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K-5 Title I Program Identification

Talented and Gifted Follows Suit

2013-14 marks a much-needed change in identifying students for elementary Title I services. The elementary Title team first practiced the new identification procedures for summer school and have been refining the format for fall program identification. The major crux of the issue is simple. Too many kids, not enough interventionists. The federal Title program has moved from an ambiguous analysis of multiple data points to a tiered identification system. The identification process is housed in an excel spreadsheet and follows these guidelines:

a)     Identify and rank gr. 2-6 IA Assessment data according to highest need on a 3 point
        scale.   The lower the NSS score, the higher the need ranking. IA Assessments take their 
        position as the district’s universal screener. The ranked NSS score range makes it possible 
        to identify more potential Title candidates.

b)     Identify and rank gr. K-6 data according to highest need based on a 3 point scale for every 
        grade level spring benchmark literacy assessment. 

c)    Classroom teacher identification and needs ranking based on collected student evidence. 

d)    This final data point represents the program's last problem to solve. What should the data be? How do 
        a teacher distinguish between ample evidence and the learning to take place throughout the 

e)      After all data points are ranked, the composite needs ranking is totaled and scaled: high, 
        some, low, and no.

f)      Based on programming best practice of group size, the highest need students in each 
        building are identified for service.


FCSD Gifted and Talented Program Plan

Vision: Fairfield Community Schools strive to provide all students with opportunities to meet their full potential and to achieve maximum yearly growth, commensurate with their abilities.  Exceptional students with needs beyond those provided for in the regular classroom will experience rigorous programming that will develop passions while creating a learning community of peers, parents, and educators.

This plan meets the provisions set forth by the state of Iowa in 12.5(12) , and in Iowa Code section. 257.43.

 A. Describe the valid and systematic identification procedures, including multiple selection criteria for identifying gifted and talented students from the total student population (grades K-12): FCSD IDENTIFICATION OF STUDENTS Guidelines-Principles and Standards referred to throughout the district plan are adapted from the Gifted Program Standards, 2010, developed by the National Association for Gifted Children.

  1.  All students in grades K-12 have equal access to a comprehensive assessment system that allows them to demonstrate diverse characteristics and behaviors that are associated with giftedness.

  2. Each student reveals his or her exceptionalities or potential through assessment evidence so that appropriate instructional accommodations and modifications can be provided.

  3. Students with identified needs represent diverse backgrounds and reflect the total student population of the district.

Students will be formally identified before grade 3 and re-identified before grade 6.  New students in the district must meet FCSD’s identification qualifications and may have to wait a semester to participate until necessary criteria are obtained/met. 

Students will be assessed in multiple areas of giftedness ( Intellectual Ability, Creativity, Specific Academic Giftedness, Leadership, and Visual/Performing Arts) and must meet any of the 4 listed criteria including:

  1. OLSAT scores: >120 (grades 2 & 5, formal identification screener)

  2. Any state achievement scores; Reading, Mathematics, and/or Science: >90th percentile NSS Equivalent (grades 3-8, formal identification screener)

  3. Any state achievement scores Subtest  > 90 percentile NSS Equivalent (grades 9-12)

  4. Written Teacher Referral-Student Work Examples (grades K-12)

  5. Teacher Referral-Renzulli Checklist

  6. Parent Referral-Renzulli Checklist

  7. Student Self-Referral-District Form (grades 6-12)

  8. Kingore Observation Survey (grades K-8) 

  9. CoGAT Scores submitted from other districts (New FCSD students)

  10. Iowa Acceleration Scale (grades K-8)

  11. Student Grades/Standards-Based Grading (grades K-12)

  12. Classroom Formative and Summative Assessments (grades K-12)

  13. Fast Data Reading and Math 90> (grades 2-8) 

Necessary forms for the above assessment criteria can be obtained by contacting building TAG teacher.


B.      Goals and Performance Measures: The FCSD General TAG Program goals: 

  • To evaluate the program on a 6-year cycle: identification and acceleration criteria, service/delivery, and exit criteria with input gathered annually from certified staff, parents, and district administration.

  • Provide individualized instruction for qualified students.

  • Establish an acceleration policy for the 2017-18 school year.

  • Teacher leadership will develop annual building level professional development to provide all teachers annually with: research-based instructional strategies to accommodate the exceptional learner in the general education classroom.

  1. The K-12 TAG program will focus on four areas of giftedness:  intellectual ability (I), creativity (C), specific academic giftedness (A), and leadership (L), and visual and performing arts (V). Abbreviations are used on the K-12 identification grid.

  2. Develop a common definition and understanding of the profile(s) of gifted learner(s) at each level: K-4; 5-8; 9-12.


Elementary Program Goals: 

  1. to develop abilities in higher level thinking
  2. to become independent learners and creative producers
  3. to participate in opportunities not accessible in the regular curriculum.

Middle School Program Goals:  

  1. to emphasize the 6 main areas in the middle school program: acceleration, extension, advanced literature, academic competitions, affective needs, and independent research.
  2. to assist gifted students in developing  an understanding of and appreciation for their giftedness
  3. to help students relate effectively to individuals and situations around them.
  4. to provide a developmental program that will stimulate higher order thinking skills and learning attitudes that will help students become independent learners.
  5. to expose students to opportunities  not available in the regular curriculum.

High School Program Goals:

  1. to help students relate effectively to individuals and society
  2. to help the students develop a desire to “learn for the sake of learning” in a non-competitive environment.
  3. to help students deal with the affective aspects of giftedness.
  4. to provide a structured environment for students to study topics of interest to each individually.

 C.      A qualitatively differentiated gifted and talented program to meet the students’ cognitive and affective needs: The K-12 program will be differentiated in the following ways: 

  1. Participation in activities designed to increase their understanding and appreciation of the characteristics and responsibilities of giftedness. 
  2. Participation in activities designed to develop effective skills necessary to relate effectively to individuals and situations around them.  They will develop appropriate behavior and positive interpersonal communication and expression.
  3. Development and demonstration of self-directed learning skills.
  4. Participation in activities designed to stimulate higher order thinking skills, primarily through application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation. 
  5. Participation in activities designed to develop problem solving skills by productive thinking, decision making, predicting and planning.
  6. Participation in activities designed to develop advanced research skills.
  7. Exploration of a wide variety of topics and situations not accessible in the regular curriculum and in greater depth than is usually possible.  Students will be encouraged to explore areas of existing and new interest. Students will prepare, present and evaluate products based on their investigations. Parents, and the community at large, will be encouraged to participate in activities designed to develop an understanding of the characteristics and responsibilities of giftedness.
  8. School personnel will participate in periodic in-service regarding gifted and talented programming.  Classroom teachers will cooperate in student assessment for identification purposes, planning and implementing of activities and evaluation of results.

Elementary Program Overview: Challenge

The Challenge resource room/pull-out program formally serves academically gifted students in grades 3-4.  The program for gr. 3-4 meets on a daily basis. The teacher also serves as a resource for classroom teachers in grades K-2.  At grade 2, teacher will provide an informal service based on preliminary data staring in the 2nd semester of the school year. Formalized identification will take place at the end of the school year. Grades K-1 will be provided push-in enrichment.

Middle Level Program Overview: GOAL

The program is based on the philosophies of the George Betts Autonomous Learner Model as well as the Renzulli model of giftedness. The GOAL program provides gifted students the opportunity to develop and demonstrate self-directed learning skills through research projects, creative problem solving activities, and a variety of group learning experiences that culminate in public presentations for peers, parents, and community.

High School Program Overview

The gifted program at the high school consists of academic classes and one dedicated TAG class.  Students have options to take AP online courses, other online courses, local AP courses, dual credit classes with Indian Hills Community College, and other high level academic courses.

Students may participate daily or every other day in the TAG class during a regular class period.  Students receive academic credit for participation and are graded on a pass/fail basis. Most students take the class as a seventh or eighth subject.  One teacher assumes this assignment as part of a teaching load. The program is based on the philosophies of the George Betts Autonomous Learner Model as well as the Renzulli model of giftedness, with students being responsible for initiating, planning and carrying out independent study projects of their own choosing.  Group activities are held bi-weekly which focus on affective and other needs of the students.

D.  Staffing provisions: K-4 TAG Teacher: Cole Boatright 1 FTE; 5-8 TAG Teacher: Tena Edlin 1 FTE; 9-12 TAG Teacher: Sharon Flinspach .13FTE  . FCSD employs 2.13 FTE TAG teachers for the K-12 program. (see 281—IAC 59.5(7)).

E.   In-service design (professional development): The district will conduct staff development for all staff periodically at the district and/or building level that is designed specifically for teaching gifted learners.  Sessions may include: 1) characteristics of gifted learners, 2) instructional/differentiation strategies, 3) curriculum alternatives/differentiation, 4) strategies for underachieving or at-risk gifted learners, and 5) affective needs of gifted learners

F.   Each school district shall review and evaluate its gifted and talented programming: FCSD TAG PROGRAM EVALUATION-Guiding Principles and Standards: 

 1. An evaluation must be purposeful. Information collected should address pertinent questions raised by all constituency groups, and should be responsive to the needs of all stakeholders.

 2. An evaluation must be conducted competently and ethically. The evaluation design should report the strengths and weaknesses found in the program as well as critical issues which might influence program services. Ongoing formative and summative evaluation strategies must be used for substantive program improvement and development.

 3. The evaluation results must be made available through a written report. Evaluation reports are designed to present results and encourage follow-through by stakeholders. 

4. All middle school students participating in gifted programming complete an evaluation annually.  High school students complete evaluations each semester as well as quarterly evaluations which may involve self-evaluation of progress and projects. Individual conferences are scheduled for parents of participating students by the elementary program teacher during parent-teacher conference times each semester . Parents of middle and high school level students are encouraged to see teachers at these conferences as well.