KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
September 18, 2019
By Natalie Cook Clark
Katy ISD's Gifted and Talented program is screening incoming secondary students. Screenings also include 5th graders currently not in the GT program. Parents who want their student to be assessed must complete the online "checklist" by September 19.
Gifted and Talented Screenings
Current secondary gifted and talented (GT) screening, including 5th graders not currently in the program, is taking place in Katy ISD. Parents must complete an online "checklist" by September 19 if they want their student to be assessed.
Students who are already being serviced in the elementary Challenge Program do not need to re-screen for the secondary program. Teachers who observe that a student is gifted can also recommend a screening.
Secondary School Level Procedures
The secondary GT program runs on a Specific Subject Matter Aptitude Model.
A GT student in sixth to 12th grades has been identified as excelling in one or more of the four core subjects: English language arts, math, science or social studies. GT students in secondary grades take Pre-Advanced Placement and/or Advanced Placement classes.
This coursework is designed for students who are gifted learners and the classes are taught by teachers who have been trained for teaching advanced students.
GT students in seventh and eighth and 10th-12th grades can participate in Independent Study Electives, in which they consult with a business mentor and develop a product proposal based on their independent research.
After review, the committee determines whether or a not a child will be placed in the GT program.
Opportunities for Advanced Learners
"Gifted and Talented education programs provide a variety of academic and social options for students who are advanced learners," said Joan Otten, Katy ISD Director of Gifted, Talented and Advanced Academic Studies.
A gifted learner will benefit from being challenged beyond the typical classroom assignments. But some parents may worry that the workload will become overwhelming. The school website assures that isn’t the case. Aside from Independent Study Electives, GT students will not typically have more work than their peers. Instead of adding work, they’re simply given different, more challenging and in-depth assignments.
Subjects Available and Process
Secondary gifted program options are available in English, reading, mathematics, science and social studies. Students will take an ability test as well as an achievement test for any or all of these content areas at their current campus in October and November. Parents will be notified by mail of the placement decision in January 2020. Students who qualify for the GT program will begin the program in the fall of their sixth-grade year.
Deadline to Apply is This Week
If parents would like to refer their child for secondary GT screening, they must complete a Secondary Parent Checklist in English or Spanish and return it to their student's elementary campus by September 19, 2019.