The Moonachie School District will use multiple measures to identify students that are gifted and talented. The multiple measures are age appropriate and nondiscriminatory. Achievement test scores, grades, student performance, and parent, student and teacher recommendations will be used as our multiple measures for the identification process. In accordance with the Strengthening Gifted and Talented Education Act, our district will provide services to gifted and talented students, which will include appropriate curricular, instructional modifications in regards to content, process, products and the learning environment. We will also implement research-based gifted education strategies. Curriculum compacting is a strategy that will allow teachers to differentiate instruction and make adjustments based on material that has been mastered. Teachers will assess which standards have been mastered and then replace those standards with new content or enrichment activities.
At the Primary Level (k-2), we address the needs of gifted and talented students through our tiered multi-disciplinary approach to differentiated instruction within the general education classroom. With the guidance and coordination of the G&T Coordinator/Director of Curriculum & Instruction, student performance is consistently analyzed and triangulated throughout the year for our inclusion model. Through the STAR Benchmark Assessment, Student Work Protocol Analysis, & the DRA-II, students receiving G&T educational services are homogeneously grouped within their classroom. Teachers are provided ongoing professional development from professors of Mathematics and English Language Arts from Rutgers and TCNJ. Teachers work with the consultants, as well as the Director of C&I, to challenge their students through classroom differentiation that incorporate higher order thinking skills, collaboration, and analysis.
At the 3-5 Grade Levels, students identified to receive G&T educational services continue to be implemented through our in-classroom differentiation model of instructional best practices. Students are provided opportunities to critically analyze, explore, create, and problem solve with peers through Mathematics Tasks and Reciprocal Teaching leadership opportunities. The educational experience for these students is enriched, with a focus on group collaboration to problem solving, integrated technology, and independent analysis. Additionally, within the classroom, students analyze source materials, develop text/resource-based opinions on controversial topics, and learn to defend those opinions through the Accountable Talk process. Teachers at these grade levels also engage in Professional Development with our instructional consultants from Rutgers and TCNJ.
At the Middle School (Grades 6-8) Level, students receiving exceptional educational experiences continue to engage within our differentiated classroom model and identified students are given pull-out enrichment opportunities. In the General Education inclusive classroom, students continue to grow in their analytical, higher-order thinking, and problem-solving skills. Students are provided the opportunity, in ELA and Social Studies, to participate in Socratic Seminars and lead debates, while mastering the Socratic method and accountable talk. In mathematics, students engage in maths tasks that promote collaborative problem solving skills. The Moonachie SD also offers Course Acceleration for both 7th and 8th grade students (including high school level courses) in mathematics and English Language Arts. Additionally, identified students are pulled-out for our Enrichment Program. Each year this program focuses on a project based vision for instruction, whereas students identify an area to research, problem solve, create solutions, and present. These students also have the opportunity to earn a spot in the Moonachie National Junior Honor Society chapter, where service learning opportunities are implemented. Finally, these students also partake in our Peer Tutoring program, whereas they pair with elementary students to provide tutoring and collaborative learning opportunities.