Gifted Program Specialist
Our mission is to provide the most appropriate education for our gifted students. Programs are designed to provide appropriate challenge and optimal social-emotional interactions and growth. Services for students identified as gifted are available at all elementary, middle and high schools.
Students who are gifted have learning needs that go beyond what is traditionally offered in the regular classroom. The nature of their abilities, demonstrated or latent, requires differentiated learning experiences and opportunities for them to maximize their potential. Teachers develop the depth and quality of their students’ experiences while adjusting the pace to meet individual needs. This can be accomplished by offering opportunities for students to:
- Pursue topics of study in greater depth or to a greater level of cognitive challenge
- Tackle a wider range of authentic and complex academic tasks that require doing real world work
- Advance through activities at a faster pace
- Develop a sense of self and the possibilities that the work has to offer*
*Florida’s Frameworks for K-12 Gifted Learners
All 2nd grade students are assessed each year to identify those who may be eligible for gifted services. Students at other grade levels may be screened for gifted evaluation on a referral basis. See 2018-19 Screening for Gifted for the 2018/2019 Gifted Screening/Evaluation Timelines.
Private evaluations done by licensed educational psychologists may be submitted for consideration in the eligibility process. Evaluations must be done using the latest edition of the psychological assessment instrument. (For example, if the new version of an assessment was published 10/15/15, then best practices indicate the old version may be used for one year after publication of the newer version. Therefore, we would not consider assessments done using the old instrument after 10/15/16.)
Students who are gifted have learning needs that go beyond what is traditionally offered in the regular classroom. The nature of their abilities, demonstrated or latent, requires differentiated learning experiences and opportunities for them to maximize their potential.
Support services will be provided so that gifted students, in a variety of fields and disciplines, will be able to: (1) Critically examine the complexity of knowledge: the location, definition, and organization. (2) Create, adapt, and assess multifaceted questions. (3) Conduct thoughtful research/exploration. (4) Think creatively and critically to identify and solve real-world problems. (5) Assume leadership and participatory roles in both gifted and heterogeneous group learning situations. (6) Develop and deliver a variety of authentic products/performances that demonstrate understanding. (7) Set and achieve personal, academic, and career goals. (Florida’s Frameworks for K-12 Gifted Learners, FDOE, 2013). Services are provided at each school.
Options Offered at Schools to Meet the Needs of Gifted Students
These may include but are not limited to:
- Consultative Services
- Advanced Academic Programs (Secondary)
- Blended Classes with Differentiation
- Creative Thinking/Enrichment Opportunities
- Social-Emotional Curriculum
- Extracurricular Activities
- Parent Trainings
Program Design includes:
- Student contact with gifted endorsed teachers.
- Seminar, small group, or individual meetings as appropriate.
- Consultative gifted teacher collaboration with other general education and gifted endorsed classroom teachers and guidance counselors to maximize progress toward students’ Educational Plan (EP) goals.
- Consultative gifted teacher collaboration with school personnel to communicate events and other information of interest to gifted students and parents.
Emphasis will be placed on the following skills as individually appropriate:
- Effective Decision Making/Setting Priorities
- Goal Setting/Problem Solving
- Effective Leadership
- Study Skills/Test Taking Strategies
- Time Management/Organizational Skills
- Stress Management
Educational Plans (EPs) are written for every identified gifted student. Plans describe the goals and services to be provided for the gifted student. Plans are written for three year periods in grades K-8 and four year periods in grades 9-12. Transitional plans are written at the end of elementary school and middle school. Gifted students who also have other exceptionalities will have IEPs which are updated annually.
Gifted Program Services –A brief summary
St. Johns County School District has gifted programs in every school. Gifted blended/delta classes are offered in most schools grades 3-8. Some schools also have blended/delta classes in grades K-2 depending on the number of students that have been identified. (Numbers vary from school to school.) The blended/delta classes cluster a group of identified gifted students along with other students in a class with a teacher who has gifted endorsement on their teaching certificate. The teacher differentiates for the gifted students and these students have the benefit of being among a group of their intellectual peers.
Itinerant gifted consultative teachers are available for every school and offer consultative services to all of our gifted students and/or their teachers. All high school gifted students grades 9-12 are served in this consultative model. Through these gifted resource services, social and emotional skills for the K-12 gifted individuals are explored.
Note: In St. Johns County a mass screening is conducted for all second graders, so most of the identifications take place during that year. Screening for all other grades may be requested through the school counselor.
Information for Gifted Transfer Students
Gifted Transfers Within State
Students transferring from within the state of Florida with an active Educational Plan (EP) will be enrolled in the gifted program as they enter St. Johns County School District.
Gifted Transfers from Out-of-State
Out-of-state transfer students are accepted when they enroll. If a student has been designated as “gifted” and is actively participating in a program in another state, they will be considered gifted in Florida, as long as evidence of qualifying participation is provided. Records will need to be reviewed and eligibility paperwork completed for the district.
Please contact the school counselor or registrar with gifted records when you enroll.
Gifted Services Personnel
Helen DiMare ESE Program Specialist for Gifted Services
Amy Brim Crookshank, Hartley, Ketterlinus, Ocean Palms, Osceola, PV/Rawlings
Jennifer Earnshaw Durbin, Freedom Crossing, Hickory, Liberty Pines, Patriot Oaks,
Brandie Seaman Julington, Mill Creek, Palm Valley Academy, Picolata , Valley Ridge, Webster (Landrum)
Megan Stone Cunningham, Hunt, Palencia, Timberlin, Wards Creek, Mason, South Woods
Diana Puett Nease HS, Pacetti Bay MS
Erin Arnold St. Augustine HS, Sebastian MS, SJVS, SJTHS, Gaines, (Landrum)
Vicky Alvarez Creekside HS, Fruit Cove MS
Megan Miller Bartram Trail HS, Swiss Point MS
Jaci Racano Menendez HS, PVHS, Gamble Rogers MS, Murray MS (Landrum)
Theresa Stevens Ponte Vedra HS, (Landrum MS)
View the 2018-19 Screening for Gifted Timeline
Please direct questions to:
Helen DiMare, Gifted Program Specialist
[email protected] or