Gifted Services

Philosophy and Mission

The Washington Local District believes that gifted children have exceptional educational needs, that these children exist in all ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic groups, and that these children represent a vast and largely untapped resource to society. The Gifted Services Department will expand the educational opportunities for these students by providing them with intellectual stimulation and creative challenge. The ultimate goal of the program will be to develop within the individual a desire for excellence and a sense of individual responsibility to self and society.

Cluster grouping and differentiated instruction provide developmentally appropriate material for gifted children, giving them the optimum opportunity to learn and to grow. The classroom teacher provides gifted service through many challenging and stimulating activities every day that directly address the gifted child’s academic needs. 

Each elementary school has a Gifted Intervention Specialist (GIS) with a very important role in the services provided to gifted and talented students. The GIS is a teacher who has specialized training in gifted and talented education. Your child’s gifted intervention specialist will have many roles, and may include working with identified gifted students and some non-identified high achieving students, collaboration with classroom teachers to plan differentiation strategies, and curriculum modification. The Gifted Intervention Specialist’s role is to work closely with the classroom teacher in order to create modified learning opportunities.  Various topics and lessons will be enriched in order to challenge these high achieving students.  

Some high achieving students need specialized curriculum opportunities, and these . services, provided by the Gifted Intervention Specialist, may be seminars, workshops, independent studies, acceleration, or discussion groups. Services within Washington Local Schools do vary based on grade level and subject area.  From purposeful clustering to acceleration and honors courses, just to name a few, the gifted program is designed to meet your student’s needs at an individualized level in order to challenge and grow each learner both academically and socially. 

Overview & Qualifications

Gifted services in the Washington Local School district are offered in grades 2-12.

To qualify for gifted services in Washington Local Schools, a student must:

  • Score superior cognitive (two standard deviations above the mean minus the standard error of measure) 

  • Score at or above the 95th percentile on a nationally normed achievement test in reading, math, science, or social studies

  • Be identified as creative or leadership,  or identification in visual and performing arts

All K-8 students take the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) for Primary Grades in Reading and Math three times a year (Fall, Winter and Spring). Students also take the InView - a Cognitive Abilities Aptitude Test in the late winter of grade 2. Students who qualify for services begin receiving gifted services upon parent approval for participation. The elementary gifted intervention specialists work closely with regular classroom teachers to provide daily intervention in identified areas.  Parents and teachers may request testing for gifted identification at anytime. Students are screened and tested again in the fall of 6th grade with the InView - a Cognitive Abilities Aptitude Test to identify new candidates for gifted services in the junior high.

Students may also qualify for early entrance to kindergarten, whole grade and/or subject acceleration.  All students who receive services have a Written Education Plan (WEP) and/or a Written Acceleration Plan (WAP).

At Jefferson Junior High, Washington Junior High, the district provides honors and advanced courses.  At Whitmer High School, the district provides services to students by offering honors and advanced placement courses. College Credit Plus is offered to students beginning in grade 7, and allows students to take college classes while in junior/high school. Purposeful clustering with teachers participating in gifted professional development is also available in both the junior highs and high school.

If you have further questions concerning WLS Gifted Services, please contact the gifted coordinator.