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Rockwood Gifted Program
 2019 Niche Best Schools

265 Old State Rd, Ellisville, MO 63021 | Phone (636) 891-6550 | Fax (636) 891-8884

Frequently Asked Questions

​Caseloads vary by school. The average caseload across the district is approximately 325:1. The Gifted Resource Teachers at each building work with students during scheduled meetings, as well as during unscheduled, informal meetings. They also regularly share information with students and families through written and electronic means. At every high school, gifted resource teachers are available for meetings, consultations, and telephone conversations with students, parents, teachers and administrators as needs and interests arise.

​There are no classes offered exclusively for gifted students. Each high school offers many College Credit, Advanced Placement, and Honors level courses. Given current staffing allocations, if gifted classes were offered, only a limited number of sections could be scheduled. All other identified students would have minimal, if any, contact with the gifted specialists. In addition, high school students have very full schedules and few are able to enroll in non-required courses.

Gifted students have unique academic, social, and emotional needs, much like special education students have identifiable needs. Both groups benefit from specialists with training and experience with their respective groups of students. The need for services for gifted students is written into Missouri State law and is addressed in guidelines established by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Those guidelines specifically address the need for gifted services K-12.

​Gifted Resource Teachers are trained to identify and meet the unique needs of gifted students. High school gifted teachers work on a proactive basis to help students deal with some common issues that gifted students are known to experience at more intense levels than most other students. Those issues include perfectionism, anxiety, underachievement, and organizational/time management concerns. In addition, the Gifted Resource Teachers provide direction for students and parents seeking opportunities and resources outside the school day and year. Overall, the program’s teachers act as “case managers”, working collaboratively with students, parents, teachers, counselors, and administrators in addressing student needs.

​All students should have quality advisement available. However, gifted students are a group of learners who have identified special needs. These needs are recognized and addressed in age-appropriate ways as students’ progress through the Rockwood School District. At the high school level, an advisory approach was adopted to meet the needs of the largest number of students possible with the limited resources that are available.

​The High School Gifted Resource Teachers have large caseloads. They work very hard to get to know each student and determine how they can support his or her development throughout high school. They reach out to gifted students in multiple ways every year, including visiting middle schools before students arrive at high school, seeking information from parents via regular email communication, and most importantly, sending passes for students to come to the gifted office for individual advisement. In addition, Gifted Resource Teachers encourage students to email, call or visit their offices any time for assistance and support. Students choose how much and how often they take advantage of available resources. The more students access services, the better they get to know the gifted specialist at their school.​

​At its best, professional development is a day-in, day-out occurrence. As such, Gifted Resource Teachers work in a variety of ways to share information about gifted students with teachers and administrators. They talk one-on-one with teachers about particular students and their needs, send out relevant articles and information about gifted education, distribute gifted program newsletters, attend leadership and team meetings to share information, and offer to support differentiation and acceleration efforts within classrooms. Periodically, traditional workshops are offered where a range of gifted-related topics are addressed. Generally, these workshops are voluntary and do not reach all teachers at the high school level.​

 

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