Carson used to house a Highly Gifted and Talented (HGT) Magnet program for grades 1-5. As our neighborhood has continued to grow, we created space for three traditional classrooms at each grade level by phasing out the HGT magnet program. In response to this shift, we have created a model to support the unique needs of our gifted students.
When considering class groupings, we ensure all students have similarly skilled peer groups to engage in academic content. Our teachers are trained and supported in accelerating, compacting, and enriching the curriculum to meet the needs of gifted students in all identified content areas.
At Carson, individual teachers differentiate for their students on a daily basis. They are consistently provided with resources that support their HGT/GT learners as well as professional development that focuses on gifted strategies that can be easily implemented in the classroom. Project based learning is a great way for teachers to differentiate to meet students’ needs. In project based learning, all students may be studying the same subject, but the level of resources, materials, and depth of studies of gifted students may exceed those of other students. Identified Highly Gifted and Talented students are cluster-grouped into heterogeneous classrooms for whole group math, literacy, science, and social studies. Students identified as HGT/GT and other students that test appropriately receive advanced/accelerated instruction in their daily math at a higher grade and/or weekly small groups.
As we phase out the HGT magnet program, we are committed to meeting the affective needs of our HGT/GT learners. Our teachers use a whole-child approach focusing on advocacy, executive functioning, problem solving, and goal setting. This HGT/GT support will benefit students within their classroom work where they will be receiving content instruction with like-ability cluster groupings as well as heterogeneous groupings.