S.A.I.L. Program Update

September 24, 2018

Dear Montclair Parents/Guardians,

Among the many exciting initiatives currently underway in the Montclair Public Schools is the redesign of the district’s Students Accelerated in Learning (S.A.I.L.) gifted and talented program in the content areas of English Language Arts and Mathematics. This project was undertaken with the primary objective of providing an effective service model for each of our potential and identified gifted and talented students in grades K-8.

Last school year (2017-2018) I worked with Gifted and Talented Consultant Dr. Lenore Cortina and a S.A.I.L. Steering Committee composed of Montclair educators and administrators to develop a handbook. This handbook provides an overview of the proposed S.A.I.L. programming both in regard to the initial screening process and service model. Further, previously collected feedback from the community played an integral role in guiding this phase of the process. The resulting publication was presented to the Montclair Board of Education and made available to the public on June 6, 2018. Additional information and a public survey were published in July 2018 to further inform and engage all stakeholders.

The S.A.I.L. Steering Committee will reconvene in September 2018 to reflect upon imperative public feedback as the S.A.I.L. handbook is finalized. All resources pertaining to the proposed S.A.I.L. program, as well as a copy of the handbook and a corresponding presentation may be found on the district website at the following link: http://www.montclair.k12.nj.us/district/equity-curriculum-instruction/sail/.

In addition to the progress that has been made in regard to the planning phase of this work, a group of dedicated Montclair educators with vast experience working with students in grades K-8 is currently developing a toolkit to service identified gifted and talented students. The S.AI.L. toolkit will be replete with strategies and activities that aid teachers in providing effective enrichment programming to identified gifted and talented students in the mainstream classroom. The S.A.I.L. toolkit is projected to be completed and presented to the Board of Education in December 2018.

In light of this progress, the Montclair Public Schools is implementing a revised gifted and talented service model during the 2018-2019 school year. The implementation timeline for the revised S.A.I.L. program is as follows[1]:

  • November 2018: Formal identification of students in grades K-5
  • January 2019: Services provided to identified students in grades K-5
  • April 2019: Formal identification of students in grades 6-8
  • September 2019: Services provided to identified students in grades 6-8

The above information highlights the progress that has been made thus far in regard to the S.A.I.L. program, as well as provides a timeline of implementation for the current 2018-2019 school year. We remain grateful to those who have served an important role in this process and are confident that this collective effort will result in the district’s offering of high quality gifted and talented programing to our students. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact Mr. Frank Sedita our Supervisor of World Languages and ESL (K-12) at 973-509-4230, or fsedita@montclair.k12.nj.us.

Dr. Kendra V. Johnson

[1] Students recommended for Advanced Placement (AP) in the high school will be enrolled in S.A.I.L.

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