A gifted child may exhibit some of the following common characteristics:
• Masters new skills and concepts quickly
• Advanced vocabulary
• Superior judgement and reasoning ability
• Strong sense of ethics and values
• Perceptive and inquiring
• Original, flexible and fluent thinking
This program is for exceptional students at the primary, junior, intermediate and senior levels. Students work toward gradelevel expectations as outlined in the Ontario curriculum. The aim of the Gifted Program is to provide enrichment rather than acceleration. The program is designed to encourage the development of complex thinking and problem-solving skills using extension activities. As well the program encourages cooperative work; peer and self evaluation tasks are based on criteria determined by both teacher and students. The program allows children of similar abilities and interests to work together.
Students have the ability to work through the curriculum at a faster rate, thus allowing more time to study topics in greater depth. An open-ended curriculum allows students to explore areas of interest and incorporate creative talents into their learning. Application of learning is emphasized after students have demonstrated mastery of basic skills.
The OCDSB provides the following two delivery models within the Gifted Program at the elementary level:
• Gifted programming through an Individual Education Plan (IEP) within the community school
• Specialized classes in a) English (with core French classes) at designated schools (grades 1-8) and, b) Early French Immersion at designated schools (grades 5-8). Gifted Programming is based on the learning expectations outlined in the Individual Education Plan (IEP). The IEP is developed and coordinated by the special education program teacher in consultation with parent (s), Learning Support Services personnel, and subject-area teachers. The IEP is designed for each student according to their individual learning needs and strengths. The plan is developed, revised and updated based on the results of ongoing assessment and evaluation.
The gifted program is offered at designated schools. Students in grades 9-10 have approximately 50 per cent of their courses in a specialized class. The percentage of specialized class content varies for students in grades 11-12.
Parent donates custodial parent(s) or guardian
The Gifted Program classes are limited in size as outlined in the OCDSB’s Special Education Report. There are up to twenty (20) students in each primary level (grades 1-3) Gifted Program class. There are up to twenty-five (25) students in each junior and intermediate (grade 4-8) Gifted Program class. Classes are equipped with special education resources.
The Gifted Program is taught by teachers with special education qualifications (minimum of Part I). Learning Support Services personnel provide assessment and consultative services to the program teacher.
Evaluation and Review
Assessment is ongoing and evaluation occurs throughout the year. Student progress is formally reported as per the reporting structure of the OCDSB on the provincial report card and alternative report cards. The progress of a student, who has been identified exceptional and has a placement through an IPRC, is formally reviewed on an annual basis during an IPRC meeting.
Change in Placement
Criteria include the following:
• Has academic and /or social needs that could be met more successfully within a different classroom setting
• Evidence of on-going successful integration
• No longer benefits from specialized placement
The in-school special education team will meet with *parents to discuss alternative placements if necessary. Other special education placements may include the following:
a) regular classroom with monitoring from the Learning Support Teacher (LST) or the Learning Resource Teacher(LRT),
b) regular classroom with support from the LST/LRT, or
c) other special education placement if appropriate.
For Further Information
Please consult the OCDSB Learning Support Services’ Special Education Parent Guide and The Identification, Placement and Review Committee process Parent Guide. As well, you may contact the school principal or the OCDSB Learning Support Services personnel serving the school.