Program for Exceptional Children
The Fulton County gifted program is a response to the need to address the unique learning characteristics, interests, personal needs and capabilities of gifted children. The program emphasizes the gifted students’ need for interaction with intellectual peers. Emphasis on the individual highlights the fact that there are differences among gifted students and a need for specialized educational experiences to meet these differences.
Basic to the philosophy of this program is the idea that no one teacher, resource, or instructional method can meet the needs of gifted students. Education for the gifted is viewed as a cooperative endeavor characterized, facilitated, and realized by the efforts of numerous individuals in the schools and community.
These goals are accomplished in Fulton County schools by providing the basic curriculum to identified gifted students in the regular classroom, adjusting the rate and depth of their learning and using a variety of appropriate teaching methods. Further differentiation beyond that in the regular classroom is accomplished through seminars, individual projects, advanced placement courses, directed studies, internships and joint enrollment. These are designed to intensify and extend their particular interests and aptitudes. Educational experiences for gifted students provide additional variety and flexibility necessary to adjust and extend the Fulton County curriculum to meet these individuals’ needs. Outside of the Fulton County schools programming, The Main Street Academy offers a variety of services that foster personalized learning and groom future innovators.
K-5 Resource Pull Out
Scholars in grades K-5 receive enrichment services weekly from the TAG resource teacher. During their weekly experience, they are given advance content instruction in math and reading, participate in exercises to build higher level thinking and creativity, explore and learn through Type 1, Type 2, and Type 3 experiences, as well as prepare for several local, state, and national academic competitions.
Type 3 Exploration
Students have the opportunity to explore their passions through Type 3 School Wide Enrichment Model projects. The Schoolwide Enrichment Model was designed by Joseph Renzulli, a pioneer in the field of Gifted Education. Through their in class Type 1 and Type 2 experiences, students are exposed to a wide array of topics and methods of doing. Should one of those experiences spark an intrinsic interest in a scholar, they are encouraged to extend their learning through in depth research in which they design a project to show their learning. This style of learning while doing promotes innovation as scholars work to solve real world problems that they are passionate about.
Curriculum compacting is a technique for differentiating instruction that allows teachers to make adjustments to the curriculum for scholars who have already mastered the material to be learned, replacing content students know with new content, enrichment options, or other activities. Through this methodology, teachers pre-assess students at the start of each new unit. If a scholar shows mastery and a level of understanding appropriate for the standard’s requirements, they are compacted out of that unit. Scholars and parents then agree on a plan of learning created by the scholar and teacher that outlines what the content will be replaced with.
Advanced Content and Acceleration
Acceleration occurs when students move through the traditional curriculum at rates faster than typical. We offer subject-based acceleration (e.g., when a fifth-grade student takes a middle school math course). This method of enrichment is available to scholars who are able to demonstrate complete mastery of content for their current grade level in one or more content areas. District testing is completed with such scholars and those scholars who perform at the required level are then accelerated to the next grade level in the content area that they qualified in. Middle school scholars grades 6-8 receive advanced content across all content areas daily. We also offer 9th grade ELA, Algebra 1, and Physical Science to scholars who are in the 8th grade.