Coweta County’s gifted education program will be identified as
“The REACH Program for Gifted Students.”
R E A C H: Relishing Education and Conquering Heights
State Rule 160-4-2-.38 will be applied in the operation of the gifted education program.
Our vision is to ensure the success of each student.
The Coweta County School System (CCSS) provides gifted education services to eligible students through REACH. The REACH Program for identified gifted students is an outgrowth of CCSS’s commitment to student success. Following Georgia Board of Education regulations, REACH is designed to meet the unique needs of students who demonstrate a high degree of intellectual and/or creative ability, exhibit an exceptionally high degree of motivation, excel in specific academic fields, and need special instruction and/or ancillary services to achieve at levels commensurate with their abilities. CCSS encourages, fosters, and supports differentiated educational efforts that meet provisions for the special needs of gifted learners through an array of service delivery options and educational opportunities. Activities for REACH students include more elaborate, complex, and in-depth study of major ideas, problems, and themes than that addressed in the regular educational classroom. The successful attainment of these goals is dependent upon a collaborative effort among the educators, community members, parents, and students.
The Coweta County School System will provide services for all students who are eligible according to Georgia Rule 160-4-2-.38. The State of Georgia provides rules and regulations for the operation of gifted programs that require local boards of education to meet standards regarding notice, referrals, consent, eligibility, continuation, and reporting requirements. The Coweta County School System has adopted Board Policy IDDD and Administrative Regulation IDDD-R to guide the operation of the system’s gifted program.
Definition of a Gifted Student
A gifted student is defined as one who demonstrates a high degree of intellectual and/or creative ability(ies), exhibits an exceptionally high degree of motivation, and/or excels in specific academic fields, and who needs special instruction and/or special ancillary services to achieve at levels commensurate with his or her abilities. Students who meet the eligibility criteria in grades kindergarten through twelve in the Coweta County School System will be served in the gifted education program.
Types of Referral
- Reported Referral. A student may be referred for consideration for gifted education services by teachers, counselors, administrators, parents or guardians, peers, self and other individuals with knowledge of the student’s abilities.
- Automatic Referral. Students who score at the following specified levels on a norm referenced test, as defined in the GaDOE Resource Manual for Gifted Education Services, shall be considered automatically for further assessment to determine eligibility for gifted program services:
- Students who score at or above the 96th percentile on a composite of full-scale or appropriate component score on a norm-referenced test of mental ability; OR
- Students who score at or above the 90th percentile on the total battery, total math, or total reading section(s) of a norm-referenced achievement test.
- If a student who was eligible and served for gifted education services in another Georgia public school system enters Coweta County Schools, he/she will be considered eligible for gifted education services as soon as verifying eligibility information is received from the sending system and the student meets the criteria for continuation of gifted services established by Coweta County Schools.
- There is no mandated reciprocity between states unless the student is a dependent of military personnel as provided in O.C.G.A. § 20-2-2140 et. seq.
- If a student was eligible and served for gifted education services in another state, that student will NOT have reciprocity. He/she will be evaluated for gifted services based on Georgia criteria as outlined in State Rule 160-4-2-.38 within 45 school days of enrollment. Any standardized test scores in his/her previous records that are less than two calendar years old and that are on the list of approved assessments for Georgia are valid and should be used in helping determine eligibility.
- To be eligible for gifted education services, a student must either:
- Score at or above the 99th percentile (for grades K-2) or the 96th percentile (for grades 3-12) on the composite score of a norm-referenced test of mental ability AND score at or above the 90th percentile on the total battery, total math or total reading section(s) of a norm-referenced achievement test; OR
- Qualify through a multiple-criteria assessment process by meeting the criteria in any three of the following four areas: mental ability, achievement, creativity, and motivation.
- To be eligible for gifted education services, a student must meet the criterion score on a norm-referenced test and either has observational data collected on his or her performance or produce a superior product as described below.
- Information shall be collected in each of the four areas: mental ability, achievement, creativity, and motivation.
- Test scores used to establish eligibility shall have been administered within the past two calendar years.
- Any data used in one area to establish a student’s eligibility shall not be used in any other data category.
- Assessment information that is collected by a source outside of the Coweta County School System and offered for consideration of eligibility should be submitted at the time of the referral. During the referral and evaluation process, it will be considered as part of a comprehensive profile of evidence of advanced instructional needs. This information will NOT be used as the sole source or substituted for data the school system routinely generates during its evaluation process but will be used as part of the total data considered for eligibility.
Program Delivery Models
All students served in the gifted program in Coweta County receive a minimum of five segments of services each week.
Elementary Schools (K-5)
In the elementary schools, gifted students are served through the resource class or the advanced content class models of instruction one day per week by grade level at their home school. This allows the students to participate in thematic cross-curricular units. The curriculum, which is aligned with the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS), promotes meaningful, challenging, interdisciplinary, and rich learning goals. This differentiated instruction provides needed services for the exceptional learners. The use of multi-faceted units allows all students’ needs to be met in their areas of giftedness. Finally, the students are able to transfer problem solving, deductive reasoning, cooperative learning, higher level thinking, and performance based assessments to their regular education classrooms. The REACH teachers work cooperatively with all classroom teachers to help enrich and accelerate required curriculum for these students daily.
Middle Schools (6-8)
In the middle schools, the special needs of gifted students are met through the resource class or the advanced content class models of instruction in the areas of science and language arts as part of the students’ daily schedules. Instruction is differentiated and composed of units and projects to expand and enhance the current Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS). Students are homogeneously grouped on the basis of achievement and interest in a specific academic content area. If gifted enrollment allows, students who are not identified as gifted but who have demonstrated exceptional ability and motivation in a particular content area are placed in the advanced content classes.
High Schools (9-12)
In the high schools, gifted students study in specific academic areas of interest and expertise for a minimum of five hours of gifted services per week (or the yearly equivalent on block scheduling). English and social studies resource classes and College Board Advanced Placement (AP) classes provide accelerated and differentiated learning experiences to meet the cognitive, social, and emotional needs of gifted students. Content, pacing, learning processes, and performance expectations of the curriculum in each delivery model are more rigorous and differentiated to the extent that the instruction is clearly not appropriate for more typical students at that grade level.
Inquiries about gifted services should be directed to:
Dr. Tim Hixson
965 Smokey Road
Newnan, Georgia 30263