When schools closed in March due to COVID-19, gifted resource teachers across the division had finished approximately half of the gifted evaluation process -- collecting student work samples, teacher observations, and ability testing information. Based upon guidance provided by the Virginia Department of Education and the National Association of Gifted Children (NAGC) as well as extensive conversations with supervisors of gifted education from across the state, the LCPS Gifted Department made the decision to put the process on hold until students returned to school. The Gifted Department will resume the eligibility process during the month of September for students who were referred for an evaluation last spring. The plan is to complete the process by early October and notify parents/guardians of eligibility decisions by mid-October. Some students may be asked to meet with their gifted resource teacher in person at school to complete any missing work samples or testing. New students found eligible for gifted services will begin classes starting the week of October 19.
The Gifted Department does realize that some students who are being evaluated for gifted services may need enrichment opportunities at the beginning of the school year to meet their educational needs. Students will have access to choice boards through the gifted resource teacher at their school. Choice boards provide a variety of engaging enrichment activities for students to stretch their thinking and challenge their creativity. Parents may also access parent resources and enrichment resources on the NAGC website to find challenging activities.The Loudoun County SEARCH program, offered to K-3 grade students, focuses on thinking skills and is designed to foster a classroom environment that encourages students to develop an excitement for learning and discovery. SEARCH teachers work within the classroom to stimulate curiosity, practice problem solving strategies, incorporate cooperative learning activities, provide opportunities for students to use higher level thinking skills, and to identify students with exceptional ability. During the lessons the primary classroom teacher makes observations to gain insight into the students’ various skills, strengths, and learning styles. Both teachers work cooperatively to recognize and develop the potential for excellence in each student. The SEARCH teacher is available to assist in the development of lesson plans and activities that promote higher level thinking, model or provide tips for differentiating instruction. The Loudoun County SEARCH lessons are organized under the learning keys listed below and are aligned with the Virginia Standards of Learning. These lessons fulfill the goals of the LCPS Gifted Education Department which are:
1.To become divergent creative thinkers who recognize problems and solve them.
2.To construct personal meaning and understanding of others and of the world around them.3.To develop the capacity for self assessment (ownership of the learning).
MAIN TOPICS (The Thinking Keys):