NNPS unveils plan to expand Gifted Services

Posted: January 9, 2019

Newport News Public Schools is seeking to expand its gifted services program by serving students who are gifted in Career and Technical Aptitude and Visual and Performing Arts.

As part of the proposed 2019-2024 Local Plan for the Gifted, the Gifted Services Office is recommending that NNPS identify and serve gifted students in career and technical aptitude and visual and performing arts aptitude in grades three through five in a pull-out program model, beginning with the 2020-2021 school year.

Students identified as gifted with Career and Technical Aptitude demonstrate superior reasoning skills, technical curiosity, exceptional problem-solving skills, and creative and imaginative expression beyond their age-level peers in career, technical, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) principles.

Students identified as gifted with Visual and Performing Arts Aptitude demonstrate, as evident in their portfolios of work and other specified criteria, superior creative reasoning and imaginative expression; persistent artistic curiosity; and advanced acquisition and mastery of techniques, perspectives, concepts, and principles beyond their age-level peers in visual arts and/or performing arts.

The goal of the Proposed Local Plan is to increase the number of students referred and identified for gifted programs. In a report to the School Board during its December 18, 2018 meeting, Gifted Services Supervisor Kimberly Beckerdite reviewed the gifted services instructional program, which included the characteristics of gifted and talented learners, the current gifted services program model and the proposed expanded gifted services model.

Newport News Public Schools serves over 2,700 students in kindergarten through 12th grade who have been identified as gifted intellectually; about 55% of students identified as gifted are minority. The NNPS programs include primary TAG for kindergarten through second grade students; a Specific Abilities in Major Subjects (SAMS) Program for high-ability learners in grades three through five; full-time classes for students in first through eighth-grade; and honors, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Dual Enrollment coursework for high school students.

All second and fifth-grade students are screened as part of the school division's gifted services identification process. In addition, students may be referred for gifted education screening by teachers, administrators and parents.

The Proposed Local Plan was developed by a diverse committee of educators and parents after careful review and feedback of the current plan and gifted services model. Please view the proposed plan online.

The School Board is scheduled to vote on the Proposed 2019-2024 Local Plan for the Gifted during its next meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on January 15, 2019 at the School Administration Building.