Based on the unique needs and characteristics of students identified as gifted, the mission of the Dysart Unified School District is to provide an array of services to meet the academic, social, and emotional needs of these students in our community. The district aims to deliver educational programs designed to assist gifted individuals to achieve their full potential in intellectual pursuits, community leadership, and creativity.
Organizational Structure - Gifted All Day, Every Day
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.
In addition to a specially trained Gifted Cluster Teacher, gifted students will be assisted daily or weekly be a specially trained GTIA (Gifted Technology Instructional Assistant). This classified employee will push-in to the class to help gifted students to complete activities and projects that the teacher has planned for them. They are not instructional experts but are versatile in the many layers of technology that students will come into contact with as they work through their projects and classroom activities. The GTIAs also facilitate collaboration among gifted students throughout the district. They help students to learn how to give quality, actionable feedback on projects and other work throughout the year.
- Emphasis on 21st Century Skills
- Collaboration, Communication, Creativity, Critical Thinking
- Integrated technology
- Core content
Gifted Student Conference
Dysart gifted students have a very unique opportunity each year in the form of the Dysart Gifted Student Conference. This is a conference like the ones that we as adults would attend. There is a keynote speaker, break-out sessions on many topics to choose from and a showcase of student work. Gifted students from 7th/8th grades from every school are bused in to take part.
Gifted Testing Dates and Specifics for 2023-2024
The follow date windows indicate Gifted testing schedules for the school year. Students may only be tested one time per calendar year. Parents will generally receive notice of testing results within four weeks following the closing of the testing window. Parents must sign for permission for their student to be tested for gifted services.
- September 4-September 22: Gifted Testing for any student (1st-8th) that is referred to include those new to DUSD and 4th grade students identified through universal screener
- November 6-December 8: Gifted Testing for any student (1st-8th) that is referred
- March 4-March 22: Gifted Testing for any student (K-8th) that is referred
Students may be referred for gifted screening by the teacher, principal, or the parent of a K-8 student, at any time by completing a referral form. Students may also nominate themselves. Nominated students are then tested in verbal, quantitative, and non-verbal areas using a state-approved test.
Students receiving gifted services must meet the following qualifications:
Students who score at the 97th percentile or above in Verbal and Quantitative or Non-Verbal subtests of a state approved test of cognitive ability will be offered Notice of Differentiation (NOD) services following the School wide Cluster Grouping Model (Winebrenner and Brulles, 2008).
Areas of identification include:
- Quantitative - Student tends to think logically in terms of numbers and pieces of mathematical information.
- Verbal - Student has the ability to effectively use words and language.
- Non Verbal - Student tends to be highly skilled in regard to spatial awareness and abstract thinking through the use of mental images.
Notice of Differentiation (NOD) services will be provided within the regular classroom by the regular classroom teacher. Support for NODs are provided by the Teaching and Learning Specialist and Gifted Instructional Technology Assistants.
Parents must provide documentation of test scores on an Arizona approved test. A list of these tests is provided on the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) website. Test scores will be evaluated by the Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Coordinator responsible for Gifted Education or a designee to determine whether the student is eligible to receive gifted services under the GATE criteria defined by DUSD Governing Board Policy.