Approximately 2,800 students are enrolled in Talented and Gifted (TAG) programs. Students in grades three through 12 are carefully identified as Talented and Gifted using multiple criteria and measures that document evidence of above-average intellectual ability, task commitment and creativity. Each school utilizes a biracial screening committee made up of an administrator, TAG teacher, counselor and classroom teacher(s) to identify students.
In kindergarten through second grade, the program is called Discovery. Students are not formally identified, but they are served through whole group lessons that allow the Talented and Gifted teachers to identify and nurture a “talent pool” of potentially gifted students.
For third through fifth grade, the program is known as Alpha and provides a flexible curriculum that is differentiated beyond the regular school program. Alpha students are “pulled out” of regular classes once a week for 150 minutes. The program is designed to enhance critical thinking, improve research and communication skills while fostering independent learning which nurtures the gifted student in reaching their maximum potentials. All class sizes are small and some are multi-age.
Sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade gifted students will be served through Pre AP course content (i.e., English, Math, Science, Social Studies). Pre AP teachers will be supported by a certified Talented and Gifted teacher/facilitator as they differentiate content Curriculum. Gifted students will be guided through the development of research, critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity and performance/ product-based projects that will nurture their specific learning needs. Also, topics designed to support the affective needs of gifted and talented students will be introduced through mini-seminars and conducted by the Talented and Gifted teacher/facilitator.
At the high school level, gifted and talented students are served through Pre AP and Advanced Placement classes. PCSSD provides many of these rigorous courses, and with the collaboration of parents, teachers and counselors, gifted students may pursue this advanced level sequence until graduation. Major curriculum areas for all levels of the high school program may include creative and expository writing, literature, analysis debate and mock trial activities, problem solving, independent research and community action and service projects. All activities emphasize the higher level thinking skills of analysis, synthesis and evaluation.
Recognized both locally and nationally, PCSSD gifted programs continue to expand, providing students with opportunities that will further develop their individual and exceptional talents. In addition to programs within schools, PCSSD has an elementary, middle and high school dedicated to gifted and talented programs with accelerated courses.
For more information, see the calendar section on College Station Elementary TAG Specialty School, Fuller Middle TAG Specialty School and Wilbur D. Mills University Studies High School, and contact Laura Shirley, director of Talented and Gifted Programs at 501.234.2093.