The District recognizes that each gifted student has special characteristics that significantly affect that student’s ability to learn. In order to provide a meaningful benefit, the gifted student’s curriculum must be appropriately modified on an individual basis and an annual GIEP meeting is held every year to update the plan. In keeping with Chapter 16 Guidelines, Radnor Middle School incorporates all of the following to meet the needs of students on an individual basis:
- Acceleration – This is the practice of presenting curriculum content earlier or at a faster pace than is typically encountered at grade level.
Acceleration often involves the use of existing school curricula, although it may also include additional materials. Not to be confused with enrichment, which is defined as providing students who have achieved mastery of the grade level material with additional activities that extend their knowledge or deepen their thinking, acceleration allows students to move quickly through the curricula, matching students’ mastery levels with instruction.
(RMS offers a variety of acceleration options based on student performance, including: whole grade acceleration; subject‐matter acceleration; self-paced instruction; and curriculum compacting.)
(Accelerated courses are offered in core subject areas at each grade level at RMS [6th English Language Arts only] to meet the demonstrated performance level of highly-advanced middle school students [2+ grade levels above], including gifted students whose specific needs have been outlined in the specially-designed instruction section of their GIEPs. A Parent Override to access an Accelerated class is available for one subject/discipline (excluding math) per year.
- Differentiation - The modification of content, process, product, and/or learning environment to tailor curriculum and instruction to the individual needs of the learner.
Differentiated instruction is used to ensure that high-ability learners are adequately challenged and make continuous progress. In-class differentiation at Radnor Middle School is offered to meet the needs of students who demonstrate readiness for more complex instruction and materials. The middle school teacher of gifted learners (TOGL) is available to assist the regular education teacher, as needed, in the development of modified lessons and materials as well as in the implementation of differentiation strategies in the general education classroom for students with GIEPs. In addition, the TOGL may work with gifted students individually or in small groups to augment or replace regular classroom instruction in order to meet individual student needs.
- Individualization - Matching curriculum and instruction specifically to the gifted student’s demonstrated achievement, abilities, and interests.
Individualization is an important part of gifted education. Individualized curriculum and instruction at Radnor Middle School can be embedded within the core curriculum and offered within the regular education classroom. Individualization can also be implemented through flexible pull-outs or independent study monitored by the TOGL.