Gifted Programming at SMSD

Gifted Programming is provided in all buildings at South Middleton and is referred to as the Special Interest Program or SI. It can consist of a pull-out enrichment program, grade or subject acceleration, and/or modified classroom instruction. The make-up of your child’s gifted program is based on your child’s needs.

Most gifted children will opt to participate in the pull-out enrichment program at the elementary level. Usually, children miss Language Arts or Reading instruction in order to participate in SI as most are quite able in these two areas. In general, teachers do not ask SI students to make-up the classroom work they are missing. Occasionally, due to scheduling problems or numerous interruptions to instructional time, teachers will need to ask your child to complete a missed assignment at home or during a scheduled flex period.

Elementary students have Special Interest 100-120 minutes per cycle. During Special Interest time, students spend four months completing an independent study, three months on a group unit and two months doing inventions. The first 10-15 minutes of each class is used for a critical thinking, creative thinking or an effective activity.

At the middle level, students may participate in a scheduled class one to three times a week. This class meets during flex period. Activities can include independent study, thinking skill development, research, seminars with various topics, learning about television media, and leadership skill development.

At the high school, students may continue in the gifted program by pursuing independent study projects, completing an internship, or taking a gifted seminar class. For ninth and tenth grade students, a gifted seminar class is offered. In tenth through twelfth grade, the student may schedule a class period every other day to work on an independent project in the Special Interest room or to complete an internship elsewhere. Elective credit will be given for successful completion of the project(s) and internship.

Gifted children at all levels may need modified classroom instruction. This can include pre-testing for acceleration and/or compaction of curriculum and instruction based on the characteristics of gifted learners. These options will be discussed during your child’s IEP conference. Your child’s need for acceleration is a team decision.