Hempfield School District provides gifted support services for students who have been identified as gifted students and need additional services beyond the regular education curriculum. A multi-criteria process, based on Pennsylvania State Guidelines, is used to identify students for gifted support services.
The mission of the Hempfield School District’s gifted support services, in partnership with families, is to provide educational support and extend the regular curriculum while promoting the unique abilities of individual students, which will enable them to become independent, continuous learners and contributors to the community. The goal of our gifted services is for students to view learning as a lifelong process that enriches the individual and benefits society.
The instructional focus is based on engaging the student in challenging tasks whether these tasks are replacement or core instruction:
- Extending and refining knowledge through the development of complex reasoning skills such as comparing, classifying, abstracting, inductive and deductive reasoning, constructing support, analyzing errors and analyzing perspectives.
- Students participating in complex tasks and educational opportunities, which foster their creative expression, enrich their knowledge base, and stimulate them to excel as self-directed learners.
- Guiding students to use knowledge meaningfully with skills such as decision-making, problem solving, experimental inquiry, system analysis and investigations.
- Promoting habits of the mind that exemplify critical thinking, creative thinking, and self-regulated thinking.
- Developing the personal and social awareness of each student.
Students develop the appropriate skills, concepts and attitudes to be a successful life-long learner. The students will comprehend their own giftedness in relationship to self and society. They will develop a better understanding of self and their interest, aptitudes and areas of strength. The students will demonstrate the development of interpersonal skills. They will comprehend the importance of career decision-making and explore careers related to areas of personal interest.
Differentiation/responsive learning experiences occur at all levels as the teachers plan lessons to meet the needs and strengths of their students. All Hempfield instructional staff has received extensive in-services training in Understanding by Design and Differentiated Instruction. Thus, gifted support services are a combination of time with the gifted support teacher and with the regular education teacher.
Elementary School Gifted Services are designed to provide educational experiences that support and extend the regular curriculum in the areas of ELA, Math and Science. These services provide complex tasks and challenges through planned learning experiences that reflect the Dimensions of Learning model. Students participate in up to three pull out classes based on their needs for subject-area enrichment in ELA, Math, and/or Science. Occasionally, these classes are scheduled during core instruction time.
During Science/Social Studies pull-out classes, students work in small groups with their intellectual peers on a unit that is an extension of a science or social studies topic from the core curriculum. The students’ individual strengths, skills and habits are embedded into these units. During math pull-out classes, students work individually on critical thinking skills, logic and reasoning skills, and math extensions. During ELA pull-out classes, students choose, plan, and execute a reading project that extends the skills they’ve been taught in the regular classroom. Affective lessons address social and emotional topics for each small group and are incorporated throughout the curriculum.
Students who do not participate in the pull-out classes will be offered independent goal setting/consultative services with the Gifted Support Teacher who will monitor progress and adjustment at the elementary school level. These goal setting services will be offered at a minimum of four times per academic year.
The Middle School Gifted Services are designed to offer a continuum of services to meet the diverse needs of gifted students. A variety of service delivery options are available for students within the Middle School Gifted Services dependent upon students’ individual needs and interests. Students can participate in a pull-out class designed with planned learning experiences. These lessons will occur during non-instructional class periods.
Students who opt not to participate in the pull-out classes will be offered independent goal setting/consultative services with the Gifted Support Teacher who will monitor progress and adjustment at the middle school level. These services will be offered at a minimum of four times per academic year.
In addition to the pull-out class and independent goal setting/consultative services, all identified gifted students are eligible to participate in specially designed workshops. Mini-sessions designed to address specifically targeted needs, book discussions and virtual conferences are additional options available through the Middle School Gifted Services.
The High School Gifted Services are designed to offer a continuum of services to meet the diverse needs of gifted students. A variety of service delivery options are available for students within the High School Gifted Services dependent upon students’ individual needs and interests.
Students will be offered independent goal setting/consultative services with the Gifted Support Teacher who will monitor progress and adjustment at the high school level. Included in this service will be the creation of a student portfolio in preparation for college visitations. These goal setting/consultative services will be offered at a minimum of three times per academic year.
All identified gifted students are eligible to participate in specially designed seminar workshops. Mini-sessions designed to address specifically targeted needs, class meetings, skill sessions, virtual conferences, TED talks, and community-based projects are some of the additional options available in the High School Gifted Services. Students and their families can see the calendar of options on the High School Gifted Schoology course.