Gifted education is not a program; it is an individually designed and implemented plan for meeting the needs of each identified gifted student. Bensalem School District offers various enrichment and acceleration opportunities depending on grade level and need:
· Elementary students typically participate in a pull out program (the Special Interest Program, "SIP") with a Teacher of the Gifted, and receive differentiated instruction within their regular classroom.
· 6th grade students gather in one district elementary school to participate in a self-contained program, where Mathematics, Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies are taught by a Teacher of the Gifted.
· Middle school students gather in one district middle school to participate in a self-contained program, where Mathematics, Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies are taught by a Teacher of the Gifted.
· High school students select gifted courses in the area of Humanities, as well as Honors and Advanced Placement courses in Mathematics and Sciences. Students also have the opportunity to enroll in independent study.
Each year, or upon parent request, the plan for each child is reviewed and adjusted as needed. This plan is called a "GIEP" (Gifted Individualized Education Plan).
A GIEP should include your child's "PLEP" (Present Levels of Educational Performance), Annual Goals, and Short-term Learning Outcomes, to be achieved through Specially Designed Instruction, with the aid of Support Services (counseling, transportation, etc.) as needed.
How can I find out if my child qualifies for gifted services?
A conversation with your child's teacher can be a good place to start. Ultimately, you should submit your written request for testing to the guidance counselor with a copy to the building principal. You should receive a written response from the district within 10 calendar days (excluding summer vacation).
It is important to note that, while a preliminary "gifted screening" may be recommended, State Regulation (Chapter 16) provides that reasonable parent requests should result in a full Gifted Multidisciplinary Evaluation, conducted by a team which includes the parent and a certified school psychologist.
Where can I learn more?
Bensalem Township School District, Gifted Services - http://www.bensalemsd.org/site/Default.aspx?PageID=546
PAGE (Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education) - http://www.giftedpage.org
NAGC (National Association for Gifted Education) - http://www.nagc.org
Office of Dispute Resolution - http://www.odr-pa.org