It is the belief of the Forsyth County Schools that all students have the right to develop their talents and abilities to the fullest. Embodied in this belief is the commitment to gifted students who possess learning characteristics and needs that differ from those of their chronological peers. The mission of gifted education is to maximize the potential of gifted students by providing programs and services that accommodate these differences, including curriculum responsive to individual learning rates, styles, and complexity. Identification and eligibility procedures are established through guidance from the Georgia Department of Education.
What is the Gifted Program?
The Gifted program at RMS is based on a differentiated curriculum that challenges the gifted student to reach his/her ultimate potential while becoming a creative problem solver. Each student must qualify as gifted according to state mandates (see below).
Advanced Content: Gifted students are homogeneously grouped on the basis of achievement and interest in a specific academic content area. Students who are not eligible for gifted services but who have demonstrated exceptional ability and motivation in a particular content area may be included in this class. In addition, a description of the course curriculum (showing very clearly how the advanced course content, pacing, process skills emphasis, and expectation of student outcomes differ from the course more typical students at that grade level would take in that content area) is developed and maintained.
What classes are offered for Gifted students?
At RMS we offer four academic gifted courses in the areas of Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies. We cover the same Georgia Performance Standards as other academic classes but at an accelerated pace and with greater depth and rigor.
Which class will my child receive?
In accordance with Georgia state law we are required to serve all identified gifted students in at least one Advanced academic class. To maintain eligibility in the Gifted program, students must be served in at least one Gifted/Advanced class yearly. If students/parents deny gifted services for 2 consecutive years, that students will be removed from the Gifted program. To determine placement in specific subject areas and number of Gifted classes, the following will be considered:
- Area of strength indicated by the most recent achievement test scores
- Teacher recommendations
- Scheduling limitations of student and teacher
- School/Parent collaboration
What do Gifted teachers emphasize?
- Creative problem-solving
- Critical thinking and application of new material
- Cooperation and collaboration
- Ownership of the learning process
- Self-directed learning and research
- Self-reflection on work and products
- Personal responsibility
Which students qualify as Gifted?
Students must qualify for the Gifted program by meeting the state-of-Georgia gifted criteria, which are outlined below. Students who are already documented as gifted by Forsyth County or another Georgia public school system (transferring within Georgia) will be served in the Gifted program upon our receipt of the gifted eligibility form. Students transferring from a gifted program in another state or a private school must be evaluated to determine eligibility. (Note: standardized scores or documentation from out-of-state systems will help us evaluate your child’s eligibility; please provide copies of these scores or contact the previous system to provide these.)
Georgia Gifted Criteria: Scores on Evaluation Instruments
96% or higher is needed in Verbal, Nonverbal, Quantitative or Composite
90% or higher is needed in Reading Total, Math Total or Composite
90% or higher is needed on a nationally accredited creativity instrument
90% or higher is needed on a nationally accredited motivation test
Note: A student must qualify in 3 of 4 areas to qualify for Gifted services.
What is the process for having a child evaluated?
Students may refer themselves for evaluation or be referred by a parent, a teacher or through a routine GET screening of scores and classroom performance. Referrals may occur anytime during the school year. Transfer students may be referred at the time of enrollment in RMS.
After referral, the GET committee gathers available scores and relevant performance information from classroom teachers. If further screening or testing is recommended by the committee, then your child may be given standardized instruments, with your permission, to complete the set of scores in the four criteria (see above).
When does testing and placement (if eligible) occur?
Testing, evaluation and placement of students occurs twice a year: at the start of each semester. Typically, students are placed in Gifted classes at the beginning of the semester that follows completion of the eligibility requirements.
What is the GET Committee?
The GET Committee is the evaluation committee for the Gifted program. The GET Committee convenes regularly to discuss eligibility, probation, and other program changes for students. The GET Committee is composed of all the Gifted teachers, a classroom teacher, the school counselors, and a school administrator.
If you have further questions, please feel free to contact Lizzie Roche at 678-455-7311, ext. 300448. Copies of required documentation may be hand-delivered or faxed to Riverwatch Middle School at 678-455-7316. We appreciate your interest in the Gifted program!