Gifted & Talented
The Long Branch Public School District is committed to providing a variety of elevating educational experiences for all of its students. The district is devoted to developing and enhancing personalized enrichment opportunities for its gifted and academically talented learners.
Grade Level Eligibility
- Students in Grades K-5 are eligible for participation in the WAVE3.
- Students in Grades 6-12 are afforded extended opportunities through participation in Advanced Placement and/or Advanced/Honors level courses and instructional differentiation within the regular classroom setting.
The Green WAVE3
Elevating Educational Experiences
The WAVE3 is the Gifted and Talented program at Long Branch Public Schools. The mission of the WAVE3 is Elevating Educational Experiences for all students who demonstrate academic excellence through a system of support, programming and advocacy.
These opportunities are designed for those students who, when compared to their chronological peers, possess or demonstrate exceptionally high levels of ability in one or more content areas. These enriching opportunities are supported by the curricula which are designed to provide additional and appropriate educational challenges to strengthen the educational needs and talents of these learners. In addition, learning experiences are designed to nurture and further develop the social-emotional needs of these students.
Because every child is different, NAGC recognizes that there is no “one perfect program” for teaching gifted students. Instead, the NAGC Pre-K-Grade 12 Gifted Programming Standards state that “a continuum of services must exist for gifted learners” at every level.National Association for Gifted Children
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Continuum of Services
Students in grades K-5 may be placed in WAVE3 groups and will receive accelerated support which includes specialized projects and activities. The WAVE3 students learn together, while avoiding permanent grouping arrangements. The number of identified students in the program varies from year to year and from school to school, based upon established criteria. Students placed in a WAVE3 group are re-evaluated at the middle and end of the school year to determine their placement.
All students in grades 6-12 are encouraged to challenge themselves academically and intellectually. Students have a wide range of access and opportunity for elective and core academic programs. Honors and accelerated courses are offered at the middle school and high school levels. Students have the opportunity to explore content in a variety of different areas. Academic programs in the fields of Engineering, Bio-Medical, TV Studio, Social Justice, Dance, Visual Arts, Carpentry, Debate, and Jr. ROTC are offered. Additionally all students are eligible for Advanced Placement courses through open enrollment and to support all learners, summer enrichment courses are offered in all AP areas.
Goals of the Program
- To challenge students who demonstrate a need for rigor beyond the grade level expectations.
- To provide an environment that encourages the development of critical thinking skills such as analysis, evaluation, synthesis, and complex problem solving strategies.
- To provide an environment which encourages divergent thinking and supports the development of originality, fluency, flexibility, and elaboration.
- To develop confidence in expressing ideas through various media and platforms.
- To advance the process of inquiry through the application of skills in investigations of real-life problems and research.
- To provide students with opportunities to develop leadership skills through positive group interaction.
- To encourage a lifelong commitment to independent learning.
Equity & Access
The Long Branch Public School district strives to provide equity and access to all students. In recognition of this we offer assessments which are responsive to students’ economic conditions, gender, developmental differences, special needs, language proficiency, and any other factors which mitigate against fair assessment practices. Assessment data comes from multiple sources and includes multiple assessment methods. Assessment measures provide evidence of reliability and validity for the intended purposes and target students.
Identifying Gifted and Talented and Twice Exceptional Learners
In accordance with the NJ Department of Education and the "Strengthening Gifted and Talented Education Act," the Long Branch Public School District has developed an identification process for students which includes multiple measures to identify student strengths in the areas of intellectual abilities, creativity, or specific content areas. The process takes into consideration all students, inclusive of the District’s English Language Learners, as well as those with Individualized Education Plans and 504 Plans. Each school reviews student information throughout the school year for an ongoing identification process.
There are 3 ways a student can qualify for consideration in Gifted and Talented Programming:
- Performance Data:
The K-5 student population is screened annually for program eligibility using multiple measures. During the length of a school year, there are two screening cycles, which allows students who demonstrate growth to be considered for eligibility mid-year, rather than wait until the next school year.
Screening Cycle #1: September - January
Screening Cycle #2: February - June
K-2 students are only eligible for the second cycle. This allows classroom teachers to collect, analyze and develop academic performance plans for students who meet the multiple measures identified. However, classroom data is collected on a regular basis and students will receive differentiated instruction based on their needs.
Grades 3-5 students participating in the first cycle are automatically included in the second cycle as long as they remain in good academic standing.
Grades 6-12 students are scheduled in the Spring for the upcoming school year into courses based on multiple measures. When students are scheduled to take Honors and/or Advanced courses, discussions occur with all stakeholders (student, parent/guardian, guidance counselor) to ensure students understand the rigor associated with such courses.
- Teacher Nomination
Any teacher can recommend a student for consideration in Gifted and Talented Programming based on classroom performance and input. The following elements will be considered: dedication to task, organization, willingness to participate and ask higher-level questions, use of creativity, eagerness to learn/intrinsic motivation, desire to be challenged, ability to work in groups/teams, evidence of leadership skills, positive “can do” attitude and ability to focus on a task. The recommendations will be shared with the School Data Teams.
- Parent or Guardian Nomination
A Parent or Guardian does not have to recommend their child for further screening if they are identified by test scores and/or teacher recommendation. However, a Parent or Guardian may nominate their child by providing a written request to the classroom teacher. The letter of nomination must include the following information:
- Student Name
- School, Grade and Homeroom Teacher
- Parent or Guardian(s) Name and Contact Information
- Information about the child’s personal qualities that are believed to be associated with general intellectual ability and exceptionality
*IMPORTANT: Screening or nomination does not guarantee automatic admission into any program.
In order to evaluate each child based on their individual strengths and needs, multiple measures will be used to identify enrichment WAVE3students. Below is a list of criteria that will be utilized by grade and content area (English Language Arts and Math Only).
The Building Administration, along with District Administration, are prepared to work collaboratively with Parents and Guardians to answer questions and review decisions.
- The Parent/Guardian of a child who has not been recommended for placement in the K-5 program may request a recommendation be considered when further information becomes available. This information includes benchmark assessment data, classroom progression data, as well as standardized assessment scores which were not previously available.
- The Parent/Guardian of a child who has not been recommended for placement in the middle school advanced classes or high school honors/advanced placement may contact the child’s Guidance Counselor requesting that the recommendation be considered when further information becomes available. This information includes marking period grades, benchmark assessment data, and standardized assessment scores which were not previously available.
Complaint Policy Process (C.18A:35-38 Complaint for Noncompliance)
An individual who believes that a school district has not complied with the provisions of the “Strengthening Gifted and Talented Education Act” may file a complaint with the board of education.
An individual who believes that a school district has not complied with the provisions of the Act may:
- File a complaint with the Long Branch Public Schools Board of Education. (Board’s shall issue a decision, in writing, to affirm, reject, or modify the district’s action in the matter.)
- An individual who is still in disagreement with the Long Branch Public Schools Board of Education written decision has the ability to file a petition of appeal to the Commissioner of Education through the Office of Controversies and Disputes in accordance with N.J.S.A.18A:6-9 and the procedures set forth in State Board of Education regulations.
Please note: the complaint process is different from an appeal for placement of a student. The complaint process only deals with alleged procedural compliance as outlined in the Act. This process will yield no change to prior student placement decisions.
Long Branch Public School Policy
- Policy 2464: Gifted and Talented Students
Complaint Process for Noncompliance
- Policy 9130: Public Complaints and Grievances
Ongoing professional learning will be provided for a variety of stakeholders which address particular characteristics, needs, and strategies required for gifted learners. Teachers across all academic disciplines and levels differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all students, including those who are Gifted and Talented and Twice Exceptional. Strategies and instructional practices to differentiate instruction are also included in each of the district’s curricular documents.
- Teachers will improve their ability to personalize, differentiate, and compact their instruction through ongoing professional development in the form of job embedded professional learning, workshops, and conferences.
- Educational Services Staff will receive training on the characteristics of gifted students and how to differentiate instruction for the purpose of turn-keying this information to other faculty members.
- School Leaders will receive professional development on the characteristics of gifted/accelerated students and how to differentiate instruction for the purpose of turn-keying this information to other faculty members.