Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What data points are used to make Tier of Service decisions?
A: Multiple data points are used to determine initial Tier of Service recommendations. Data points might include standardized cognitive abilities assessments, achievement tests, portfolios, classroom work samples, parent and educator input through a standardized instrument such as the SIGS and/or notes from an interview with the learner.
Q: Will my learner always be at the tier of service s/he begins receiving services on?
A: Our continuum of services is designed to respond to the needs of learners. If a learner’s needs change, the services provided to that learner would also change.
Q: How can I prepare my learner for Tier III?
A: Tiers of service are determined according to demonstrated need. If a learner demonstrates a need for Tier III services, s/he will receive them. The emphasis is not on the Tier of Service a learner receives, but on the appropriateness of those services for the learner’s needs.
Q: Will the “highly gifted” students be held back by those who are less gifted in those subjects?
A: The Tiers of Service model allows us to better meet the specific needs of all learners. Tier III learners will receive both push-in and pull-out services from the GTi Specialist.
Q: Will acceleration change (by subject/grade level)?
A: Elementary age learners might have the opportunity for multi-age/content specific acceleration based on their needs. The Tiers of Service model allows us to schedule time for intentional and targeted acceleration for learners who require that intervention in order to demonstrate a year’s worth of growth for a year’s worth of instruction.
Q: Will the curriculum change?
A: This year the Tier II curriculum is primarily Texas Performance Standards Projects (TPSP) supplemented with William and Mary “units.” Tier III curriculum is GTi Specialist created and will primarily be PBL based if learners have a math/science aptitude or an orbital study if learners have a language arts/social studies aptitude. It is our intention to work with classroom educators of the course of the school year to support them in designing learning experiences for gifted learners receiving Tier II services next year (2014-2015).
Q: Will gifted services look at the same on every elementary campus?
A: All elementary campuses are providing services to their gifted learners within the same parameters. For example: gifted learners are clustered at every campus, GTi Specialists on each campus provide push-in and pull-out services as appropriate for identified learners, services on each campus are customized to the great degree possible to meet the needs of the campus GT population.
Q: Doesn’t “intervention” have a negative stigma?
A: Webster’s dictionary defines the term intervention as a modification. Our gifted services are aimed at modifying grade level curriculum, processes, or products to meet the needs of gifted learners so they might have an appropriately challenging learning experience. Intervention is an appropriate word.
Q: If universal screenings are conducted in October, will my child who is then identified gifted be moved to a GT cluster classroom?
A: Most elementary classrooms at most grade levels in the district have a GT cluster due to the number of identified learners in the district. However, if a learner were to be identified who was in a classroom that was not a cluster classroom, all stakeholders (including the learner) would be involved in making the best service decision for that child. S/he might be moved to a cluster classroom (contingent upon there being room in other classroom) or s/he might stay in her/his current classroom and be served by the GTi Specialist in a way that meets her/his needs.
Q: Will learners identified GT by the 5th grade CoGAT score be served in elementary school or middle school?
A: Once we identify a GT learner, we serve them.
Q: Will GT learners have to re-qualify for GT services?
A: Learners do not have to re-qualify for GT services, however, GT services may change for a learner based on an identified need. The focus of our model is to customize and personalize the services our GT learners receive.
Q: What will happen to underachieving GT learners?
A: Underachieving learners will be monitored more closely than in the past and appropriate interventions will be designed to meet their specific needs. Learners will have the opportunity to have conversations about their data and give input (have “voice and choice”) in the content they study as part of the service design.