• Please click arrows below to view information about TUHSD Gifted Education Scope and Sequence.

    Program Design

    Question - What is your district's definition of a gifted student and gifted education?

     

    Indicators District description

    The District uses multiple criteria, including non-verbal, verbal and quantitative measures to identify students who are gifted according to ADE guidelines:

    • 97% on state approved tests or services for students with scores falling below the 97th percentile

    • ACT test scores-which is a college entrance exam covering English, reading, math, and science

    • Scholastic Aptitude Test scores (SAT)-designed to assess academic readiness for college

    • Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test scores (PSAT), which promote college readiness
    •  

    The Tempe Union High School District uses the state of Arizona definition of gifted education and gifted student.

    "Gifted pupil" means a child who is of lawful school age, who due to superior intellect or advanced learning ability, or both, is not afforded an opportunity for otherwise attainable progress and development in regular classroom instruction and who needs appropriate gifted education services, to achieve at levels commensurate with the child's intellect and ability. ARS 15-779 (Definitions)
    "Gifted education" means appropriate academic course offerings and services that are required to provide an educational program that is an integral part of the regular school day and that is commensurate with the academic abilities and potential of a gifted pupil.



    Question - Describe the Philosophy and Goals for your gifted program.

     

    Indicators District description
    The Gifted Program in the TUHSD:
  • Continues to actively communicate with feeder districts to ensure a smooth transition for students

  • Modifies instruction and/or curriculum to meet student needs

  • Provides for differentiation in process, content, product, and learning environment

  • Goals:
  • Start at the student's cognitive and academic level and provide instructional opportunities that meet the student's needs

  • Inform teachers who have the primary responsibility of teaching gifted pupils about gifted endorsement requirements

  • Develop a program that represents the diversity of the TUHSD, each school, and each individual student

  • Develop an evaluation tool of the gifted programs
  •  

    The Tempe Union High School District provides gifted students an educational environment that encourages their individual potential through academic achievement, leadership experience, community service, and personal development.

    Goals:

    1. To increase the awareness of gifted services throughout TUHSD and community by:

      a. Sharing experience and accomplishment of our students
      b. Working with Tempe Union Business Advisory Council on ways to assist students in finding internships
      c. Articulation and collaboration with Tempe Elementary and Kyrene Elementary Districts (feeder districts)

    2. Provide staff development opportunities for staff
      a. Through in district in-service
      b. Various trainings offered in-state (i.e. AP workshops)

    3. Develop and nurture college partnerships

    4. Expand career shadowing, internship, and mentoring opportunities

     



    Question - How do you group and deliver services to your K-2 students?


    Indicators District description
    • Self-contained, cluster, pull out or differentiated instruction within the regular classroom
    • Specific instructional strategies tailored to the needs of the gifted learner, open ended questioning, projects, activities that focus on higher order thinking skills
    N/A

     


    Question - How do you group and deliver services to your 3-6 students?


    Indicators District description
    • Self-contained, cluster, pull out or differentiated instruction within the regular classroom
    • Specific instructional strategies tailored to the needs of the gifted learner, open ended questioning, projects, activities that focus on higher order thinking skills
    N/A

     


    Question - How do you group and deliver services to your 7-8 students?


    Indicators District description
    • Specific instructional strategies tailored to the needs of the gifted learner, open ended questioning, projects, activities that focus on higher order thinking skills
    • Content driven, accelerated learning, honors classes, flexible grouping
    N/A

     


    Question - How do you group and deliver services to your 9-12 students?


    Indicators District description
    • Content driven, accelerated learning, honors classes, AP/IB classes, flexible grouping and/or scheduling
    Grouping and individualized opportunities vary depending on school site. Available options include but are not limited to:
    • Curricular options based on areas of interest
    • Honors, AP, IB, and dual credit courses may be heterogeneously or homogeneously grouped
    • Homogeneous grouping at the Payne Academy and with courses for the gifted student
    • Homogeneous grouping at other sites through Honors Professional Internship and Advanced Studies courses
    • Creative scheduling (summer school, online curriculum, alternative sites and settings, distance learning, and extensions to the school day---zero and eighth hour)
    The Tempe Union High School District delivers services in several ways. Services are delivered by providing:
    • Identification of qualified students
    • Four-year or Individual Learning Plans (ILPs) that are developed and monitored by counselors or gifted coordinator
    • Advanced and accelerated curriculum
    • Facilitated independent learning opportunities: mentorships, internships, Advanced studies, advisement, career shadowing
    • Coordinate college, career planning and postsecondary preparation
    • Collaborate with college partners

    Advanced studies

    Internships

    Other activities

    • A gifted communication network
    • Gifted student organizations
    • Providing programming for parents throughout the students' high school career
    • Coordinated services among district schools
    • Opportunities for student leadership & community service
    • Advocacy for gifted students and families
    • Encouraging self determination

    Self advocacy

    Self efficacy

    Goal setting

    Personal responsibility

    Cultural, social and intellectual enrichment through gifted or other student organizations


     


    Question - Describe how you integrate your program standards with the Arizona College and Career Ready (AZCCRS) at each grade level?


    Indicators District description
    • Align courses to AZCCRS
    • Testing for competency before teaching content
    • Use vertical alignment strategies
    • Align courses to community college and/or IB/AP standards which exceed AZCCRS
    • Develop scope and sequence in all courses.
    • Place students in courses according to their level of previous achievement, course prerequisites, and test scores.
    • Develop dual enrollment community college syllabi to comply with objectives established by the community college district.
    • Develop AP/IB course syllabi to meet national/international standards in each discipline.
    • Payne Academy level courses developed by TUHSD are directly aligned with the Arizona State Standards.
    • Articulation agreements with feeder districts provide for vertically aligned curriculum.

     


    Question - How do you involve parents in your program?


    Indicators District description
    • Periodic orientation/informational meetings
    • Providing information about summer programs
    • Electronic communication: Newsletters, district website, mass emails
    • Parents are encouraged to participate in developing and improving programs and activities on their campus.
    • Gifted program newsletters and websites share information with students and their families.
    • Information is also posted on TUHSD website with links to the various campuses and other resources.
    • Counselors conduct introductory informational meetings for incoming 8th graders and parents.
    • Counselors at each school offer initial 4-year planning and annual updates for students and parents.
    • Open House sessions.
    • Information about summer programs is made available to parents.
    • Periodic district-wide surveys soliciting input about, and evaluation of, the program.

     


    Curriculum and Instruction

    Question - How do you differentiate instruction (pace and pedagogy) to K-2 students? Please list several sample activities to illustrate your description.


    Indicators District description
    • Training for teachers in flexible instructional groups
    • Provide for acceleration through extended literature, novels, math word problems, graph interpretation etc.
    • Establish a rubric for the pedagogy to be appropriately applied for this level
    N/A

     


    Question - How do you differentiate instruction (pace and pedagogy) to 3-6 students? Please list several sample activities to illustrate your description.


    Indicators District description
    • Training for teachers in flexible instructional groups
    • Provide for acceleration through extended literature, novels, math word problems, graph interpretation etc.
    • Establish a rubric for the pedagogy to be appropriately applied for this level
    N/A

     


    Question - How do you differentiate instruction (pace and pedagogy) to 7-8 students? Please list several sample activities to illustrate your description.
    Indicators District description
    • Training for teachers in flexible instructional groups
    • Provide for acceleration through extended literature, novels, math word problems, graph interpretation etc.
    • Develop an honors curriculum for gifted students
    • Establish a rubric for the pedagogy to be appropriately applied for this level
    • Use real world connections, simulations, Mock Trial, etc.
    N/A

     

     


    Question - How do you differentiate instruction (pace and pedagogy) to 9-12 students? Please list several sample activities to illustrate your description.
    Indicators District description
    • Professional development for teachers
    • Provide enrichment activities
    • Provide for acceleration through extended literature, novels, math word problems, graph interpretation etc.
    • Provide AP/IB coursework for student.
    • TUHSD provides gifted, Advanced placement, International Baccalaureate, and honors teachers the opportunity for professional development.
    • Differentiation occurs within individual classrooms and varies according to discipline, interest, and teacher strategies. Teachers may accommodate gifted students by process, product, content, and learning environment.
    • As part of the TUHSD Teacher Performance Evaluation tool, teachers are assessed to determine if they are providing enrichment to match learner needs, design supplemental materials for enrichment needs, select a variety of materials/resources that are motivational for student learning, provide tasks that are of appropriate challenge, and provide opportunities for students to employ problem-solving strategies.
    • Encourage instructors to take gifted coursework and seek gifted endorsement.
    • Allow/provide access to the following:

    Acceleration in math and Spanish for incoming freshmen

    Opportunities for students to advance to higher coursework through summer school and/or testing-out process

    Courses that require independent research and individual development such as Advanced Studies

    • Allowing assessment options for students within the courses.
    • Develop dual enrollment community college syllabi to demonstrate higher content and comply with objectives established by the community college district.
    • Develop AP and IB course syllabi to demonstrate higher order analysis and meet national standards in each discipline.

     

     


    Question - What curricular materials do you use for grades K-2? Be specific.

     


    Indicators District description
    N/A

     


    Question - What curricular materials do you use for grades 3-6? Be specific.

     


    Indicators District description
    N/A

     


    Question - What curricular materials do you use for grades 7-8? Be specific.

     


    Indicators District description
    N/A

     


    Question - What curricular materials do you use for grades 9-12? Be specific.

     


    Indicators District description
    • Textbooks for each course approved by the governing board. (District approved list available upon request)
    • Every teacher uses supplementary materials commensurate with students' abilities, e.g. college texts, on-line resources, and reference works.

     


    Identification

    Question - Describe how your referral process for identification involves parents and staff.


    Indicators District description
    • Recommendations from parents/staff
    • Review of records, and responses on registration forms
    • Referrals from counselors, administrators or support staff
    Being a high school district only, the referral process used for identification involves parents and staff in the following ways:
      1. Notification of process and testing dates
      2. Educators and staff refer in writing
      3. Coordination with feeder Districts
      4. Parents provide test results to district gifted coordinator
    Parents are also involved in the following ways:
    • Parents assist in the online application for gifted testing.
    • Gifted testing information is distributed to the feeder schools as well as community charter and private schools. Information is posted on TUHSD website with contact phone numbers to answer questions and provide information.
    • Each campus invites gifted students and parents to welcoming meetings to introduce gifted programs and facilitate transfer into the high school district.
    • Other district staff is encouraged to identify current potential gifted students for screening.
    • Program descriptions are available on each school's website and are accessible through TUHSD web site.
    • For parents who speak a language other than English, information regarding our gifted program will be provided by an interpreter or through translation services, as appropriate.

     


    Question - Describe your process for the identification of K-12 gifted students, including how your process addresses the variety of student environmental backgrounds.
    Indicators District description
    • Use Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT)
    • Use PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test), SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test), or ACT, as appropriate
    • Use of non-verbal tests (Nagliari Non-verbal Abilities Test, 2nd Edition [NNAT-2]) for English Language Learners (ELL) or for students with disabilities
    • Use of IQ test scores of 130 or higher for students with disabilities or for students who were privately tested
    • Service students who score at the 97th percentile or above
    • Incoming students who previously scored at the 97th percentile or higher on one of the state approved tests will be accepted as gifted students
    • Transfer students who scored at the 97th percentile or higher on one of the state approved tests will be placed in a gifted program as soon as possible once the student's gifted eligibility status has been verified with the student's previous school
    • Optional service to interested and qualified students below the 97th percentile
    • All incoming 9th grade students are offered the opportunity to take the CogAT as an identification tool.
    • Any student scoring at the 97th percentile or higher in any area is identified as gifted and offered gifted services.
    • Optional criteria may be used to assist in selecting students not previously identified through the CogAT.
    • District staff is encouraged to identify potential gifted students for screening and possible testing.
    • Use other assessment data for instruments approved on the state gifted list, such as the PSAT, SAT, and ACT.
    • TUSHD owns a non-verbal assessment tool, the NNAT-2, for use with ELL or students with disabilities.
    • Personal interviews for students applying to the Payne Academy

     

     


    Question - Please list all the testing instruments and data points you use for gifted student identification and explain why you chose these instruments.

     

    Indicators District description
    • CogAT or NNAT-2
    • Teacher input
    • State approved testing list
    • PSAT, SAT, or ACT, as appropriate
    • Use of IQ test scores for students with disabilities or for students who were privately tested
    • CogAT provides verbal, mathematical, and abstract assessment
    • Use other assessment data from instruments approved on the state gifted list, such as PSAT, SAT, and ACT
    • Student interview for Payne Academy
    • Teacher input
    • Previous placement in gifted programs
    • Independent IQ testing and independent evaluation reports will be considered.
    • NNAT-2 for ELL students or students with disabilities.

     



    Question - How do you inform parents and staff of your referral and identification process?

     


    Indicators District description
    • Formal letters to parents
    • School newsletters/website
    Parents, students and staff are informed of the referral and placement process in various ways.
    • 8th Grade information flyer distributed to local feeder, charter, and private schools
    • Newsletters
    • Website

     


    Question - Once eligibility is determined, how do you inform parents of the decision and then handle an appeal of that decision?

     


    Indicators District description
    • Formal letters with data
    • Parent meetings
    • Meet with appropriate campus staff
    • For transfer students and for current TUHSD students who score at or above the 97th percentile on one of the state approved tests, parents are sent a letter confirming eligibility and information regarding the next steps to establishing gifted services.
    • Parents are sent a letter describing the process and indicating the scores with an explanation of the process and contact information.
    • Incoming freshman who score at or above the 97th percentile are offered placement in gifted programming and invited with parents to informational welcome meetings prior to registration.
    • In subsequent years students may request reevaluation using state approved tests and/or on a case-by-case basis.
    • Appeals are handled on a case-by-case basis at the sites.

     


    Social and Emotional Development

    Question - How do you provide for the unique affective needs of your gifted students K-6?


    Indicators District description
    • Grade level seminars to train teachers
    • Coordination of affective activities
    • Experiential learning approach
    • Provide common learning seminars for gifted students by grade level using pull out, cluster or self contained configurations
    • Use peer tutoring, cooperative leaning strategies
    • Establish a parent support group
    N/A

     


    Question - How do you provide for the unique affective needs of your gifted students 7-8?
    Indicators District description
    • Incorporate specific activities into an honors program
    • Experiential learning approach
    • Provide common learning seminars for gifted students by grade level such as a humanities class
    • Establish a parent support group
    N/A

     

     


    Question - How do you provide for the unique affective needs of your gifted students 9-12?
    Indicators District description
    • Assign a certified staff member to work with gifted students
    • Develop and deliver professional development opportunities for teachers, counselors and administrators
    • Concurrent/dual enrollment possibilities tied to AP and IB
    • Each campus has designated certified staff members to support its gifted students.
    • Students and parents receive links to publications like AAGT, NACG, and SENG, about the social and emotional needs of gifted students.
    • Certified staff members address such issues as getting involved in clubs, sports, and other activities for fun and personal growth.
    • Students receive social/emotional support from campus counselors.
    • Twice-exceptional students receive additional services from the Special Education Department
    • Students are encouraged to participate in organizations, clubs, enrichment activities, professional internship, community service, and school-wide tutoring opportunities.

     

     


    Question - What specific orientation activities do you provide for parents and teachers regarding gifted students affective needs?
    Indicators District description
    • Provide information about the unique needs of gifted students to teachers/parents
    • Conduct locally developed gifted parent nights
    • Gifted students and their families are invited to an orientation meeting at the sites prior to entering high school. At that time, they are provided an overview of the services available, registration information, and other valuable information to ensure a smooth transition into high school.
    • Sites may provide an individual learning plan that addresses intellectual, affective, developmental, and academic needs.
    • Opportunities for professional development to provide for students' affective needs.

     

     


    Question - How do you monitor, identify and provide assistance to "at risk" gifted students?

     


    Indicators District description
    • Create an open ended referral process for parents, students and teachers
    • Provide counseling services on an as needed basis
    • Develop alternate approaches for students in high school to earn credit
    • Competency testing in core subjects to allow students to earn credit and progress
    • Students are monitored by site, based on underperformance, attendance, discipline issues, and/or other recommendations.
    • Each gifted student is assigned to a trained guidance counselor for general or immediate needs.
    Resources provided:
    • Access resources on and off campus
    • Access to the school psychologist
    • Access to the prevention counselors (City of Tempe)
    • Community referrals
    • Alternative courses – concurrent enrollment in college courses
    • Testing out
    • On-line classes

     


    Professional Development

    Question - How do you regularly provide opportunities for regular classroom teachers and gifted teachers to receive specialized training about working with gifted students?
    Indicators District description
    • In-service training, staff development, professional learning communities
    • Fund attendance for conferences, IB, and AP training
    • Encourage certified staff to join the Arizona Association for Gifted and Talented (AAGT)
    • Teachers develop personal professional growth plans which may include working with gifted learners.
    • Ongoing information about classes, training, and other workshops is shared with staff.
    • Gifted funds, as well as Title II and site staff development money, is available to assist all teachers in obtaining training and new learning.
    • Gifted services presentations and publications for staff on issues related to gifted students
    • Conference opportunities

      State and National Content Conferences, i.e. Math, English, and Science
      State and National AP Trainings
      AAGT Conference
      SENG Conference
      NAGT Conference
      ADE training opportunities
      IB/AP Training
      College conferences
      Guidance counselor conferences

       

     


    Question - Please list the titles of the training you conducted last year and those planned for the current year.
    Indicators District description
    • IB/AP training
    • College conferences
    • Gifted conferences
    • Guidance counselor conferences
    • State/National content conferences
    • Curriculum Cadres
    Training opportunities:
    • IB/AP training
    • College conferences
    • Gifted conferences
    • Guidance counselor conferences
    • State/National content conferences
    • Curriculum Cadres
    • Dual Enrollment certification/li>

     

     


    Question - How have your training events targeted the needs of administrators, counselors, psychologists and support staff?
    Indicators District description
    • By attending conferences and training they are better prepared to provide gifted students with the appropriate support.
    • Conference attendees disseminate information to administrators, psychologists, support staff and other counselors.
    • Training opportunities have been available to all staff.
    • See list above (Training opportunities)

     

     


    Question - Describe the feedback received from post training evaluations. What did the participants say about the effectiveness?


    Indicators District description
    • Feedback from training opportunities has been positive.
    • Teachers implement strategies in their classroom.
    • Teachers successfully completed AP audit

     


    Parent and Community Involvement

    Question - How do you make your program philosophy, goals and recruitment procedures available to all parents?


    Indicators District description
    • Provide parents with information regarding gifted services
    • Open houses
    • Web site
    • Parent – teacher conferences
    • District website
    • School website
    • Open houses
    • ILP meetings
    • Newsletters
    • Emails
    • Announcements
    • Articulation with feeder districts and other schools

     


    Question - How do you provide access to your scope and sequence for all parents?


    Indicators District description
    • Link to the gifted scope and sequence is available.
    • Posted on the district website

     


    Question - Describe how you incorporate parents into a support or advisory group.

     


    Indicators District description
    • Parents are encouraged to participate on site/district decision making committees.
    • Parents are invited to participate as stakeholders.
    • Each site has a school council, which includes parent and community members.

     


    Question - How do you involve parents and the gifted community in the evaluation of your program?

     


    Indicators District description
    • Develop evaluation of program
    • AdvancED stakeholder surveys
    • Parent/student surveys
    • On going feedback
    • Data analysis
    • Superintendent's Advisory

     


    Program Assessment

    Question - What data sources do you use to assess your programs effectiveness?
    Indicators District description
    • Develop a survey to assess effectiveness
    • Standardized test scores
    • AzMerit achievement scores
    • AP/IB scores
    • PSAT/SAT/ACT scores
    • Student and parent surveys
    • AP/IB participation and testing
    • Student participation in various programs and services

     


    Question - Describe how you use test data, both norm-referenced and criterion referenced in your evaluation process.

     


    Indicators District description
    • Track progress of individual gifted students year to year
    • Compare scores of gifted students with the rest of the population to assess differences
    • Students class grades compared to identification scores
    • Inform individual teachers and departments of AP/IB scores and dual enrollment credits
    • Student GPA's are assessed to identify students' at risk
    • Follow up ILP/4-year plan/ECAP

     


    Question - How do you use informal measures like surveys, open forums and teacher interviews to gather data?

     


    Indicators District description
    • Look for trends, common strengths, weaknesses, areas for improvement
    • Feedback from parents/students

     


    Question - What are your key indicators that your program is positively affecting students?

     


    Indicators District description
    • Student interest
    • Parental positive feedback
    • Students test score analysis
    • High retention rate
    • Regular attendance
    • College credits earned
    • Scholarships offered
    • Selective college admissions
    • Student success in grades, class rank
    • Variety of student opportunities
    • Student feedback
    • Acceptance into selective universities
    • National Merit Scholars
    • AP Scholars
    • Flinn Scholars
    • Teacher feedback on success of students

     


    Question - Describe the performance standards you have for all gifted students.

     


    Indicators District description
    • Meets or exceeds on one or more areas of the state assessment
    • Meets the individual learning goals established for the students
    • The gifted population demographics should reflect the same picture as the total school population
    • Students meet or exceed on state assessment
    • College admittance
    • Take Honors/AP/IB/Dual Enrollment classes where applicable
    • Increase the participation of students taking the PSAT/SAT/ACT tests

     


    Budgeting

    Question - What percentage of your supplemental allocation is used in the following categories: capital expenditures, direct student services, professional development and district coordination?
    Indicators District description
    • Supplemental allocations no longer available
    N/A

     


    Question - Describe the structure of your gifted education staffing including the ratio of teaching staff to the number of identified gifted students.

     


    Indicators District description
    • The student/teacher is in compliance with governing board policy.
    Gifted students are provided instruction within the curriculum of TUHSD through Honors, AP/IB, and Payne Academy level courses. Courses are also designated for gifted students only. Each school site determines the service model based upon numbers and courses offered. There are homogeneous and heterogeneous groupings.

    Staffing ratios vary between sites and courses due to the number of students identified as gifted at the site. Gifted – designated courses take on various formats such as independent studies and professional internship. Therefore, some of these courses are offered on a 1:1 or higher ratio dependent upon need and ability of student and teacher to facilitate the class.

     


    Question - To what extent does the district support the funding of your gifted program? Please elaborate: be specific as to staff and financial resources.

    Indicators District description
    • All teacher salaries are paid from the M & O budget in the Tempe Union High School District.
    • Each campus receives minimal gifted funding.
    The TUHSD supports education for all students. Therefore, the salaries and benefits for teachers come from the M & O budget of TUHSD.

    In addition, TUHSD budget pays salaries and benefits for all teachers of honors and IB/AP courses. This is figured on the percentage of time teaching Advanced courses and is pro-rated.

    Professional development opportunities are funded in a variety of ways. Individual campuses are allotted staff development funds that can be provided for training of staff working with students identified as gifted.

    Testing and supplies are funded from district M&O funds:
    • Scheduling and supervision of 4 testing dates
    • Training and scheduling of test proctors
    • Materials and supplies
    • Timecards and PARS
    • Scoring of tests
    • Distribution of the results to students, parents and school sites.
    A district administrator is assigned to supervise and coordinate the gifted program.

     



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