Gifted & Talented Overview
The Gifted & Talented Program is designed to provide opportunities for students to enrich and/or accelerate their academic experience in Kindergarten through 8th grade. Through an evaluation & identification process, students will be placed accordingly into the Gifted & Talented Program. In grades K-5, the G&T Program is a pullout model designed to enrich students' learning experience and build on their strengths and general interests. In grades 6-8, students are provided enrichment opportunities in the classroom. Students who demonstrate a higher ability in math will be placed into Math Honors.
Teachers use a Teacher Observation Inventory tool to identify students for instructional purposes from Kindergarten through Grade 2. The TOI evaluates behaviors of students in the areas of reading, curiosity, creativity, academic concepts, follow-through of activities, in-depth interests, spatial activities, leadership qualities, and special talents in the arts.
Sometime in the second half of Grade 2, the Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT) is administered to all second grade students. The results of this test, along with the report cards, benchmarks and teacher recommendation(s) are used to determine a child’s placement in the program. Each component is weighted equally.
At the end of each school year from Grades 3 - 5, teachers are provided the opportunity to make recommendations on student placements. The building Principal and Director will review the teacher recommendation and multiple measures to determine if a change should be made.
During the second half of Grade 5, the OLSAT test is administered to all fifth grade students. The results of this test, along with the NJSLA scores, report cards, benchmarks and teacher recommendation(s) are used to determine a student’s placement for Grade 6. The collected data is measured with a matrix to determine if the students will be identified as G&T.
The OLSAT test is completely different from the standardized testing (NJSLA). These tests are designed to measure how well a child has learned what they should have been taught. Can they read and do mathematics at grade level, for example? THE OLSAT, in contrast, is intended to provide an indication of intrinsic ability. How well can your child problem solve in different contexts?
Your child’s OLSAT test score isn’t an IQ score. An IQ test is done one-on-one with a psychologist, and is a much more comprehensive test of cognitive ability.
The Supervisor of Gifted and Talented provides each Principal with recommendations based upon the composite data for each student. Final placement in the G & T program is the Principal’s decision.