Gifted & Talented

iLearn Schools serves students with gifts and talents who excel in intellectual, academic, and creative pursuits through a variety of gifted programming that provide appropriate challenges in accord with the unique needs and interests of students identified as gifted and talented. 


Due to COVID-19 Emergency Guidelines and measures, 2020-2021 Gifted & Talented Program will kick-off after January 2021. The Tier III G&T Programming services, i.e., iStellar, will resume in November 2020.

I. MISSION

iLearn Schools is committed to identifying and meeting the needs of K-12 students, including culturally and linguistically diverse and/or twice-exceptional students, with gifts and talents on an on-going basis in accordance with NJDOE Student Learning Standards and NAGC Standards.


iLearn Schools recognizes high ability and achievement, creativity and strong task commitment as fundamental indicators of giftedness, and employs developmentally appropriate, nondiscriminatory multiple measures, with relevant identification criteria for the Gifted and Talented programming services being provided.


iLearn Schools offers a variety of gifted programming services that provide intellectual, artistic and creative challenges appropriate and in accord with the unique needs and interests of students identified as gifted and talented. 


II. DEFINING GIFTEDNESS

NJ DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION DEFINITION 

 

New Jersey Administrative Code 6A:8-3.1 defines students who are gifted and talented as those students who possess or demonstrate high levels of ability in one or more content areas when compared to their chronological peers in the local district and who require modification of their educational program if they are to achieve in accordance with their capabilities.

NAGC DEFINITION

Students with gifts and talents perform – or have the capability to perform – at higher levels compared to others of the same age, experience, and environment in one or more domains. They require modification(s) to their educational experience(s) to learn and realize their potential. Student with gifts and talents:

      • Come from all racial, ethnic, and cultural populations, as well as all economic strata.

      • Require sufficient access to appropriate learning opportunities to realize their potential. 

      • Can have learning and processing disorders that require specialized intervention and accommodation.

      • Need support and guidance to develop socially and emotionally as well as in their areas of talent. 

      • Require varied services based on their changing needs.

III. POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

1. IDENTIFICATION

 

      1. iLearn Schools adopts multiple measures to identify and serve K-12 gifted and talented students who excel in their intellectual, cognitive and creative abilities when compared to their chronological peers in the local school district. The top 2%-6% of the student population is typically identified as gifted and talented by national standards. iLearn Schools Gifted and Talented Program strives to be inclusive while maintaining these national standards.
         
        All iLearn Schools students are screened and re-evaluated for a continuum of gifted and talented programming services every year in the Fall semester using the universal screening tools and selection criteria listed below. 
         
        1. NOMINATIONS: FORMS, G&T SERVICES OPT-IN

        1. SELF/PARENT 

          1. Students/Parents may choose to opt-in for evaluation to receive Gifted & Talented Programming Services through self or parent nomination. Evaluation Request forms can be inquired with iLearn Schools G&T Program Director.

        2. TEACHER (OBSERVATION SCALE)

          1. Teachers may choose to nominate students for evaluation to receive Gifted & Talented Programming Services. Students/parents can request teacher recommendations through Evaluation Request forms. Teachers fill out the Teacher Observation Scale form. 

           
           
        1. SCREENING: TEST SCORES: (ACHIEVEMENT, COGNITIVE ABILITY), PERFORMANCE DATA

        All iLearn Schools students are universally screened for intellectual ability, task commitment and academic achievement. 

        Students/parents may choose to opt out if they do not wish to be considered for evaluation to receive Gifted & Talented programming and services.

        iLearn Schools use the following tools for G&T Screening:

        • School Performance / GPA

        • Teacher Evaluations 

          • Norm-referenced Observation

            • Scoring Areas: General Intellectual Ability, ELA, Math, Science, Social Studies, Creativity, Leadership

            • At least two (2) nominated teachers of different subject areas 

            • To be administered yearly starting in January 2021

          • Twice-Exceptional Screening

            • Special Education teacher & School Psychologist evaluations to determine twice-exceptionality

        • Standardized Achievement Tests

          • NJSLA Scores 

            • GRADES 3-10: Math & ELA 

            • DATES: Administered yearly in Spring semester

          • STAR Scores

            • GRADES 3-11: Math & Reader

            • DATES: To be administered three (3) times per year starting in October 2020

        • Cognitive Ability Test

          • CoGAT Screening form

            • GRADES 1, 4, 6, 9 + ALL NEW STUDENTS 

            • DATES: To be administered yearly starting in January 2021

        • Art Portfolio Collection

2. SELECTION 

Every year students who meet the minimum selection criteria will be considered for full evaluation into the Gifted & Talented program services. Evaluations take place in the Fall semester. When district student data is available, an admissions matrix will be created using the following criteria with appropriate weights. Students whose matrix scores qualify will be officially selected and matched with appropriate G&T programs and services, an estimated top 2%-6% of the district student population.

          • School Performance / GPA 

            • At least A- in core subjects

            • At least B+ in overall grade average

          • Two Strong Teacher Evaluations

          • Twice-Exceptionality

            • Positive Special Education teacher and School Psychologist Evaluations identifying one or more areas of giftedness

          • NJSLA 

            • Math and ELA scale scores of at least 4

          • STAR Reader & Math 

            • Top 90th percentile or above

            • STAR Scores will be utilized in appropriate placement of identified G&T students based on achievement levels, from content or grade level acceleration to flexible grouping, curriculum modifications to iLearn’s competitive advanced achievement program, iStellar.

          • iStellar Diagnostic Test 

            • Top 2-3% of pre-screened test takers

            • Diagnostic scores will be used for determining admissions to the highly selective advanced achievement weekend program, iStellar. 

          • CoGAT – Full Batteries 

            • Top 90th percentile or above 

              • Non-Verbal Battery

                • to be used for identifying culturally and linguistically diverse students

              • Verbal Battery

              • Quantitative Battery

3. PLACEMENT 

Once identified as gifted and talented in one or more areas, the student and parents/guardians will be notified by the Gifted Talented Program Director and School Director. 

 

Upon confirmation of placement, the gifted student will be placed to receive available and appropriate G&T programming and services.

 

Appropriate curricular and instructional modifications in and beyond the classroom via Tier I, II, and Tier III Gifted & Talented programming services will provide intellectually stimulating enrichment opportunities and  appropriate academic challenges based on students’ individual needs and interests. 

 

iLearn Schools recognizes that students’ gifts and talents may develop at different rates; therefore, all students are re-evaluated for G&T programming services each year.

 

4. EXIT PROCEDURES

    • Students identified as gifted and talented will be continually monitored and annually re-assessed for the continuing appropriateness of services and/or curricular modifications as well as determine eligibility to continue receiving G&T programming services. Assessment will include:

          • Student progress review, including relevant test results;

          • Performance evaluation report from teaching staff members, and school administration educationally responsible for the student.

    • A student may be deemed ineligible to receive gifted and talented services and/or curricular modifications when:

          • The student’s performance records show a decline;

          • The student does not meet the minimum eligibility criteria for gifted and talented programming and services;

          • The student wishes to decline services and his/her parent(s) or legal guardian(s) consents to withdrawal; or

          • The student’s parent(s) or legal guardian(s) requests to decline services.

    • A student identified as Gifted & Talented may still be deemed ineligible to receive Tier III gifted & talented services, i.e., iStellar, given only the most advanced high achievement students with top relevant scores may be eligible for enrollment.

    • A recommendation to withdraw a student from the Gifted and Talented program may be made by the student’s classroom teacher, the School ADA, the student’s parent(s) or legal guardian(s), and, where appropriate, the student. Final decision to withdraw a student from the Gifted and Talented program may be made by the School Director.

IV. CONTINUUM OF SERVICES

iLearn Schools offers various programming services for gifted and talented students under 3 main categories, with highly selective eligibility requirements for Tier III programming, i.e. iStellar. 

 

Students who achieved top 10% ranking among their district peers but didn’t officially qualify for G&T services (top %2-%6) may still apply to be considered for the Rising Talent Pool and benefit from Tier II after-school subject-based enrichment clubs.

 

 

 

G&T PROGRAMMING AND SERVICES BY GRADE LEVEL

 

  • K-3: TIERS I, II

      • In-Class Differentiation

      • Flexible Grouping

      • G&T Clubs

        • ELA MATH ART

  • 4-5: TIERS I, II, III

      • In-Class Differentiation

      • Flexible Grouping

      • G&T Clubs

        • ELA MATH ART

      • Team Based Competition Training 

        • iStellar MATH

        • BATTLE OF THE BOOKS

      • iStellar Weekend School

        • MATH CS/CODING ELA ROBOTICS

  • 6-8: TIERS I, II, III

      • In-Class Differentiation

      • Flexible Grouping

      • Independent Study

      • Team Based Competition Training

        • iStellar MATH

        • BATTLE OF THE BOOKS

        • MODEL UN/DEBATE TEAM

      • iStellar Weekend School

        • MATH CS/CODING ELA ROBOTICS

  • 9-12: TIERS I, II

      • In-Class Differentiation

      • Flexible Grouping

      • Independent Study

      • Subject Acceleration 

      • AP Advanced Placement Offerings

      • Pathway to College

      • One-on-One Counseling

 

iSTELLAR

iStellar is iLearn Schools’ STEAM Tier III Gifted & Talented programming for students with gifts and talents who want to excel in their problem solving, analytical thinking and creative capabilities through rigorous competition training.

Currently offered as weekend school and week-day after-school courses in grades 4-11, iStellar admissions is highly selective, and only offered to select students who qualify for the program.

With its stellar team of experienced and academically driven educators, iStellar aims to promote a love of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics; instill in their students a competitive spirit , and prepare them for success in the intensely demanding academic environment of nation’s top colleges and universities.

First launched in November 2018, iStellar offers Fall-Spring semester week/end programs, and intensive Winter boot camps for advanced students. Based on the “recitation” model of top colleges like MIT and CalTech; iStellar class setting is small in size, and is a place for active learning through discussion of key concepts, and mastery of problem solving techniques.

For details on admission, schedule and testing calendar, please visit iStellar.org.

V. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Pursuant to the Strengthening Gifted and Talented Education Act, iLearn Schools actively assists and supports professional development for teachers, educational services staff, and school leaders in the area of gifted and talented instruction.

 

Professional development opportunities planned for January 2021 and beyond for each staff category are outlined below:

 

    1. Teachers

    • iLearn Summer Institute *2 weeks in August, prior to school opening

      • Returning Teachers

      • New Teachers

    • Year-long District PD days

      • G&T support strategies in the classroom

      • Strategies for supporting students beyond the classroom 

      • G&T identification strategies

    • G&T Curriculum Training Sessions

      • Held twice a year in the Fall and Spring semesters, Gifted Talented program instructors meet for a minimum of 10 hours for development and preparation of Tier II and Tier III G&T programs. 

  

    1. Educational Services Staff (counselors, program directors, special education) 

    • iLearn Summer Institute *2 weeks in August, prior to school opening

      • Counselors: working with and counseling G&T students

      • Special education staff: twice-exceptional identification 

    • iLearn Admin Summer Institute *1 weeks in August, prior to school opening

      • Program Directors: academic departments curriculum modifications, differentiated instruction guidelines for G&T students

      • Academic Coaches: supporting classroom teachers in working with G&T students

    • Year-long District PD days

      • G&T support strategies in the classroom

      • Strategies for supporting students beyond the classroom 

      • G&T identification strategies

    • Gifted & Talented Department Staff

      • Annual district and national G&T conferences participation sponsored by iLearn Schools Professional Development Department

 

    1. School Leaders 

    • iLearn Admin Summer Institute *1 weeks in August, prior to school opening

      • School directors

      • Assistant Directors of Academics

 

iLearn Gifted & Talented Department director and staff is available for year-long support and guidance to all iLearn Schools teachers, staff and school leaders.

 

 

 

G&T RESOURCES

 

National:

 

NJ State:

 

Twice-Exceptional:

    •  

VI. COMPLAINT POLICY

According to the Strengthening Gifted and Talented Education Act (C.18A:35-38) “An individual who believes that a school district has not complied with the provisions of this act may file a complaint with the board of education.

 

Pursuant to the law, the following procedure must be followed to file a complaint alleging iLearn Schools is not in compliance with the provisions of the act.

 

Please note that Complaint Policy for Noncompliance is not the same as an appeal process of placement of a student. Complaint Policy deals with alleged noncompliance as defined in the Act. Complaint for noncompliance will not affect prior program placement decisions. 

 

A complaint submitted pursuant to this section may only allege noncompliance that has occurred within one year prior to the date that the complaint is submitted.  The complaint shall include:

      1. a  statement that the identified school district is not in compliance with the provisions of this act, and the specific facts on which the allegation of noncompliance is based; and

      2. the name, address, and contact information of the complainant.

A complaint with the CEO may be filed if an individual believes that a school district has not complied with the provisions of this Act. Based on the decision of the CEO to affirm, reject, or modify the the District’s action in the matter, the individual may file a petition of appeal of the written decision of the CEO in the following order utilizing the same above described format: 

      • Board of Education – Based on the decision of the Board of Education to affirm, reject, or modify the district’s action in the matter, the individual may file a petition of appeal of the written decision; to 

      • Executive County Superintendent – The investigation shall be completed within 60 calendar days after receipt of the complaint and issue a written decision with proposed remediation, if necessary, to the complainant and the school district. Based on the decision of the Executive County Superintendent to affirm, reject, or modify the district’s action in the matter, the individual may file a petition of appeal of the written decision; to

         

      • Commissioner of Education via Office of Controversies and Disputes in accordance with N.J.S.A. 18A:6-9 and the procedures set forth in State Board of Education regulations. Should the District found to be in noncompliance with the Act, remediation of the Gifted and Talented Program will take place.

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Introducing iLearn Schools Re-Opening Plan for 2020-2021 academic year

Did you register for Pathway to College (PTC) Program?

The PTC Program is available to all iLearn students enrolled in 7th through 12th grades.

For more information visit PTC Program website.

Deadline to register is October 12th