SCASD and Gifted Serviced during Pandemic

  • Universal Gifted Screening 2020-21

    Typically, universal screening occurs in the fall and winter each school year. Our department normally plans to screen all third graders in the fall and all new SCASD students in grades K-8 in the winter; however, given the uncertainty and balance of in-person and remote learning, we are postponing the fall gifted universal screen until 2021 which will allow us to continue collecting critical data to the screening process. Our department will re-evaluate the current circumstances in early 2021 and make a formal announcement about screening at that time. For questions, please contact the Gifted Services Office at 814-231-1054. 


    Elementary Gifted Services

    Elementary students are continuing to receive services as described in their GIEP. Families who have questions should contact their child’s case manager. 

    Middle School Gifted Services

    Math Enrichment - These Canvas courses contain optional extension activities, per unit, of the math class in which the student is enrolled, as well as general enrichment exercises. There is currently a Canvas enrichment course for Advanced Math 6, Advanced Math 7, and Advanced Algebra 1.


    ELA Enrichment - The SCASD History Day project is an optional opportunity for students to learn about historical events and their significance by researching a topic of their own choosing that connects directly with a theme and then creating a project on that topic. This is not only for learning about history, but also developing an understanding of how to conduct research, honing critical thinking skills, and exploring the creative process through self-study.  This project was created for students to work through the components independently and on their own time. In this extensive project, students will learn about how to complete comprehensive research and share their learning through either a research paper, museum exhibit, dramatic presentation, interactive website, or documentary. Resources are provided for the student to independently work through the project with periodic check-ins with a gifted support ELA specialist. Students are encouraged to use their middle school library personnel and library resources, as well. 


    Inquiry/Challenge Project: This optional independent exploratory project will be completed on the student’s own time, during study hall, or during activity period over the course of a semester. Students will be asked to complete a learning enrichment contract that includes establishing goals, learning outcomes, timelines, and check-ins with mentors, while providing documentation of the learning activity. 


    SCASD Middle Level Learning Enrichment Google Classroom: While gifted support teachers will reach out to students and/or families with enrichment opportunities as they become available, middle school students can refer to this Google Classroom to learn more about enrichment possibilities. Join here:


    Middle Level Gifted Support/Learning Enrichment contact information:


    Andrew Ahearn (MNMS)

    Debra Daggs (MNMS)

    Lori Brown (PFMS)

    Diane Reed (Delta)

    Sheila Abruzzo (MNMS/PFMS)

    High School Gifted Services


    Independent Study


    At State High any student may propose an Independent Study (IS). All Independent Study contracts are discussed, created and approved through Learning Enrichment/Gifted Support (LE/GS) or ARTsmART (AS) teachers but is not limited to LE/GS/AS enrolled students.. 


    Contact information:

    Sheila Abruzzo - grades 9-10 LE/GS

    Jennifer Rand - grades 11-12 LE/GS

    Jill Campbell - grades 9-12 AS 

    Diane Reed (Delta) grades 9-12 LE/GS


    An Independent Study must be for a course or area of interest that is outside of the courses offered at the high school. The student must find a teacher with whom to work that can support the subject of the IS. This teacher will help to check in with the student and support the student in any way that is agreed upon in the proposal/contract. It is important for the student to remember, this is called an Independent Study for a good reason. The student is expected to complete this project/course independently and a teacher of record is there on occasion to answer some questions or give feedback but not to assign or grade or otherwise lead the IS. The student, teacher of record and LE/GS teacher must agree upon an appropriate level of credit to be earned and a name for the IS. Upon completion, the course name agreed upon with the credit earned will appear on the student transcript. Most IS’s are completed for credit and not a grade (Pass/Fail). It is challenging to grade a student when the assessments agreed upon are not traditional or standard. This in no way affects the student GPA. On rare occasions, a grade may be negotiated and/or advanced credit agreed upon, but this is very rare and the rigor and time spent must be considerable. For the most part, the purpose of IS is to advance a student in an area of interest and have that be recognized as something above and beyond the courses taken. When an IS is something a student truly values and the project is well executed, this can be a powerful tool in demonstrating motivation, excitement, perseverance and passion.


    Procedure to begin an Independent Study at State High:

    1. Have a great idea or passionate project in mind.
    2. Make an appointment with the appropriate LE/GS/AS teacher with a developed idea to share.
    3. Discuss the plan with that teacher.
    4. Find a teacher who would be the Teacher of Record who has some expertise in the subject matter of the project.
    5. Develop the Independent Study Proposal and share it with the Teacher of Record
    6. Make a second appointment with the LE/GS/AS teacher.
    7. Solidify the plan.
    8. Make any revisions needed.
    9. Submit the proposal to create a contract.
    10. LE/GS/AS teacher will transfer the information to a contract.
    11. Contract must be signed by the student, parent or guardian, Teacher of Record, LE/GS/AS teacher, Department Coordinator and Principal. (we can help with the 1st two signatures)
    12. Begin your project.


    Linked below is the Independent Study Proposal. This is a good place to start when thinking about creating a new IS. It will give you the outline of what you need to think about and what will be discussed as we move forward.


    Independent Study Proposal


    Math Practice Options 

    Our math department in SCASD has created a site of resources students may use to maintain math skills at any time but particularly during the semester that a student will not have a math course. 

    Student and Parent Resources


    Canvas Courses

    Every student who has applied and met the criteria for LE/GS/AS has been enrolled in a Canvas Course. This is where students find the required paperwork for the course, any assignments, newsletters and other communication. All high school parents are assigned as Observers in their child’s courses so they may also check for announcements, newsletters and opportunities.



Last Modified on October 14, 2020