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Gifted & Talented Newsletter

February 2018

Volume 1, Issue 2  

The District GT Newsletter

District GT Program Update

From the onset of the program reform, the district has been committed to ensuring that multiple measures were included when identifying a student for gifted and/or talented services. A core team comprised of district staff members representing research and evaluation, assessment, and teaching and learning was tasked with reviewing the various assessments currently administered as part of the district’s balanced assessment system. The team identified the purpose for each existing assessment and how the data would assist school teams in the consideration phase. As a result of this review, it was determined that a standardized ability assessment had not been part of our balanced assessment system, but was needed. After investigation and a small-scale field test in the spring of 2017, the district selected the CogAT (Cognitive Ability Test).  In the fall of 2017, the full battery of the CogAT was administered to 540 elementary students who had received gifted and talented services during the past three school years.  (For students whose gifted services included grade/subject acceleration, it was determined that the CogAT was not needed.)

The following measures are considered as part of the identification process: -Standardized assessments -Classroom assessments -Portfolio of student work -Parent and teacher survey information

The outcome of the district core team’s work included two new components that are now an operational part of the identification process: securing written parent permission prior to administering additional assessments, and the option for parents to opt their student out of receiving gifted services.  In addition, the identification process was clarified so that it now  requires input from parents/guardians, building administration, classroom teacher, Gifted and Talented Resource Teacher (GTRT), and other relevant educators. An additional committee, the Gifted and Talented Advisory Council,  was established to review the progress being made towards reforming the program. In September the Council reviewed the newly revised documents, including parent and teacher referral surveys, parent permission forms for administering additional assessments, and parent permission forms for opting a student out of gifted services. After making adjustments to the documents based on feedback, the forms were finalized.  The identification process is in place and operational for new student referrals.  

Second Grade Screener & Next Steps

As part of the Gifted and Talented Program reform, the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) screener was administered  to 1340 second grade students districtwide to ensure that we are capturing students who have  high reasoning ability.  After a full analysis of the results of the second grade screener data, approximately 240 students have met the district’s benchmark and are now eligible to participate in the full Cognitive Ability Test (CogAT). The full-battery CogAT will provide important information for teachers and parents regarding student reasoning ability and possible unmet learning needs.

By mid-February, parents of those 240 students will be sent a form called Request to Administer Additional Assessments by their child’s school. If parents wish to have their student participate in the full battery of the Cognitive Ability Test (CogAT), they should return that signed form to their school’s principal or Gifted and Talented Resource Teacher. After the signed permission form has been received, parents will be notified of the dates on which their child will be tested.   

The testing window for administering the full battery CogAT will be from February 26, 2018 - March 8, 2018.  The District’s Department of Research and Evaluation will analyze the data by March 26, 2018. Parents will then be notified of their child’s results.  

We anticipate that some students will meet the criteria for receiving service in a talent program designed to focus on accelerating their higher-level reasoning skills, while other students’ needs can be met through their grade level curriculum and will not require additional services.  The higher-level reasoning programming will be offered to eligible second grade students for the remaining school year (2017-18) and will continue through the first and second trimesters of their third grade school year (2018-19). Students receiving services will then be assessed in January 2019 to determine whether they continue to need additional services or whether their needs can be met through the universal grade level curriculum and instruction.  The school GTRT will contact parents/guardians to explain the talent program, and parents/guardians will need to sign a permission form before students can participate.  For parents/guardians who do not desire for their student to participate in the talent program, the GTRT will send a Parent Opt Out form which parents are asked to sign and return to their student’s school. No student will receive talent services without parental consent.

For the most up-to-date information regarding upcoming events, check the district social media accounts, as well as your school’s newsletter!

Twitter: @greenbayschools

Facebook: Green Bay Schools

You can also subscribe to the district’s community e-newsletter (GBAPS Connects), which is distributed every Monday during the school year, by emailing

Contact Information

For newsletter suggestions:

Shannon Meyer, Administrative Assistant

(920) 448-2156 /

For questions regarding district programming:

Nancy Chartier, Executive Director of Elementary Teaching & Learning

(920) 448-2036 /

Mike Friis, Executive Director of Secondary Teaching & Learning

(920) 272-7011 /

Elissa Hoffman, Curriculum Coordinator

(920) 272-7605 /

For questions regarding programming at (Washington Middle School):

(Principal Dennis Christensen/Gifted and Talented Resource Teacher Susan Meaney)

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