SAIL

Students Accelerated in Learning (SAIL)

NEW: SAIL Update from the Superintendent (9.24.18)

Proposed SAIL Program Overview

What defines a student as gifted or talented?

Exceptionally able students are those with outstanding intellectual or academic abilities, in one or more content areas, when compared to their chronological peers in the local district.  They may display unique creativity, productive thinking, and leadership traits or may exhibit exceptional talent in the visual and performing arts.  Academically talented students are those who have demonstrated and/or have proclivities to exceptional performance; accelerated comprehension and assimilation of context; exceptional capability for the abstract, creative and divergent thinking in academic or out-of-school activities and who require a differentiated educational program beyond that normally provided by the school district. The NJDOE defines gifted students as: "Those students who possess or demonstrate high levels of ability, in one or more content areas, when compared to their chronological peers in the local district and who requires modification of their educational program if they are to achieve in accordance with their capabilities."

Academic Characteristics of Gifted Learners

  • Rapid Learners
  • Highly Curious
  • Advanced Readers and Writers
  • Many Interests
  • Abstract & Complex Thinkers

Social & Emotional Characteristics of Gifted Learners

  • Asynchronous Development
  • Over-Excitabilities
  • Expectations of Idealism/Justice
  • Multipotentiality

A Bright Child …

  • Knows the answers
  • Shows interest in topics
  • Has good ideas
  • Works hard
  • Top group
  • Learns with ease
  • 6-8 repetitions for mastery
  • Understands ideas
  • Absorbs information
  • Copies accurately
  • Enjoys school
  • Technician
  • Alert
  • Good memorizer

A Gifted Learner …

  • Asks the questions
  • Is highly curious
  • Has divergent, sometimes wild ideas
  • May not have to work hard to test well
  • BEYOND the group
  • Already knows
  • 1-2 repetitions for mastery
  • Constructs abstractions
  • Manipulates information
  • Creates a new design
  • Enjoys learning
  • Inventor
  • Keenly observant
  • Good thinker

What is expected of a gifted/talented student?

Students who participate in services designed for gifted and talented learners will demonstrate skills in self-directed learning, abstract and complex thinking, as well as a continuous process of research and communication. These learning outcomes will be evidenced by the development of innovative products and performances that reflect an advanced degree of individuality and creativity in relation to students of similar age, experience and/or environment.

How will these students be served in the Montclair Public Schools?

The Montclair Public Schools' SAIL Program will provide a continuum of services for the exceptional learner, designed to address specific needs and levels of giftedness from Kindergarten through grade 12. Gifted programming options are provided during the regular school schedule.

  • Kindergarten through Grade 1: Students identified as gifted learners in the primary grades will receive enrichment programming in the general education classroom. Extensions will include adjustments to the curriculum for students who have already mastered grade level material that enhance critical and creative thinking, logical reasoning, and problem-solving strategies through project-based learning.
  • Grades 2-8: Students in elementary and the middle grades will receive enrichment programming in the general education classroom with the aid of a gifted and talented toolkit for teachers. Enrichment programming will include critical and creative thinking, logical reasoning, and problem-solving strategies through project-based learning. Learners will have the opportunity to experience myriad non-graded learning environments, both traditional and virtual, that offer differentiated curricula that incorporates advanced, conceptually challenging, in-depth, distinctive and complex content for students with gifts.
  • Grades 9-12: Students identified as advanced learners in secondary grades will receive academic instruction at the honors and/or advanced placement level in all major content areas and in specialized courses as identified in the Montclair High School Program of Study. Advanced coursework affords students the opportunity to master accelerated curriculum as well as earn college credits through dual enrollment.

How does a student qualify for gifted & talented programming?

Identification of gifted and talented students is an ongoing process extending from grades kindergarten through twelve. Students will be nominated for the academically talented program according to the multiple identification criteria summarized below. At this time, English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics (Math) are the two content areas that will be provided in through this service.

Criteria for gifted education program services include:

Grades 2-8: ELA and Math

  • End-of-Year GPA to determine overall academic performance
  • Universal screener for ELA and Math to determine competence in those subjects
  • District assessments in ELA and Math to determine local achievement in standards
  • Teacher inventory of learning and motivation characteristics to determine task commitment

When will the SAIL program be implemented in the Montclair Public Schools?

To promote a thoughtful administration of our SAIL program, identification and services will be phased-in using the following timeline, and the district will use an external gifted and talented evaluator to examine our implementation and service model at the end of year 1, 2 and 3.

Screening and Identification

  • Fall 2018: K-5
  • Spring 2019: 6-8

Services and Program Implementation

  • Spring 2018: K-5
  • Fall 2019:  6-8

SAIL Board of Education Presentation and Handbook

See the SAIL presentation presented to the Montclair Board of Education on June 6, 2018.

See the SAIL Handbook delineating all aspects of the proposed gifted and talented programming in the Montclair Public Schools. This publication was compiled by members of the SAIL Steering Committee.

Stakeholder Survey

In an effort to acquire imperative feedback regarding the proposed SAIL gifted and talented programming in the Montclair Public Schools, all stakeholders are invited to complete a brief survey. Collected data will be carefully reviewed by the SAIL Steering Committee when it reconvenes in August 2018. Thank you in advance for your valued insight. We ask that you kindly complete this survey by Friday, August 17, 2018.

Additional Gifted and Talented Resources

  • Association for the Education of Gifted Underachieving Students (AEGUS) provides a forum for ideas and interventions aimed at helping twice exceptional students reach their full potential.

  • Association for the Gifted (TAG) organized in 1958 by The Council for Exceptional Children, helps professionals and parents work with gifted children.

  • Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving educational outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities, students with disabilities, and/or the g

  • Davidson Institute for Talent Development has extensive resources for highly gifted students (and their parents). You can access articles by selecting "Browse by Topic" or "Search GT-Cybersource" from the "Resources" header in the pulldown top bar menu bar.

  • Duke University TIP Program: The Duke University Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving academically gifted and talented youth. As a world leader in gifted and talented education, Duke TIP works with students, their families, and educators to identify, recognize, challenge, engage, and help students reach their highest potential.

  • Gifted-Children.com: Identification, Encouragement, and Development (GCC) is an on-line parents' newsletter with networking and information dedicated to making a difference in the education of children with special talents and abilities.

  • Hoagies' Gifted Education Page is a resource guide for the education of gifted children with links to many gifted education resources available on the Internet.

  • National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) is an organization of parents, educators, other professionals and community leaders to address the unique needs of children and youth. Membership includes a subscription to Parenting for High Potential, a magazine with articles geared to the development of talent. You can search "State Resources for Gifted Education" and Individual State Gifted Organizations on the NAGC website by clicking on the heading "Gifted By State."

  • National Research Center on Gifted and Talented (NRC/GT), sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, investigates, develops, and disseminates new methods for identifying and teaching gifted students. The NRC/GT, located at the University of Connecticut, is run collaboratively with the University of Virginia and Yale University, and works in conjunction with more than three hundred public school district research study sites. 

  • New Jersey Department of Education Gifted & Talented Programming: This portion of the NJDOE website provides an overview of gifted and talented programming in the state of New Jersey in relation to the student learning standards.

  • Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG) focuses primarily on the adults (parents, educators, etc.) in the lives of gifted children. SENG provides information on identification, guidance, and effective ways to live and work with gifted individuals.

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