Skip to Content Skip to Footer Accessibility Concerns
Parent Portal
The Parent Portal is a tool for you to stay informed and engaged in your child's education.
 
Close Menu

Gifted Scope and Sequence

QUESTION:  What is your district's definition of a gifted student and gifted education?
 
Definition of Gifted Education: The state of Arizona states that because it is in the public interest to support unique opportunities for high-achieving and underachieving pupils who are identified as gifted, the governing board of each school district shall provide gifted education to gifted pupils identified as provided in this article.
 
The governing board shall modify the course of study and adapt teaching methods, materials and techniques to provide educationally for those pupils who are gifted and possess superior intellect or advanced learning ability, or both, but may have an educational disadvantage resulting from a disability or a difficulty in writing, speaking or understanding the English language due to an environmental background in which a language other than English is primarily or exclusively spoken. Identification of gifted pupils as provided in this subsection shall be based on tests or subtests that are demonstrated to be effective with special populations including those with a disability or difficulty with the English language.  A.R.S. 15-779.01
 
Definition of a Gifted Student: Gifted refers to a student who is of lawful school age, and who scores at or above the 97th percentile on national norms in verbal, nonverbal, or quantitative reasoning on any test from the State Board-approved list of tests.
 
An alternative process that incorporates a matrix is also utilized to determine eligibility.  The matrix combines point values for cognitive ability scores and standardized achievement test scores to determine eligibility.  It is applicable when cognitive ability scores fall between the 94th and 96th percentile.
 

QUESTION:  Describe the philosophy and goals for your gifted program. 
 
Statement of Purpose:  Based on the unique needs and characteristics of students identified as gifted, the mission of the DUSD is to provide an array of services to meet the academic, social, and emotional needs of these students in our community.
 
Mission:  To deliver educational programs designed to assist gifted individuals to achieve their full potential in intellectual pursuits, community leadership, and creativity.  This mission is achieved through the use of sound differentiated instructional strategies that include but are not limited to:  complexity, depth, novelty, pacing, independent study, and acceleration.  Professional expertise is fostered and exemplary resources are utilized to develop intellectual rigor, humane values, and creativity. The program recognizes and responds to the diverse gifts and talents in children and youth from all cultures, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and socioeconomic groups.
 

QUESTION:  How do you group and deliver services to your K-8 students?

Programming
K-8 students identified as gifted are clustered into gifted cluster classrooms with teachers who have been designated as such by their school principals. Gifted Cluster Teachers are provided with professional development in gifted education, and facilitate with the planning and implementation of differentiated curriculum and instruction through regularly scheduled Gifted Cluster Teacher meetings. In this model, gifted students receive differentiated curriculum and instruction on a daily basis.

Program features:
  • Emphasis on 21st Century Skills
  • Collaboration, Communication, Creativity, Critical Thinking
  • Curriculum compacting
  • Integrated technology
  • Personalization
  • Core content
  • Enrichment
 
Academic Pathway programs for Grades 6-8:
  • The Dysart Arts Academy serves students at West Point Elementary School. The mission of this program is to provide an arts-enriched learning environment merging creative and academic content to enhance student achievement. Academy students will be required to take language arts, reading, mathematics, science, and social studies. In addition, the students will be afforded the opportunity to participate in arts elective courses each year. These courses may include band, orchestra, chorus, visual arts: 2-D, 3-D and graphic arts, theater, dance, and ITV /video production.
  • The Cambridge Academy is an advanced academic program for students at Countryside or Marley Park Elementary Schools. This program will seek to enable academically motivated students to prepare for success in future academic pursuits while obtaining a comprehensive view of the world.  An internationally recognized program sponsored by Cambridge University in England, the academy offers a rigorous and relevant curriculum, preparing students to take a series of comprehensive examinations at the end of their 8th grade year.
  • The Global International Academy at Luke Elementary School is an interdisciplinary program that provides students with an opportunity to think both globally and locally. Students will have online world language learning as well as practice communicating effectively with diverse audiences. The interconnectedness approach to study is a hallmark of this academy. It is an inquiry-driven approach to teaching and learning that is anchored in the Arizona College and Career Ready Standards.
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Canyon Ridge School is dedicated to the integration of science, mathematics and technology throughout daily instruction and interaction.  Students gather and apply knowledge from multiple disciplines with particular emphasis on science, math and health supported by transforming uses of technology. Collaboration, team building and partnerships define interactions among all members of the learning community. Problem-based learning, flexibility in grouping and in use of time, research and assessment to drive instructional decisions, and innovative approaches to teaching and learning are hallmarks of experiences at Canyon Ridge School.
 
 
QUESTION:  How do you group and deliver services to your 9-12 students?
 
High school students who are identified as gifted are supported through the academic counselors at each school site in choosing classes and programs that best fit their needs.
 
Additional high school resources
  • Advanced Placement (AP) is a program of college-level courses and examinations governed by the College Entrance Examination Board. Students who attain acceptable scores on the exams may qualify for college credits, advanced placement or exemption from certain courses. Advanced Placement classes are available in 10, 11, and 12th grade years in the follow courses (*Courses will vary by school): Calculus, Statistics, English, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, US History, Government, Economics, Psychology, Studio Art, and Music Theory.
  • Honors courses are designed to provide a more challenging course of study that fosters academic performance leading to successful completion of Advanced Placement, Dual Enrollment and/ or International Baccalaureate Programs. To fulfill this purpose, these courses demand a more challenging engagement by students in building upon and extending the standard requirements of study. Criteria for placement in an Honors Course includes, but is not limited to: proven academic performance, placement assessment, study habits, work ethic and literacy skills.
  • The Cambridge program encourages student-centered learning and hands-on application of skills. Clearly defined learner outcomes and content ensure high expectations for all. Students who complete the lower division, 9th-10th grade, Cambridge curriculum are set for success in a dual enrollment, advanced placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) or Career and Technical Education (CTE) pathway for college and career advancements. By passing the Cambridge Board Examinations, students are eligible for the Grand Canyon Diploma, a diploma that allows them early entry into college courses.
  • Dual Enrollment opportunities are available to students in Dysart High Schools. Students have the ability to take courses in which they may receive credit in the high school as well as earning college credit. Dual enrollment courses are available through Estrella Mountain, Glendale and Rio Salado Community Colleges. Dual Enrollment classes may be available to students in the following content areas: Career and Technical Education classes, English, Math, Science, and Social Studies.
  • International Baccalaureate (IB), offered at Willow Canyon High School, challenges academically talented students to reach high levels of achievement in a broad range of subjects and allows two different participation tracks: IB diploma and IB certificate. The core subjects of the IB program are arranged into six curricula: English, social studies, experimental sciences, foreign language, mathematics and electives. The diploma candidate is required to test in one subject from each curriculum. The certificate track allows students to self-select into areas of their academic strengths, leading to IB subject-area tests in only selected areas.
 
 
QUESTION:  Describe how you integrate your program standards with the Arizona State Standards at each grade level. 
 
Gifted curriculum is aligned with state standards at each grade level, assuring that the content of the standards is covered and providing for enriched content to meet the needs of gifted students.
 
DUSD defines gifted education as services and coursework that provide extended learning opportunities focused on the cognitive and affective needs of gifted students. Gifted Education services in DUSD are inclusive of all school populations and student demographics, and consist of integrated, differentiated learning experiences provided during the regular school day. The array of gifted education services in DUSD incorporates and addresses:
  • customized curriculum
  • flexible grouping and pacing
  • creativity and problem solving
  • differentiated instruction
  • continuity and continual progress
  • interaction with other gifted students
  • social and emotional needs of gifted students
 

QUESTION:  How do you involve parents in your program?
 
Parent Collaboration & Community Involvement
  • Notice of Differentiation (NOD) conference with parents
  • Gifted focus during curriculum night
  • Teacher websites
  • District websites
  • Parent / Teacher meetings
  • District Gifted Curriculum meeting
 

QUESTION:  How do you differentiate instruction (pace and pedagogy) to K-2 students? 
 
  • Professional development provided to gifted cluster teacher and gifted technology instructional assistants with a focus on differentiated instruction, including the use of flexible grouping
  • NOD plans identify the differentiated process, product, content, and environment for each student. Teachers are provided assistance and resources needed to meet the needs of the student as identified on the NOD. These are designed and implemented for each gifted student K-2
  • Use of assessment information to form appropriate instructional groups

 
QUESTION:  How do you differentiate instruction (pace and pedagogy) to 3-6 students?  
 
  • Professional development provided to gifted cluster teacher and gifted technology instructional  assistants with a focus on differentiated instruction, including the use of flexible grouping
  • NOD plans identify the differentiated process, product, content, and environment for each student. Teachers are provided assistance and resources needed to meet the needs of the student as identified NOD. These are designed and implemented for each gifted student 3-6.
  • Use of assessment information to form appropriate instructional groups
 

QUESTION:  How do you differentiate instruction (pace and pedagogy) to 7-8 students? 
 
  • Professional development provided to gifted cluster teacher and gifted technology instructional assistants with a focus on differentiated instruction including the use of flexible grouping
  • NOD plans identify the differentiated process, product, content, and environment for each student. Teachers are provided assistance and resources needed to meet the needs of the student as identified on the NOD.  These are designed and implemented for each gifted student 7-8.
  • Use of assessments for 7-8 grade students, in order to identify instructional groupings
 

QUESTION:  How do you differentiate instruction (pace and pedagogy) to 9-12 students? 
 
  • Professional development provided to gifted cluster teacher and gifted technology instructional assistants with a focus on differentiated instruction, including the use of flexible grouping
  • Honors, Advanced Placement, Cambridge, Dual Enrollment and International Baccalaureate Programs   (Teachers assigned to teach these courses attend training specific to the implementation of expectations within them.)
  • Each high school assigns a counselor to oversee the unique needs of 9-12 gifted students.  Each student receives an Education and Career Action Plan (e-CAP) that incorporates the students strengths and interests into an individual four year course guide.  The e-CAP is reviewed and updated annually.  The counselor meets regularly with the students to assure that the plan continues to meet the gifted students unique needs.  Counselors are provided training in the social emotional needs of gifted students and advocating for their needs to teachers.  Counselors work with teachers to provide a smooth matriculation from 8th grade to high school for gifted students.  The gifted students NOD Plan from K-8, is used as a base for building the first e-CAP.
 
 
QUESTION:  What curricular materials do you use for grades K-12?
 
Curriculum & Instruction
  • District adopted core curriculum
  • Foreign language development
  • Computer Programs and Applications
    • Foreign language development
    • STEM
    • App creation
  • Collaborative learning tools
    • Edmodo
    • Google Docs
  • Honors courses
  • Advanced High School Coursework
    • International Baccalaureate programming
    • Cambridge courses
    • AP courses
    • Career and Technical Education courses
      • Career and Technical student organizations
    • Dual Enrollment courses
 
                                         
QUESTION:  Describe how your referral process for identification involves parents and staff.
 
  • Referral form is available at each school site and online
  • Parents of students transferring into the District are provided a form that allows them to indicate whether their student had previous gifted services.  Those forms are forwarded to the Exceptional Student Services Department. Documents are reviewed upon receipt by the Exceptional Student Services Coordinators. Parents are notified in writing of the students eligibility and given referral for testing information if appropriate
 
 
QUESTION:  Describe your process for the identification of K-12 students, including how your process addresses the variety of student environmental backgrounds.
 
  • Referrals for testing are accepted from parents, teachers, administrators and the students.  All referred students are tested. Testing is conducted three times each year. Grades 1-8 are tested in September and January. One testing date is set aside specifically for Kindergarten students. Testing dates are set in advance and published on the district web site and other district publications.  All testing takes place during the school day by the Gifted Technology Instructional Assistants who have been trained in standardized testing procedures. Parents are notified as soon as possible, once the testing window has closed, of the results of the testing
  • Use of matrix that assigns points value to scores on cognitive measure and scores on standardized achievement tests when student score between 94%-96% on the cognitive measure
  • Matrix also allows for discretionary points to be added when student is a member of an at-risk group
  • Nonverbal tests are used for ELL students
 
 
QUESTION:  Please list all the testing instruments and data points you use for gifted student identification and explain why you use those instruments
 
DUSD gifted assessments ensure fairness to the Districts ethnically diverse population. The assessment battery includes tools that are language-free and culturally unbiased to provide equal opportunities for identification of the Districts English language learners and culturally diverse students:
  • The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAt), Form 6
  • The Universal Non-Verbal Intelligence test (UNIT)
 

QUESTION:  How do you inform parents and staff of your referral and identification process?
 
  • Website
  • Brochure
  • Parent meetings
  • Governing board presentations
  • Newsletters: school
 
 
QUESTION:  Once eligibility is determined, how do you inform parents of the decision and then handle an appeal of that decision?
 
  • Parents are notified of test results and eligibility through a formal letter
  • A consent for placement form is included and signature required for all eligible students
  • Parent appeals are handled on an individual basis beginning with the Director of Exceptional Student Services
  • Consultation with principal, classroom teacher, and parent
 
 
QUESTION:  How do you provide for the unique affective needs of your gifted students K-6?
 
  • Training for school staff specifically addressing the needs of gifted
  • Clustering
  • School Psychologists training
 

QUESTION:  How do you provide for the unique affective needs of your gifted students 7-8?
 
  • Training for school staff specifically addressing the needs of gifted
  • Clustering
  • School Psychologists training
 

QUESTION:  How do you provide for the unique affective needs of your gifted students 9-12?
 
  • Training for school counselors specifically addressing the needs of gifted
  • School Psychologists training
  • Honors, AP and IB programs
 

QUESTION:  What specific orientation activities do you provide for parents and teachers regarding students affective needs?
 
  • Training for school staff specifically addressing the needs of gifted
  • Social-emotional issues addressed through newsletter
  • Clustering
  • School Psychologists and counselors receive training on the social emotional needs of gifted students
 
 
QUESTION:  How do you monitor, identify and provide assistance to at-risk gifted students?
 
  • Referral process established for all students for counseling and/or social worker services
    • Implement 504 referral/assessment/accommodation plans as needed
  • Counseling provided on an as-needed basis (individual, small group: focusing on social skills, conflict  resolution, family issues)
  • Partnerships with community organizations for intervention:
    • Jewish Family Services for classroom prevention lessons and small groups at elementary and high school; Teen OutReach Pregnancy, City of Surprise Victim Advocacy, FAST program (elementary) with Southwest Behavioral Health, Maricopa County Mobile Crisis Team, referral sources for local mental health agencies and social services provided to parents, referrals to Child Help, Child Protective Services
  • Credit recovery  program at the high school level
  • Dual enrollment offered to high school students through local community colleges
  • Competency testing offered at the high school level
  • Academic contracts
  • Behavior contracts
  • Functional Assessments
  • Behavior Intervention Plans
  • Interpretation of cognitive, aptitude, and achievement tests
  • Threat Assessments
  • Chronic Illness plans
  • Advancement through Individual Determination (AVID)
  • Homebound services
  • Universal Prevention: K-8 classroom prevention lessons facilitated by counselors; Career exploration at 7th and 8th grade using AzCIS; Educational Career Action Plan (e-CAP) at the high school; Graduation checks; honors testing; college applications and letters of recommendation
 
 
QUESTION:  How do you regularly provide opportunities for regular classroom teachers and gifted teachers to receive specialized training about working with gifted students?
 
  • Staff from Curriculum Department and Exceptional Student Services
    • Teacher designed workshops provided to and by gifted specialists
  • Fund attendance at state AAGT conference
  • Fund attendance at workshops with a gifted focus
    • Provide necessary instructional materials. Identification of needed resources is embedded in the NOD process.

Professional development for Gifted Cluster teachers:
  • Face to face professional development presented once each quarter
  • Increase understanding of how to differentiate for gifted learners
  • Share and support with resources for differentiation for gifted learners
  • Support with gifted referral and testing guidelines and procedures
  • Online collaborative support
  • Support of the gifted students social and emotional needs

Professional development for Gifted Technology Instructional Assistants:
  • Face to face professional development presented once each month
  • Develop expertise with technology troubleshooting
  • Develop expertise with technology differentiation resources
  • Online collaborative support
 
 
QUESTION:  Have your training events targeted the needs of administrators, counselors, psychologist and support staff?
 
Professional development for psychologists and academic counselors:
  • Training in support of gifted students social and emotional needs-webinar

Professional Development specifically geared to counselors:
  • Materials such as: How to Communicate with Difficult People and Bully-Free Classroom
  • In-service provided to building administrators on the cluster model
 

QUESTION:  How do you make your program philosophy, goals and recruitment procedures available to all parents?
 
  • Web site (www.dysart.org)
  • Brochure
  • Parent meetings
  • Governing board presentations
  • Parent/teacher conferences
  • Parental participation in the development of the NOD
 

QUESTION:  How do you provide access to your scope and sequence for all parents?
 
Parents will be provided access through our internet links.      www.dyart.org
 
 
QUESTION:  Describe how you incorporate parents into a support or advisory group.
 
  • Periodic meetings with gifted parents
  • Notification of parental input sent through posted on website
  • Parental participation on committees
 
 
QUESTION:  How do you involve parents and the gifted community in the evaluation of your program?
 
  • Governing Board presentations
  • Site Councils
  • Formal Parent Surveys
  • Parent Surveys have been developed as part of a comprehensive program evaluation process 
  • Teacher Surveys have been developed as part of a comprehensive program  evaluation process  
 
 
QUESTION:  What data sources to you use to assess your programs effectiveness?
 
  • Disaggregate assessment data for individual gifted students and as a group
  • Compare outcomes of gifted students
  • Enrollment in Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs
  • Scores on college entrance examinations such as the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or  American College Testing Program (ACT)
  • Participation in academic competitions
  • Scholarship awards
  • Program evaluation is facilitated by the DUSD research department and includes professional development, curriculum, and staffing needs 
 

QUESTION:  How do you use informal measure like surveys, open forums and teacher interviews to gather data?
 
Program Assessment is an ongoing process.  Surveys of parents and teachers provide input into the strengths of the program and needed improvement areas.  Parents and teachers are partners in the development of the NOD.

 

QUESTION:  What are your key indicators that your program is positively affecting students?
 
  • Informal parental input
  • Retention of  gifted students
  • Enrollment in AP and IB classes
  • Scholarships
  • Merit scholarships
 

QUESTION:  Describe performance standards you have for all gifted students.
 
  • Gifted students will exceed the standard in their area of qualification
  • Gifted students will demonstrate leadership qualities within their school communities demonstrated through involvement in student government, clubs, mentoring, and social service organizations
  • Gifted students will participate in various academic competitions throughout the district, community and state
  • Gifted students will receive numerous academic awards and scholarships
 
 
QUESTION:  Describe the structure of your gifted education staffing including the ratio of teaching staff to the number of identified gifted students.
 
Notice of Differentiation specifies special accommodations and differentiated instruction within the students regular classroom based on the students strengths, interests, and needs.  Clustering of these students within the grade level regular education classrooms is the preferred method of service delivery.
  
 
QUESTION:  To what extent does the district support the funding of our gifted program:  Please be specific as to staff and financial resources?
 
  • District fully funds the administrative support for GATE programming:
    • Exceptional Students Services Coordinator
  • The district provides the funding for professional development for the following:
    • Gifted Instructional Technology Assistants (10 FTE)
    • Gifted cluster classroom teachers at each K-8 grade level
    • 21 Century Specialist - Gift Project Training Team
  • District fully funds technology application
  • District fully funds gifted testing materials
  • Tuition for ASU Barrett Scholars summer program