The North Putnam Community School Corporation uses a variety of services in meeting the needs of identified high ability students. The “cluster model” is one of the primary means of services to high ability students in grades K-8. Identified students are clustered in specific classrooms located at their home school. Once identified, placement is completed by the building administrator (elementary and middle schools) when developing the class lists for the upcoming school year. One of these cluster teachers in each building is identified as a “Lead Teacher.” Regular classroom teachers provide instruction with the High Ability Lead Teacher coordinating services, resources, and information for challenging activities to meet the needs of these students.
Each school has teachers who are identified as trainers in differentiated instruction. They provide ongoing training and support to classroom teachers in using differentiated instructional strategies in the classroom to help meet the needs of high ability students. This is the primary method of providing services to high ability students through differentiated instruction in the content areas. Since this instruction takes place in the regular classroom, parents of students identified will be informed of the services provided, but parental permission will not necessarily be sought. Further differentiation of content is provided in the high school grades through course offerings-honors classes (English and Biology), Advance Placement (AP) classes (Chemistry, Calculus, English, and Music Theory), and dual enrollment.
Guidance counselors are available in each building to work with high ability students. School counselors may meet with small groups as well as individuals. Discussion topics may include:
1. Desire to fit in with peers
3. Goal setting
4. Importance of grades
5. Coping with teasing related to giftedness
6. Pressure from teachers and/or parents
7. Classroom boredom due to prior mastery of material
Students, parents and/or teachers may request individual conferences. Conferences will be scheduled for students requesting assistance in subject skipping or other individualized activities related to acceleration and/or enrichment. Individual counseling is available for students who have unusual or serious adjustment problems. For example, high ability students who are experiencing severe behavior problems are encouraged to meet with a counselor and/or resource teacher at least once a week. It is especially beneficial to work with counselors or the resource teacher when the problem has required attention over a period of years.