“Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children.”
- Walter Elias Disney
One may ask, “Who is a gifted student and why are gifted programs needed?” Gifted and talented students and those with high abilities need gifted education programs that will challenge them in regular classroom settings, and enrichment and accelerated programs to enable them to make continuous progress in school. It’s more than just giving students a challenge in classrooms: Gifted programming positively influences students’ futures.
Ohio Revised Code for education states that students are identified as gifted when he or she “performs or shows potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared to others of their age, experience, or environment and who are identified under superior cognitive ability, specific academic ability (mathematics, science, reading, or social studies), creative thinking ability and or visual or performing arts ability.”
In Ontario, our program is designed to be flexible, allowing us to best meet the needs of students who are identified as gifted. Our Ontario teachers ensure that rigor is embedded within their work in the classroom and continually receive high quality professional development. In grades two, three, four and five, we provide the opportunity for clustering of gifted students, allowing teachers to provide differentiated instruction and enrichment. Teachers in grades K-1 work collaboratively with the gifted coordinator to provide enrichment to gifted students in the primary grades.
Ontario Middle School offers honors classes to students in grades six, seven and eight. Likewise, Ontario High School has increased enrichment opportunities with honors courses as well as advanced placement courses and College Credit Plus courses taught at Ontario High School by qualified Ontario teachers.
Ontario students participate in many extra-curricular enrichment opportunities such as Science Club, Drama Club, Academic Challenge, National Honor Society, Writing Center and Peer Tutoring at the high school level. Middle school students are participating in Academic Challenge as well as Spelling Bee, and Science Fair. Elementary students enjoy critical thinking activities during noontime enrichment as well as participating in Spelling Bee, Lego Club, and Chess Club.
The Ontario Local School District is committed to serving the gifted population of its schools and has made great strides recently to increase gifted opportunities to students.
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Isaacson, Karen L.J. Raisin’ Brains, Surviving My Smart Family. Great Potential Press, 2002.
Kerr, Barbara A. and Cohn, Sanford J. Smart Boys: Talent, Manhood, and the Search for Meaning. Great Potential Press, 2001.
Kerr, Barbara A. Smart Girls: A New Psychology of Girls, Women, and Giftedness (Revised Edition). Great Potential Press, 1997.
Schultz, Robert A. and Delisle, James R. If I’m So Smart, Why Aren’t the Answers Easy? Prufrock Press, 2012.