With more than 700,000 students, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is the second largest school district in the nation. The district’s Gifted and Talented Program has been a leader in gifted education since its development in 1951 offering a wide range of programs that allow gifted students to reach their full potential.
LAUSD Gifted and Talented Program’s mission is “Gifted/Talented Programs create high end learning opportunities which allow students to flourish in stimulating academic and social environments. In designing challenging educational opportunities, we strive to raise the floor, remove the walls and eliminate the ceiling on learning.”
Students are identified in four categories:
Admission into the Program begins with referrals from classroom teachers, followed by screening by a school administrator, a review by the gifted screening committee, then verification by district administrators. LAUSD places a special emphasis on searching for and including students from diverse, underrepresented populations.
Once students have been admitted into the Program, there are several educational alternatives featuring extremely high levels of abstract thinking, motivation, interest, achievement, peer interaction, and a radically accelerated pace of learning, such as:
LAUSD adheres to a rigorous standard requiring instructional programs be planned and organized as an integrated, differentiated learning experience throughout the regular school day, and may be augmented with differentiated activities related to the core curriculum. The Program is comprehensive, structured, and sequenced between, within, and across grade levels, K-12.
The Program’s structure and services provide a balance between cognitive and affective learning. Gifted students learn about career and college options, and guidance consistent with their unique strengths. At the secondary level this includes mentoring and pre-college opportunities.
By recognizing the unique educational needs of the gifted and talented, LAUSD continues to remove barriers and create appropriate opportunities for these students.
©2007 The Davidson Institute for Talent Development.
This article is provided as a service of the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to supporting profoundly gifted young people 18 and under. To learn more about the Davidson Institute’s programs, please visit www.DavidsonGifted.org.
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