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Gifted and Talented

What does gifted and talented mean? 
According to the state Department of Education, gifted and talented students are: Those students who possess or demonstrate high levels of ability, in one or more content areas, when compared to their chronological peers in the local district and who require modification of their educational program if they are to achieve in accordance with their capabilities.

Does Sandmeier have a Gifted and Talented Program? 
As per state regulations, Sandmeier has a board-approved Gifted and Talented (G&T) Program.

The Gifted and Talented Program at Sandmeier:
The main components of the program are as follows.

  1. The G&T teacher provides activities and experiences that expand student creativity including challenging activities that enhance individual exploration.
  2. The School Wide Enrichment (SWE) program maximizes students’ talents in all content areas with a variety of teacher-designed classes.
  3. Each teacher differentiates instruction for his/her students to maximize learning.

What is School Wide Enrichment (SWE)?
The School Wide Enrichment program is an extension of our Gifted and Talented program in which our G&T teacher serves as a resource. Each teacher has interests and talents outside of the traditional academic areas. In a SWE program, students are exposed to these special talents through classes that teachers create. Students are given an opportunity to choose from these teacher-created classes, matching students’ interests with those of the teachers. Teachers collaborating with students on a common interest leads to a motivating, engaging experience for all involved. Some courses this past year included: Rubik’s Cube, Stressbusters, It’s Show Time, Brainiacs, Healthy Me, and many more.

What is the role of the G&T teacher?
The G&T teacher “pushes-in” to each class containing G&T cohorts. Activities are structured to enhance the learning at that level, incorporating social-emotional, creative, and spatial activities among others. Activities are then sustainable within the classroom. In addition, through consultation, the G&T teacher is available to consult with teachers on specific children or a group of children and suggest activities to expand learning on various curricular topics. The G&T teacher also serves as a resource to all staff through the suggestion of activities experienced within the classroom curricula.

What should parents do if they are concerned about the appropriateness of instruction for their child’s ability or skill level?
As always, the first step is to communicate with the child’s teacher, working together in the best interest of the child. Additionally parents should consider a discussion with the school guidance counselor and communicate with the principal to discuss the child’s needs.

Enrichment ~ Learning to love learning is the greatest gift we can give children. Turning them into lifelong learners, who pursue new knowledge for the joy of it means adults who will be able to keep up with the changing world. Enrichment is a way to take normal topics and stretch them to accommodate fun and joy and excitement on a topic. The addition of music and art to science or social studies, the incorporation of movement with math, or technology with language arts allow additional points of entry to a child’s mind. Enrichment makes us richer intellectually.

Contact Us
Thelma L. Sandmeier Elementary School
666 South Springfield Avenue
Springfield, NJ 07081