Loveland expands services for gifted students
The 2013-2014 school year marks a change in the management of the Loveland City School District’s services for students who have been identified as gifted by the state in third through eighth grade.
“We are educating students for a rapidly changing world and for a job market that requires very different skills than were required in the past or even today,” said Kimberly Miller, assistant superintendent of teaching and learning. “The administration looked at the number of students the state identified as gifted and the number of those students we were serving and said, ‘We can do better.’”
The state designated 11 percent of Loveland students in third through eighth grade as having superior cognitive ability. Because of an additional district testing requirement, 3 percent of those students (76 students) were offered gifted services during the 2012-2013 school year. Under the new service model, the school will serve all 223 students recognized as gifted by the state. The students will no longer be required to take an additional district test to qualify for the program.
“We are trying to meet the needs of all students so all students grow as much as possible,” said Miller. “As educators, we are responsible for paying attention to the skills of every individual student and then designing instruction to maximize each student’s skills. The gifted students need a different challenge and we want to make sure we are appropriately challenging them to help them grow as much as possible.”
The district plans to manage the new model by adjusting gifted program schedules and utilizing classroom teachers for advanced instruction; the changes come at no additional cost to the district.
“Our administrative team has worked together to develop this new model, and we are excited to begin the implementation this fall,” said Miller. “This was an opportunity to create the kind of individualized instruction we want in all of our classrooms – for all of our students. The benefit to the students will be tremendous.”