Gifted & Talented

The district policy is 6171.2 GIFTED AND TALENTED

The Board of Education shall provide all gifted and/or talented pupils with programs that provide for their basic education while encouraging optimum development of their special abilities. Programs shall be developed or located which stimulate pupils to participate constructively in, and contribute to, the activities of their school, the community, and society. Gifted and talented pupils shall be provided with appropriate instructional adaptations and services to encourage development of their special abilities in achieving the New Jersey Student Learning Standards.  Programs shall provide educational challenges to pupils identified as gifted and talented and shall be reviewed regularly.

Such programs shall be designed in terms of the individual learning styles of each pupil as well as the capacity of a gifted pupil to create concepts, respond to stimuli in a unique and creative manner, develop higher levels of thinking and influence the behavior of others.

“Gifted and talented pupils” shall mean those pupils who possess or demonstrate higher levels of ability in one or more content areas, when compared to their chronological peers in the district and who require modifications of their educational program if they are to achieve in accordance with their capabilities.

Because early discovery of a gift or talent is important, it is essential that the identification of these pupils be carried on as a continuing process, since special abilities and skills appear at different times in the development of many children.

The Superintendent shall coordinate development of appropriate curricular and instructional modifications used for gifted and talented pupils indicating content, process, products, learning environment and devise indicators of achievement to evaluate success of each program. The Superintendent will take into consideration the prekindergarten through grade 12 Gifted Programming Standards of the National Association for Gifted Children in developing school and District programs for gifted and talented students.

The Superintendent or designee shall devise indicators of achievement to evaluate success of each program presented to the District for adoption.

The Superintendent or designee shall take the appropriate measures to ensure that minority and female students are not underrepresented in gifted and talented or accelerated/advanced courses.

Adopted by State District Superintendent: January 25, 2005
NJSBA Review/Update: November 2010
Readopted by State District Superintendent: October 24, 2016
Adopted by the Board of Education: May 28, 2019

Key Words

Gifted, Talented

Legal References:

  • N.J.S.A.  18A:35-4.15 Legislative findings and declarations; chess instruction for  through -4.16  second-grade pupils in gifted and talented and special  education programs
  • N.J.S.A.  18A:61C-1 Program promoting cooperation between high schools and  institutions of higher education; establishment; objective;  increased availability of college-level instruction; scope
  • N.J.S.A.  18A:61C-4 Program providing college credit courses for high school  pupils on high school campuses; establishment
  • N.J.A.C.  6A:8-1.3 Definitions
  • N.J.A.C.  6A:8-3.1 Curriculum and instruction
  • N.J.A.C.  6A:8-3.3 Enrollment in college courses
  • N.J.A.C.  6A:30-1.1 et seq. Evaluation of the Performance of School Districts

Possible Cross References:

*1600 Relations between other entities and the district
*6010 Goals and objectives
*6121 Nondiscrimination/affirmative action
*6171 Special instructional programs
*Indicates policy is included in the Critical Policy Reference Manual.

Continuum of Services offered to Gifted and Talented Students

The district offers gifted and talented projects for students in the elementary grades. These programs are idiosyncratic but do share a common quality that they are designed for advanced students who demonstrate a year or more academic progress. With regard to talented students and developing talents, K-12 students study dance, music, theater, and visual arts. At some school sites, partnerships with Alvin Ailey Dance Theater affords students to study with professional dance artists.  Further, each summer an Alvin Ailey Dance Troupe provides a multi-week workshop for elementary students. Additionally, all students are provided with recorders and spend grade 3 studying the recorder and perform at the end of the school year at NJPAC. We understand these experiences as crucial as they help students to acquire and develop interests and talents.

At the secondary level, the district has eight (8) magnet high schools. These schools are diverse and provide academic and specialized programs. Arts High School is the oldest public school in the country that focuses on the performing and visual arts. Additionally, at all high schools there are specific courses offered to students such as: Pre-AP courses, honors courses, Advanced Placement courses, International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme, Career and Technology Education programs, and dual enrollment courses with Essex County Community College, NJIT, and Rutgers. Some students earn Associate Degrees while in high school. Some courses, by design, such as Pre-AP, are open enrollment.

District Events:

It is important to note that many of these events occur at the local school and progress to the district level. Last year more than 1800 students participated in the Math Olympics.

  • Math Olympics
  • STEM Week
  • Girls Who Code
  • STEAM Exposition
  • Spelling Bee (English)
  • Spelling Bee (Spanish)
  • Spelling Bee (Portuguese)
  • Special Olympics
  • Teen Arts

Criteria for inclusion in Gifted and Talented

Procedures for inclusion in the range of gifted and talented offerings are often open enrollment. Additionally, a mix of teacher recommendation, parent/guardian recommendation, NJSLA performance, and checklists are used.  This school year is a planning year.  The district will open a Gifted and Talented Office during this school year.  To that end, the district is partnering with the Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins University. Specifically, we will be focused on reviewing gifted and talented research and learning about methods for identification.

Gifted and Talented Coordinator: Jennifer Killeen,