While some students are easy to identify as academically gifted, others are not, so nurturing potentially gifted students has become a focus for one school district.
In Guilford County Schools, about 27 percent of all students in kindergarten through 12th grade are identified as academically gifted. That rate is higher than most districts in the state of North Carolina.
For this year’s third graders, the standard on testing is being raised slightly to classify a student as academically gifted. At the same time the county is adding a new service for students who do not make a high enough score, called Maximizing Academic Potential, which is not included in regular academically gifted programs.
Selected third graders will take part in a class based on the 16 “Habits of Mind” identified by education experts Arthur Costa and Bena Kallick for 35 minutes each week. The class will expand next year to include fourth grade, and the following year to fifth grade.
The new guidelines are in response to concerns that some students from low performing schools were not up to the challenge of a traditional AG program, but need additional skills and encouragement.