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Introduction to the Toolkit for Gifted Education

Gifted education is important for students and for the local and global communities. Students who are challenged to maximize their potential build habits of success that lead to confidence and independence. This in turn prepares them to contribute positively to their local communities and to the larger global community.

The Toolkit for Gifted Education is meant to assist you, the Gifted and Talented Coordinator, in developing or revising your school district's gifted education plan to reflect Wisconsin statutes and administrative rules and to incorporate effective practice. It is not intended to serve as an answer key, but rather as a roadmap. Engaging in conversations is an important part of developing a gifted education plan. Through shared vision and collaborative discussions, local school district teams can make decisions that respond to the needs of their students and maximize the resources in their communities. The notion that "one size does not fit all" applies to gifted education as well as to classroom instruction. This means that gifted education may look different from school district to school district. With this in mind, however, there are key characteristics that should frame your planning. This toolkit is based on the notion that effective gifted education is:

  • Systemic. The gifted and talented program should be integrated with schoolwide initiatives and programming across all grade levels, K-12. Opportunities should be incorporated into the regular school day and the regular school year.
  • Collaborative. The gifted and talented program should be the responsibility of all staff members working in a collaborative fashion to meet student needs.
  • Sustainable. The gifted and talented program should not be dependent on specific personnel or funding sources. Instead, it should be an integral part of the school district's staffing and funding plans.
  • Responsive. The gifted and talented program should be responsive to local student demographics, curriculum, resources, and needs.
  • Fluid. The gifted and talented program should be flexible and continuously adapt to student need. Programs will likely differ based on local needs and community resources. G/T programs may vary from district to district and school to school.
  • Appropriate. The gifted and talented program should provide opportunities that are in place of, not in addition to, regular classroom instruction and activities.
  • Comprehensive. The gifted and talented program should consider the "whole child" by encouraging academic, social, and personal growth of the students.
  • Aligned. The gifted and talented program should have goals that are clear and aligned with state statutes, administrative rule, professional standards, research, and effective practice.
  • Measurable. The goals of the program should be specific enough so that progress toward them can be readily evaluated on an ongoing basis.

Explore all aspects of the online toolkit or to zero in on a specific component to assist you in developing or revising your gifted education plan.



For questions about this information, contact Mark Schwingle (608) 267-9273