Hilliard City Schools has been working toward improving gifted identification and gifted services based on the 2016 recommendations of the Gifted Task Force. This year, we are implementing a variety of whole-grade assessments to equitably identify gifted students across our district demographic groups. For more information about how Hilliard City Schools identifies gifted students, please visit the Gifted Services page of our district website.
We have also implemented gifted cluster grouping as our elementary service model. Licensed Gifted Intervention Specialists partner with highly trained classroom teachers to meet gifted students’ academic and social-emotional needs every day in the regular classroom. This has enabled the Hilliard City Schools to provide targeted gifted services to considerably more elementary students than we have served in the past.
Students in our elementary gifted cluster classrooms have participated in a variety of engaging and challenging lessons so far this year, such as STEM challenges, Breakout games, collaborative Three-Act Math tasks, and more thinking skills activities. Teachers also regularly use high quality children’s literature to discuss social-emotional concerns in the classroom, including growth mindset, perseverance, and empathy.
In addition to the elementary classroom teachers who are providing gifted services, our gifted services staff offers ongoing professional learning on gifted education topics to all high school Advanced Placement (AP) teachers. Gifted freshmen at all three high schools have been invited to participate in small cohort groups with their school counselors to discuss common concerns and to make connections with other gifted students. These initiatives have led to a huge increase in the number of staff members who are informed of best-practices in gifted education.
As we continue to collect and analyze gifted identification data, Hilliard City Schools is committed to adjusting and adapting our gifted service offerings to best meet the needs of our gifted students. There are a variety of innovative ideas for gifted services that our curriculum teams continue to explore for implementation in future years. By being responsive to current student data, Hilliard City Schools will be able to personalize learning opportunities and ensure that all of our gifted students are Ready for Tomorrow.