source: Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction website. Retrieved 3.22.16
As indicated in State Statute and Administrative Rule, Wisconsin public school districts have a legal obligation to develop an identification process to determine needs of students with gifts and talents and to then provide programming to match these needs. This process must be systematic and continuous from kindergarten through twelfth grade and must consider all students in each of the five areas:
- General intellectual
- Specific academic
- Visual and performing arts
PI 8.01(2)(t)2, Wis. Admin. Rule requires that the data collected must:
- Include both quantitative and qualitative sources.
- Be responsive to all students.
- Match the purpose for which the information is being used.
In this approach, we gather information about a student from multiple sources over time, each source serving a particular purpose. In other words, we compile a complete and clear picture of students' strengths and challenges so that we can respond to their identified needs. Tomlinson and McTighe (2006) refers to this as creating a “photo album” of a student rather than simply taking a “snapshot.” Wis. Admin Rule PI 8.01(2)(t)2 calls this a "pupil profile" and it should include both academic and behavioral information.
Whitefish Bay School District Process and Criteria
The Whitefish Bay School District identification process focuses on determining student need rather than labeling students. This represents a shift in thinking from what we may have done before. It reflects the ideas that potential and ability are dynamic as discussed in What is Giftedness? and that gifted education should therefore be responsive and fluid as discussed in Key Characteristics of Effective Gifted Education Plans.
This approach really does make sense if we think about it. It moves us away from the idea that students are either gifted or not gifted, and from something we only determine at a certain age or grade. This outdated notion represents a static view of ability and ignores the reality that children develop at different rates. It results in determining that students are "in" or "out" of a gifted program.
Please click here for our Whitefish Bay District Criteria.