Talented/Gifted Programming at TWC

TAG: What is Talented/Gifted?

Resource Teacher: Pam Sorenson

THE PURPOSE of Trevor-Wilmot Talented and/or Gifted Programming is to recognize and address the unique needs of students who may require enriched, accelerated, and other highly differentiated experiences. The programming promotes the development of individual talents and gifts while fostering intellectual, social, and emotional growth.

Gifted and talented. Pupils enrolled in public schools who give evidence of high performance capability in intellectual, creative, artistic, leadership, or specific academic areas and who need services or activities not ordinarily provided in a regular school program in order to fully develop such capabilities (from s. 118.35(1), Wis. Stats.).


Several principles form the philosophical basis of TWC TAG Programming:

· Meeting the needs of all students is a moral and legal responsibility. Included in many classrooms are students with the ability to deal with abstract concepts, which use insight to form generalizations, and who draw inferences from related experiences. These students have different learning needs than their classmates. These students are part of our student body and deserve to have their unique needs met in a variety of ways.

· Every teacher is a teacher of gifted learners. Every teacher is a teacher of all students. It is the expectation that gifted education occurs in an integrated and comprehensive way.

· Identification and programming are necessarily linked. The only purpose identification serves is to seek out TAG students so as to meet their needs. Identified learners require a differentiated curriculum, instruction, and, at times, services beyond those normally provided in the regular school program.

· Differentiated strategies, content and activities should be appropriately integrated into every aspect of the school program. Flexible grouping, higher level thinking skills and questioning, tiered assignments, curriculum differentiation, enrichment, acceleration, independent studies, mentorships, and extracurricular activities are programming options within the gifted model that require implementation.


Identification Matched with Services

All students receive research-based, high quality, education in the classroom. Educators use ongoing assessment to monitor progress and to make instructional decisions for students. TAG services may change as a student needs change over time.


Talented and/or Gifted students need specific programming to realize their potential. The goals of this programming are:

  • To provide for the mastery of skills at a pace and depth appropriate to the student’s capabilities.
  • To create an environment that fosters divergent thinking.
  • To promote the development of higher-level processes.
  • To develop the student’s understanding and acceptance of self and others.
  • To enhance opportunities for academic and career planning.
  • To nurture habits of mind which promote life-long learning.
  • To provide academic challenges and competitions.


Once a student is identified, systematic and continuous programming is begun. Though the programming may look somewhat different at different ages, stages and levels, it must fit the needs of the student at the time. The needs of the student may be met in one or more of the following ways, from the least prescriptive to the most prescriptive, and follows the RtI (Response to Intervention) framework:

Tier One (Universal Curriculum) occurs in the regular classroom with modifications made by the classroom teacher.

Tier Two (Selected Programming/Intervention) occurs in flexible or cluster groups within the classroom, which may change over time and is dependent upon the needs of the student. Level two options will be recorded in the gifted and talented database by the gifted and talented coordinator.

Tier Three (Targeted Programming/Intervention) occurs as an individualized program, which may or may not mean grade acceleration (radical acceleration) or subject acceleration (modified acceleration). Level three activities are recorded in the gifted and talented database and require a differentiated education plan (DEP) and parental notification. Differentiated Education Plans will include a learning goal(s) with objectives, strategies for meeting the goal(s), timelines, and resources needed to achieve the goal(s).

All teachers use the District Curriculum and research-based instructional strategies within the classroom. Teachers are expected to use differentiation strategies; the following lists of tools are among those that may be used to meet the needs of a gifted student within the school programming.