. Additionally, students must show demonstrated performance in one or more content areas that indicates beyond grade level performance. Your professional judgment is key in determining this information. Please take a few minutes to fill in the checklist below, making special note of the far right column. Please attach copies of the DRA-2, Math assessments, writing sample, and/or MAP assessment results. Your input helps to ensure the success of students placed in Discovery. Content Area Below Grade Level At Grade Level Above Grade Level Supporting Assessment Data (scores) DRA2, MAP, etc. Reading Writing Math

10 Homeschool Students Several of the required materials for applying to the Discovery Program need special provision for students who are homeschooled. We want all students to have the opportunity to demonstrate a need for the Program, regardless of their prior experience. Therefore, the following explanation will guide you in fulfilling all information requirements. Teacher Rating Form & Report Card: Parents will need to select a qualified person, other than the parent, to evaluate the student s grade level progress. Any expenses incurred for this evaluation will be the responsibility of the parent or guardian. A qualified person is: 1) a certified teacher, 2) a teacher who is employed by an independent or parochial school, 3) a licensed psychologist, or 4) a person with a graduate degree in education. See guidelines below for this qualified evaluator. Achievement Data: Students who have reached grade three or above should submit results of the TerraNova (or similar nationally normed instrument) achievement test. Guidelines for Qualified Evaluator Assessment: Use DRA-2 or similar reading assessment to determine performance level. (Attach protocol to Teacher Rating Form.) Use Douglas County School District guidelines for evaluation of math achievement. (Attach protocol to Teacher Rating Form.) Use an age appropriate writing prompt to determine student s writing performance, and score using a 6 Trait rubric to evaluate. The student writing sample must be included with the application. Complete Behavioral Characteristics portion as best you can as you work with the student on the above assessments. Performance: Homeschool work completed at the high school or advanced level must be done through an accredited program. (Check with the Douglas County School District Homeschool Office.)

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