QUEST - Morris School District

Report
Morris School District
2012
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The Morris School District believes that each student is entitled to
challenging and stimulating educational opportunities.
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To provide these experiences to our students we have put into place a multipronged program which consists of:
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Teacher-differentiated support in all K-5 classrooms.
Embedded instructional enrichment support in grade 3.
Self-selected school-wide enrichment clusters for all students grades 2-5.
QUEST is a pull-out program for academically gifted students in grades 4
and 5. (Takes place within the A-F day schedule for 240-260 minutes.)
The program allows for ALL students with similar interests to come together
during a specific time to produce an original product, performance, or service
based project. The program consists of eight 40 minute periods. Enrichment
Clusters may include but are not restricted to:
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Engineering
Dance/Exercise
Readers’ Theatre
Math Inquiry and Investigation
Art Gallery
Poetry and Performance
Debate
Community Service
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Grade 4: A program that consists of cross curricular units of study. Examples
such as Ancient Civilizations, NJ State Bar Mock Trial and Inventions.
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Grade 5: The curricular goals and objectives will evolve once student
independent study selection is complete and will reflect students’ gifts,
interests, and talents.
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The G&T Program design has at its foundation that every student has a
fundamental right to be given the opportunity to experience challenging
activities in the context of interdisciplinary curricula that will enhance their
ability to think creatively and divergently.
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Grade 5: The curricular goals and objectives will evolve once student
independent study selection is complete and will reflect students’ gifts,
interests, and talents.
Students are encouraged to follow a passion which helps to answer an
engaging ‘essential question’ which assists in connecting independent study to
a broad learning experience.
Teachers work with students to afford them with a unique experience which
they ultimately share in June of the 5th grade year.
Example of following a passion
Following a Passion will help to develop 21st Century competentcies such as:
Realizing creative potential, utilization of signature strengths.
Following an interest with passion; high interest, motivation and to completion.
Ability to observe, record and analyze data.
Demonstrate tolerance for ambiguity and frustration.
Demonstrate effective collaboration skills.
Ask open ended questions and develop a healthy skepticism with answers.
Develop well reasoned conclusions through understanding.
Frame a problem and select task appropriate problem solving strategies.
Recognize that learning involves “struggle” and reflect on how such interaction is positive.
Appreciate the value of “how” to learn and not just “what” to learn.
Expand self regulatory behvaiors.
Effective performance and presentation skill.
The Morris School District’s Quest program is designed to
extend the established curriculum to meet the educational needs
of the top 3 to 5 percent of the students who have been
identified as gifted and talented, thus falling into the superior
academic range. It is designed for Students who have successfully
met the Morris School District’s criteria for Gifted and Talented
Program.
Criteria include:
 Standardized scores on the creativity/intelligence Naglieri
Nonverbal Ability Test (Score 125 and above).
 NJASK Scores (Score 250 and above in Math and LAL).
 Morris School District Behavioral Checklist for teachers and
parents (Scores in high 40’s).
Behavioral Characteristics Checklist
The checklist identifies 10 traits:
advanced communication skills,
creativity,
humor,
inquiry,
insight,
interests,
memory,
motivation,
problem solving ability and
reasoning.
Gifted students exhibit many of these characteristics, but not necessarily all. Some
of the characteristics can be viewed as negatives in certain situations and
environments.
According to research, these attributes are evidenced across
culture, disability, language, and socio-economic status.
Parent/Teacher Gifted and Talented Nomination Checklist
DIRECTIONS: Read the description of
each characteristic. Mark a check (√) in
the appropriate column. Calculate the
totals at the bottom.
The student . . .
Advanced Communication Skills
organizes and expresses ideas with details
and abstractions
Creativity
can find various ways of expressing self
(adapt, improve or modify objects/ideas)
Humor
understands and uses sarcasm, puns, jokes,
clever and unique ideas
Insight
uses keen observations of the environment
to make inferences; empathy; sensitivity
Interest(s):
is passionate about and has in-depth
knowledge of topic(s)
Inquiry
seeks information/answers; inquisitive;
curious
Always
Frequently
Occasionally
Rarely
Never
Memory
possesses advanced vocabulary; recall of vast
amounts of information
Motivation
is a self-starter and has intrinsic and independent task
commitment
Problem Solving Ability
provides alternate or multiple solutions to questions
Reasoning
understands cause and effect; sees
patterns/relationships
Add Column Total:
Multiply by Weight:
5
4
3
2
1
Add Weighted Column Totals:
____ +
____ +
____ +
____ +
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Characteristics of Gifted
and
Highly Able Students
Advanced Communication Skills
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Reads above grade level with complex interpretations (in native language).
Uses similes, metaphors, or analogies, rich imagery.
Questions word meanings; for example, “How can a bat be an animal and
also be something we use to hit a ball?”
Demonstrates leadership abilities in nontraditional settings; playground,
home, church, clubs, sports, etc.
Demonstrates social maturity, especially in the home or community.
Expresses similarities and differences.
Uses specific language of a discipline.
Asks questions.
Eagerly translates for peers and adults.
Learns a second language at an accelerated pace.
Often disagrees vocally with others, with teacher.
Tends to dominate others.
Creativity
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Generates new ideas and unique solutions to problems.
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Develops, adapts, improves, or modifies objects or ideas related to
learning experiences.
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Demonstrates advanced coordination in physical activities.
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Uses movement or music to demonstrate understanding.
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Tends to select artistic outlet for free activity or classroom projects:
dance, music, drawing, technology.
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Turns in messy work; not interested in details.
Humor
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Catches adult’s subtle or sophisticated jokes.
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Displays intellectual playfulness.
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Says or does something indicating a sense of humor beyond age mates.
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Plays with language by using figurative language or puns for humorous
effect.
Uses humor that may be absurd or far out.
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Understands jokes and puns related to cultural differences.
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Makes jokes or puns at inappropriate times.
Inquiry
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Poses unforeseen questions.
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Is curious about new words and phrases.
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Enjoys problem solving.
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Accesses data with ease using an unexpected variety of tools.
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Becomes absorbed with self-selected problems, topics, issues.
Insight
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Interprets past, present and future ramifications.
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Interprets another’s point of view.
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Demonstrates complex perspective in writing, oral discussions, art, or
problem solving.
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Listens to others with sensitivity; expresses empathy.
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Exhibits intense concern for human issues.
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Is self-critical, impatient with failures.
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Emotionally sensitive - may overreact, get angry easily, or get ready to cry
if things go wrong.
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Is critical of others, including teachers.
Interests
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Presents a long attention span in areas of interest.
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Bases friendships on similarity of interests rather than age.
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Displays expertise in a single subject.
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Bored with routine tasks (i.e. rote work).
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Challenges the need for rote learning.
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Reluctance to explore assigned topics.
Memory
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Requires minimum repetition for mastery.
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Organizes, collects ideas in unique ways (using a self-developed mnemonic device).
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Retains, easily recalls, and uses new information.
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Demonstrates extraordinary ability to process and retain information.
Motivation
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Is curious, asks provocative questions, innovative experiments.
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Takes the initiative to pursue areas of interest.
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Prefers to work independently.
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Prefers to work with students whose level of English proficiency is higher
than their own.
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Intense need to understand, asks penetrating questions.
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Bored with routine tasks (i.e. rote work).
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Reluctance to explore assigned topics; intensely focused.
Problem Solving Ability
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Takes apart and reassembles ideas, objects, or experiences.
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Enjoys analyzing and solving more difficult problems.
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Offers alternate solutions; sees many possibilities.
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Challenges self and others to generate creative/non-traditional ideas or
concepts.
Reasoning
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Recognizes relationships or patterns between diverse ideas or experiences.
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Ponders multiple perspectives.
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Comprehends advanced ideas, concepts, or implications.
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Comprehends symbolic representations: musical, numerical, alphabetical or
mapping.
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Analyzes classroom tasks and instructional techniques.
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Refuses to accept authority, nonconforming, stubborn.
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Is critical of others, including teachers.
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Thinks critically, may lead to skepticism.
Gifted and Talented Program Timelines
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June: All teachers complete a recommendation for every child in grades 2, 3 and 4 as the first step in the process.
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September/October: There is a review of every student, in grades 4 and 5, every year which takes place as soon
as updated standardized test results are received by our district.
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October: Each year, parents of our new to new to our district, receive a letter inviting them to submit a QUEST
Parental Nomination form for their son/daughter.
Please Note : At any point in the year a QUEST Parental Nomination is accepted by principals as students mature
and we discover new gifts which our children display.
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October/November: Principals and Gifted and Talented teachers present information about the program at
HSA/PTO meetings. These informational sessions take place every year in each of the 3-5 schools. The
presentation includes discussion regarding traits of giftedness, the program design in each building and further
clarification about the identification process.
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Late October: Parents of 4th and 5th grade students who submitted a recommendation are notified of the
identification process as it relates to their child. Parents are encouraged to meet with principals regarding their
child's standing as it relates to entry into the QUEST program, if they have any questions. Following that meeting
with a principal any parent can appeal the initial decision and meet with the district's QUEST Appeal Committee.
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November: 4th and 5th grade students are entered into the QUEST program.
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April: Each year, parents of our 3rd grade students, receive a letter inviting them to submit a QUEST Parental
Nomination form for their son/daughter. This is used during the September screening of 4 th and 5th graders.
Please Note : At any point in the year a QUEST Parental Nomination is accepted by principals as students mature
and we discover new gifts which our children display.
The G&T Program runs from September –June.
Once a student is accepted into Quest, it is not necessary to nominate them again.
Sources
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Castellano and Diaz (2002)
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Clark (1988)
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Frasier, et al (1995)
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Kingore (2001)
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Renzulli (1986- 2011)
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Tomlinson, Ford, Reis, Briggs, Strickland (2004)
Morris School District
2012

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