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Washoe County School District - School Within A School (SWAS) (NV)

The Washoe County School District's Gifted and Talented School Within a School (SWAS) program is for students in grades 3-6 who are identified as highly gifted. It is located at magnet sites within the district and provides a self-contained classroom environment, helping to meet the needs of these students in lieu of their regular classroom placement.

Printed Materials: Books

A Menu of Options for Grouping Gifted Students (The Practical Strategies Series in Gifted Education)

Karen B. Rogers, a leader in the field of gifted education, provides teachers with practical advice for choosing a grouping option that best fits their students and information on how to assess their grouping choices. From grouping by ability, to grouping by interest, to grouping by learning style, the use of grouping in the gifted and regular education classroom has proven to be a successful method of instruction for students. Grouping provides teachers with an effective means of providing gifted students with challenging coursework and access to advanced content, and gives students an avenue to create a peer group of other gifted students.

Differentiation in Middle and High School: Strategies to Engage All Learners

In this one-stop resource for middle and high school teachers, Kristina J. Doubet and Jessica A. Hockett explore how to use differentiated instruction to help students be more successful learners—regardless of background, native language, learning style, motivation, or school savvy.

Programs and Services for Gifted Secondary Students: A Guide to Recommended Practices

Written by Felicia A. Dixon, Ph.D., this book is designed to be a reference for service and program options for practitioners, administrators, and coordinators of gifted education programs. As such, it is a companion to the lengthier and more in-depth The Handbook of Secondary Gifted Education. The first part focuses on the gifted adolescent, including suggestions for academic, personal/social, and career exploration best practices. The second part explicates programmatic offerings available for gifted secondary students, such as AP and IB programming, distance learning, magnet and other special schools, study abroad, and early entrance to college options. The final section moves the discussion from “what is” to “what could be” for high-ability adolescents.

Re-forming ( Reforming ) Gifted Education: How Parents and Teachers Can Match the Program to the Child

Written by Karen Rogers, this is a research-based book that discusses acceleration of students, grouping within the school setting, and program provisions both in and outside of school. Rogers spells out and categorizes ways for schools, teachers, and parents to meet the needs of gifted children, including which students will benefit from particular instructional delivery methods and how each student need can best be addressed. Click here to read a review of this book.

The Cluster Grouping Handbook: A Schoolwide Model

In today’s standards-driven era, how can teachers motivate and challenge gifted learners and ensure that all students reach their potential? This book provides a compelling answer: the Schoolwide Cluster Grouping Model (SCGM). The authors, Susan Winebrenner and Dina Brulles, explain how the model differs from grouping practices of the past, and they present a roadmap for implementing, sustaining, and evaluating schoolwide cluster grouping.

The Ultimate Guide to Internet Resources for Teachers of Gifted Students

With this book, educators gain a detailed overview of how they can use the Internet to teach new information, extend students’ learning, and offer exciting opportunities for differentiation. The authors discuss the many ways in which Internet resources might be used and provide tips on connecting with experts and peers, conducting responsible research, evaluating websites and more.

Schools & Programs: Independent

Helios New School (Palo Alto, CA)

This is a private, progressive secular school based on a constructivist model of education. The K-5 curriculum is designed specifically for gifted students. There is multi-dimensional learning, including social and emotional development, and a low student-to-teacher ratio of 8:1. Students are placed where they will be most comfortable socially and academically, not on their chronological ages.

The Buffalo Academy of Scholars (NY)

This private school is designed to expose students to a learning culture in which teachers and staff are models of behavioral and academic excellence. Students engage in a rigorous curriculum with both tutorial (one-on-one) and group lessons.

The Dinoff School (Griffin, GA)

The Dinoff School is a private Kindergarten through 12th-grade school for gifted students. The school places students in classroom based on their ability, confidence, needs, desires, and challenge, not by age or grade.

Schools & Programs: Public

Hosford Middle School (Portland, OR)

From a school with state tests scores far below average five years ago, Hosford has soared to numbers far above aveage in reading, writing and math. Educators at this school sort students according to performance rather than grades in math, reading and writing, so sixth-graders may sit next to eighth while studying a short story or work out a polynomial equation.

University Scholars Program (West Chester, PA)

The University Scholars Program, within the PA Leadership Charter School (PALCS), offers specialized gifted education curriculum. The Program is designed to maximize the intellectual potential of gifted and motivated learners, where individual achievement is valued and supported. Only PALCS students may apply for participation in this high performance/high achieving program.

Websites & Other Media: For Educators

The Differentiated Classroom: DVD Series

These ASCD videos, based on the updated second edition of Carol Ann Tomlinson's The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of All Learners, show educators practical, real-world examples from experienced K-5 and high school teachers of how to divide time, resources, and efforts to effectively instruct students of various backgrounds, readiness and skill levels, and interests.

Websites & Other Media: Informational

An Analysis of the Research on Ability Grouping: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives

This research monograph analyzes the research on ability grouping for the gifted, focusing both on current research and a historical analysis. The study strongly supports the use of ability grouping for gifted populations. This study was sponsored by the federal government through the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented at the University of Connecticut.


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Exceptionally and Profoundly Gifted Students: An Underserved Population

This article details what happens to the profoundly gifted student when schooled with age mates rather than intellectual peers. Anecdotes of individual children support Gross's findings that profoundly gifted children do not have their needs met in the regular classroom.

Hot Topic: Does Ability Grouping Help or Hurt? A Talk with Anne Wheelock

Author Anne Wheelock is inteviewed by Scholastic Inc. about ability grouping and reports that over half of elementary schools breakout students by ability. What are the benefits and what are the disadvantages?

The Relationship of Grouping Practices to the Education of the Gifted and Talented Learner: Research-Based Decision Making

This research monograph is an overview of the uses of ability grouping in education. The results support ability grouping gifted students, especially at the highest ranges of intellect and specific talents. Included is a series of guidelines for practice based upon the research.