ALA Gifted Education

Gifted and Secondary Honors/AP Program

The ALA Gifted Program differs from the regular educational curriculum by providing breadth and depth through academic acceleration, cluster grouping, and relevant enrichment.

 Our Vision:  Our Mission:
 Learn. Lead. Change the World! To Provide the best educational experience to as many students as possible in a moral and wholesome environment.

Upcoming Gifted Testing

Dear Parents,
American Leadership Academy will be testing for our gifted program three times during the year. Below are the dates for the 2016-2017 school year.

  • Fall Gifted Testing October 31st-November 4th, 2016
  • Winter Gifted Testing February 6th – 10th, 2017
  • Spring/Summer Testing June 5th – 9th, 2017

If you wish to have your child tested, please get a Permission to Test form in the front office, from your child’s teacher, or download it from our website. All forms need to be turned in by:

  • Fall Testing: September 26, 2016;
  • Winter Testing: January 9, 2017;
  • Spring/Summer Testing: May 8, 2017.

This form will need to be submitted to the front office of your child’s campus. You can fill out the permission form online.

Please note: If your child was tested last year, they will not be eligible to test again until the following school year or 365 days after they took the test.

Test results generally take approximately 1 month from the date they took the test. You will receive a letter about whether or not your child qualifies for our gifted program at that time.
Sincerely,

Donna Haught
Director of the Gifted Program
dhaught@alaschools.org
480-420-2121

ALA Elementary Schools

We use the Schoolwide cluster grouping  model to serve gifted students in grades K-6. These programs comply with a legislative mandate requiring schools to provide services for academically-talented and ambitious students who need challenges beyond the regular classroom setting. Testing for eligibility is done in the fall and summer. Placement for gifted can only be done by the semester.

Schoolwide Cluster Grouping Model (SCGM)

Documented research by Dina Brulles, Ph.D., says that gifted students benefit from being kept together in groups of their greatest strength for at least part of the day.    The SCGM is an inclusion model where clustered groups of students who have exceptional learning needs are integrated with mixed-ability classrooms. In these classrooms teachers differentiate their lessons for gifted students. Gifted students feel more comfortable in classrooms when clustered with other gifted students.  They are more likely to choose challenging tasks when they are with others of like ability. Both gifted and mixed ability students benefit from cluster grouping.

The junior high and high school Honors and AP curriculum is designed to provide academic acceleration and enrichment for the able and ambitious student. Honors and AP courses are offered in the following academic areas: English, laboratory science, and math. Placement in Honors and AP classes is based on qualifying scores on the Cognitive Abilities Test (CoGAT) and teacher recommendation. Testing is conducted in the fall and summer each year. See your school’s academic counselor for details.

Eligibility

We use the state- approved gifted assessment, known as the CogAT.  The CogAT assessment measures giftedness in three areas: Non-Verbal, Verbal, and Quantitative.

If you are considering having your child tested for the gifted education program at American Leadership Academy, please review Table A to review the differences between a bright child and a gifted learner. If your child demonstrates at least six of the gifted learner characteristics, then gifted testing is recommended.

Bright Child Gifted Learner
Knows the answers………………………… Asks the questions
Is interested…………………………………… Is highly curious
Is attentive…………………………………….. Is mentally and physically involved
Has good ideas………………………………. Has wild, silly ideas
Works hard……………………………………… Plays around, yet tests well
Answers the questions…………………………… Discusses in detail, elaborates
Is in the top group……………………………….. Goes beyond the group
Listens with interest…………………………….. Shows strong feeling and opinions
Learns with ease………………………………… Already knows
Requires 6-8 repetitions for mastery……………. Requires 1-2 repetitions for mastery
Understands ideas……………………………….. Constructs abstractions
Enjoys peers…………………………………….. Prefers adults
Grasps the meaning……………………………… Draws inferences
Completes assignments…………………………. Initiates projects
 Is receptive………………………………………. Is intense
Copies accurately……………………………….. Creates a new design
Enjoys school……………………………………. Enjoys learning
Absorbs information…………………………….. Manipulates information
Is a technician…………………………………… Is an inventor
Is a good memorizer…………………………….. Is a good guesser
Enjoys straightforward sequential presentation…. Thrives on complexity
Is alert…………………………………………… Is keenly observant
Is pleased with own learning……………………. Is highly self-critical

* Taken from The Cluster Grouping Handbook:  A Schoolwide Model by Susan Winebrenner, M.S., and Dina Brules, PhD., copyright 2008. Free Spirit Publishing Inc., Minneapolis, MN

Referrals

Referrals for gifted testing can be initiated by teachers, parents, or students. Eligibility testing requires a Gifted Permission to Test Form signed by a parent or guardian to be submitted to the site Gifted Mentor prior to testing.

Previous Testing Records

Students who have been tested previously using a state-approved gifted assessment will be evaluated by the district Gifted Coordinator for acceptance into ALA’s gifted program. Previous gifted testing records will need to be faxed or email to:
Donna Haught
dhaught@alaschools.org
Fax: 480-398-2073

 

Eligible Percentile Rankings

Below you will see the percentile cut-off scores for each grade level served at ALA. Children who score at or above the percentile expectation will be considered eligible for gifted services:

  • Kindergarten 91+
  • First 92+
  • Second. 93+
  • Third 94+
  • Fourth 95+
  • Fifth. 96+
  • Sixth -Twelve 97+

Placement in the gifted program is reviewed each spring. Continued placement in the program is based on successful student performance. It is recommended that students in the junior high and high school maintain a grade of C or better to continue in the Honors/AP sequence.

Placement in the Honors and AP Programs at the secondary levels can be arranged through the school’s guidance and counseling office.

 

Withdrawal Procedures

Initiation of withdrawal from the elementary gifted program may come from the teacher or parents in the event that the student seems to no longer be benefiting from the accelerated pace and academic requirements of the curriculum. A student will only be withdrawn with parent notification. Once a child has been withdrawn he or she is out of the program for the remainder of the school year. A conference or student success team meeting may be held to determine how this student might best be served. That meeting may result in discontinued services, or a recommendation that the student may remain in the program.

If you have further questions, please email Donna Haught (ALA Gifted Coordinator) at dhaught@alaschools.org or call 480-420-2121.

 

Campus Gifted Program Mentors
Campus Mentor Email Address
Anthem South Elementary Cariann Shaw cshaw@alaschools.org
Gilbert Elementary Valerie LeBlanc vleblanc@alaschools.org
Ironwood Elementary Daniela Accurso daccurso@alaschools.org
Ironwood JH/HS Laura Ellsworth lellsworth@alaschools.org
Mesa Elementary Dawn Coschigano dcoschigano@alaschools.org
Queen Creek Elementary Beckie Carlson bcarlson@alaschools.org
Queen Creek JH/HS Karla Asplin kasplin@alaschools.org
San Tan Valley Elementary Stephanie Smythe ssmythe@alaschools.org

Resources

Hoagie’s Gifted Education http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/index.htm

Arizona Association for Gifted and Talented http://www.arizonagifted.org/