New Hartford Public SchoolsGifted Identification Process & ProgrammingThe method utilized by the New Hartford Public Schools (NHPS) for identification of academically gifted students follows state guidelines which require the use of multiple criteria. The criteria used in the NHPS matrix are scores on the following measures; OLSAT-8, Smarter Balanced, Progress Reports and a Gifted Survey completed by the classroom teacher. Approximately 5% of students in each grade will be identified as "academically gifted." The identification process will take place in the spring of each school year.Frequently Asked Questions
Q - How was New Hartford’s gifted screening process developed?A - New Hartford’s Gifted Education Committee, comprised of administrators, the school psychologist and the gifted education teacher, reviewed the gifted screening processes of other systems in Connecticut to assist in the development of a screening process that best meets the structure and needs of our school district. The process designed by the district’s Gifted Education Committee meets the requirements of Connecticut State Statute.
Q - What criteria does New Hartford Public Schools take into account for gifted identification?A - The gifted identification matrix used by New Hartford Public Schools takes into account scores on the OLSAT-8, Smarter Balanced, Progress Reports as well as a screening survey completed by teachers. The Gifted Education Committee will meet each spring to review the identification process as well as to reevaluate students in grades 4-6 who may qualify based on their OLSAT-8 scores.
Q - How often is the identification process reviewed and revised?A - The Gifted Education Committee will meet each spring to review the identification process and will consider feedback provided by stakeholders when deciding if changes to New Hartford’s identification process should be made.
Q - Were there any exceptions made during the gifted identification process?
A - There were no exceptions made during the gifted identification process. Each student who was identified as being academically gifted using New Hartford’s screening process met or exceeded the criteria set by the district.
Q - What kind of gifted programming is the district required to provide?A - While identification is mandated under state law, programming is permissive under Section 10-76d(c) of the state statutes.
Q - How is each matrix designed?A - Each matrix is designed using selected criteria listed from most objective (standardized assessments) to least objective (teacher survey) to identify the top performing 5% of students in the school district.
Q - What happens if my child wasn’t identified this year?A - Any student with an OLSAT-8 ‘total SAI’ score in the district’s top 14% of their grade level will be reassessed using the identification matrix each spring.Q - Why doesn't the percentile rank on my child's OLSAT-8 report match her ranking on the NHPS identification matrix?A - The goal of New Hartford's gifted screening process is to identify the top five percent performing students in the school district. It is for this reason that the percentile rankings used in the matrix are based on scores for students in a given grade in the district rather than on the national norms that are on the OLSAT-8 Home Reports.
Q - Where can I find out more information about the gifted identification process?A - For further information about other gifted programs in the State of Connecticut, please visit the CTSDE website.OLSAT-8 FAQs
Q - What is the OLSAT-8?
A - The Otis-Lennon School Ability Test, Eighth Edition (OLSAT-8) is a standardized, norm-referenced, group administered measure of verbal and non-verbal school abilities. It is a multiple choice test that takes about 60 minutes to complete. The purpose of the test is to aid school staff in the identification of students with high ability. The OLSAT-8 score that is primarily used to make educational decisions is the School Ability Index (SAI). The SAI is a critical factor but not the only one used for identification purposes.
Q - What does the OLSAT-8 measure?
A - The OLSAT-8 measures abilities (see samples below) related to School Success.
Detecting likenesses and differences
Q - Why is the OLSAT-8 score weighted so heavily on the matrix?
A - The OLSAT-8 is not the only score used to determine giftedness. However, it is the standardized assessment tool that we are using as part of our screening process. The OLSAT-8 is weighted more heavily on our matrix because it is the tool that most objectively indicates students who should be considered for identification as academically gifted versus high achieving.
Q - How often can the OLSAT-8 be given?
A - The OLSAT-8 assessment is designed to be given no more than once per school year.
Q - How often will the OLSAT-8 be given in New Hartford?
A - Beginning in the 2017-18 school year, the OLSAT-8 will only be administered in 3rd grade. Students who score in the top 14% of their class will be considered each spring for identification as an academically gifted learner.
Q - What was the notification process for OLSAT-8 administration this year?
A - A letter from the curriculum director was included in the Friday Folder on March 3, 10 and 17. A copy of the letter is attached. Additionally, Mrs. Shaw included a reminder about the OLSAT-8 administration in the Friday Folder on March 3.InnovatEnrichment After School Gifted Program FAQs
Q - Which students are eligible to participate in the program?
A - Students in grades five and six who are identified as academically gifted based on the NHPS criteria matrix will be invited to participate in the InnovatEnrichment after school program.Q - What is the philosophy of the program?
A - The philosophy of the InnovatEnrichment program is to nurture students’ strengths, interests and abilities while promoting critical thinking and problem solving skills.
Q - What are the goals of the program?
A - The goals of InnovatEnrichment are to:
Strengthen the child’s educational processes beyond the cognitive realm of thinking by developing their higher level thinking skills, creativity and self-motivation.
Develop the child’s independence in dealing with problem solving.
Provide a peer group for the child that will promote a greater understanding of themselves and others while enabling them to relate and interact with others.
Q - What kinds of activities will children participate in during this program?
A - The InnovatEnrichment program is designed to give participants experiences for the exceptional learner. InnovatEnrichment activities are design challenges focused on innovation and development of creative solutions.
Q - How was the number of students participating in the after school gifted program determined?
A - The class size was determined by the number of students who made up approximately the top performing 5% of each grade level based on the criteria set by the district.
Q - Why were some fourth grade students asked to participate in the after school gifted program this year?A - It was the recommendation of the Gifted Education Committee to include fourth grade students who met the district set criteria. The curricular structure of the InnovatEnrichment program is based on innovative design solutions, teamwork and student interest. By allowing the fourth grade students who were identified as academically gifted to participate in the eight sessions offered this spring; the teacher of the program is better able to plan the curriculum for the 2017-18 school year and spend more time on the design challenges rather than team-building activities.
Q - Where can I find out more about the InnovatEnrichment Curriculum?