General education classrooms at the middle school level provide rigorous content and instruction to meet the varied needs of the student population. However, the State College Area School District recognizes that highly able learners may have different educational needs beyond what is offered in the General Education program.
Students who have needs that cannot be met within General Education and Learning Enrichment services can be referred for evaluation for Gifted Support services. The Gifted Support component may provide acceleration and/or enrichment for students who have unusual abilities and are identified as gifted. A multidisciplinary team determines the appropriateness of placement in Gifted Support based on information secured from group achievement and ability tests, grades, an individual psychological examination, parent and teacher observations, and teacher, program specialist, and administrator recommendations. If Gifted Support services are recommended by a multidisciplinary team, the parents and student will be invited to attend and participate in a program planning meeting where a Gifted Individualized Education Plan (GIEP) will be developed.
Enrichment experiences provide students with exposure to content, methods, and problem-solving skills that extend beyond what takes place in the regular classroom. When it is determined that additional academic challenge is necessary, Learning Enrichment/Gifted Support teachers work with the general education teachers to provide opportunities that strive to meet the students' present needs. This could include extension activities related to curriculum that take place within the classroom or instruction delivered in a small-group setting where students interact with peers demonstrating similar strengths and interest needs.
Students at the middle level are encouraged to take part in various academic clubs and competitions such as MathCounts, Math League, Quiz Master/Quiz Bowl, Science Olympiad, Solar/Hybrid Car Challenge, National Geography Bee and the Technology Students Association. Learning Enrichment/Gifted Support Teachers may also offer mini-course offerings based on the needs of each school, grade level, and content area.
For more information about programming at the middle school level, please contact the gifted support teacher at your child's school.