Bessemer City Schools complies with the Alabama Act 106 that mandates school systems identify and serve gifted students. Bessemer City Schools follow the guidelines set forth in the "gifted" section of the Alabama State Department of Education-Administrative Code-Chapter 290-8-9-12 for: Referral, Consent, Evaluation, Eligibility Determination, Placement and Service Delivery Options, Gifted Education Plan, Administration, Caseload, and Procedural Safeguards.
Definition of Gifted
Gifted students are those who perform at or have demonstrated the potential to perform at high levels in academic or creative fields compared with others of their age, experience, or environment. These students require services not ordinarily provided by the regular school program. Students possessing these abilities can be found in all populations, across all economic strata, and in all areas of human endeavor. Gifted children may be found within any race, ethnicity, gender, economic class, or nationality. In addition, students with disabilities may be identified as gifted.
Teachers, counselor's, administrators, parents or guardians, peers, self or any other individuals with knowledge of the student's abilities may refer a student. Additionally, all second grade students will be observed as potential gifted referrals using a gifted behavior checklist.
For each student referred, information is gathered in areas of Aptitude, Characteristics, and Performance. The information is entered on a matrix where points are assigned according to established criteria. The total number of points earned determines if the student qualifies for gifted services.
To make a referral, contact Ms. Angela Davis at 432-3054 or the Gifted Teacher assigned to your child's school, Ms. Daphney Shade at 432-3300 or Ms Jo Dale at 432-3500
The Bessemer City School system shall prohibit discrimination against any student on the above basis with respect to his/her participation in the gifted program.
2nd Grade Child Find
Alabama began looking at criteria for the identification of potentially gifted students. OCR found that Alabama has an under-representation of minority and economically disadvantaged students in gifted programs.
They asked that school systems consider every student as a poteneial gifted referral at some point in their school career. Second grade was chosen because that is when most referrals are generated and assessment becomes more valid and reliable.
During the first semester of 2nd grade, each student is observed as a potential gifted referral. The purpose of this requirement is to ensure that students from all populations and socioeconomic groups, as well as students with disabilities and students with limited - English proficiencies are given the opportunity to be considered for gifted services.
During the process the classroom teacher and gifted specialist look at aptitude, characteristics and performance indicators and the NNAT-2 (a non verbal aptitude screener). By looking at all these indicators, teaches should be able to make accurate decision regarding student selection for gifted referrals.
This is not the only time a child can be referred. It is just ensuring that every child has been considered at some point in his/her school career.
Second grade child find referrals follow the same process and eligibility criteria as standard referrals.
Second grand child find referrals do not have to follow the 90 day rule concerning referral to placement; however, all 2nd grade child find referrals must be complete in the fall before gifted services can begin.
Concept Based Curriculum
Concept -based curriculum is a framework that is used by our Gifted Education Specialist in Bessemer City Schools. Research indicates that concept-based curriculum is best practice in providing gifted students with a challenging and meaningful curriculum. Conceptual teaching includes discovering generalizations, understanding essential understandings, and answering guiding questions. This framework promotes higher level thinking skills, and its engaging approach to teaching enriches student thinking and learning. It focuses on providing students with opportunities to thin abstractly and to make meaningful connections rather than focusing in memorizing facts.