2013-2014 SRETCH Program
June 03, 2014
The Wayne County School District STRETCH (gifted) Program identified and served intellectually gifted students at each of the five elementary/middle schools in the district during the 2013-2014 school year. The district also offered accelerated and advanced placement courses at Wayne County High School. At the end of the 2013-2014 school year, each individual school conducted an annual evaluation process that involved students, parents, administrators, teachers, and/or community leaders. This evaluation revealed that the district met or exceeded all standards established for the gifted education program. Specific details and ratings earned by the district on each criterion are as follows:
Criterion I: Curriculum and Instruction
All schools in the district met or exceeded the standards established for curriculum and instruction. A qualitatively different learning experience designed to meet the needs of gifted students was provided at each of the five schools. The learning styles of the gifted students at the schools were identified. This information was shared on an as needed basis with regular teachers at all schools and used to modify instruction. This earns all schools a Level 3 on Guiding Principle 1.
The district scores a Level 2 on Guiding Principle 2 in that it has adopted an Instructional Management Plan that is in compliance with state department policy and state law.
The district meets standard on Guiding Principle 3. The Wayne County High School Handbook advertises the accelerated and advancement placement courses offered at the high school. The school also provides course selection contracts to students in the ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grade that list the accelerated and advance placement courses.
On Guiding Principle 4, the district earns a Level 2. It has developed, adopted, and implemented an Instructional Management Plan complete with scope and sequence based on the process skills defined in the Mississippi Department of Education Program Outcomes.
The board-adopted Instructional Management Plan includes a section on career exploration and life skills. The instructors at each school provide lessons that meet the objectives defined in this section. This earns the district a Level 2 on Guiding Principle 5.
The district earns Above Standard status on Guiding Principle 6. The Instructional Management Plan includes a section on visual and performing arts with a well-defined scope and sequence. The instructors at each school provide detailed lessons in all phases of the visual and performing arts. Students participate in performances at the various schools and produce various forms of artwork.
Criterion II: Program Administration and Management
The Wayne County School District meets or exceeds all standards established under this criterion. Fay Wells, the District Gifted Contact Person, holds a master’s degree in education and has 23 years of experience in gifted education. This gives the district an Above Standard rating on Guiding Principle 1. The district earns another Meets Standard on Guiding Principle 2. Gifted students in all schools are served for a minimum of 5 hours.
The district earns an Exemplary rating on Guiding Principle 3. Letters, memos, evaluation sheets, and online classrooms provide evidence of established on-going communication between the gifted education staff and parents at each school. The Wayne County Association for Gifted Children is an active parent advocacy group, and its members are included and consulted during the annual evaluation of the program.
On the various subsections of this guiding principle, the district earns an Above Standard rating on Guiding Principle 3.2 in that parents have regular opportunities to share input and make recommendations about program operations. The district earns a Meets Standard rating on Guiding Principle 3.3. Letters, memos, and emails provide evidence of regular communication between the gifted education staff, administrators, program coordinator, and advocacy groups. This standard also requires the completed annual evaluation to be presented to the Wayne County School Board for approval.
The district earns an Above Standard rating on Guiding Principle 4. The district provides adequate resources to support and sustain the goals and objectives of the STRETCH program. The gifted instructors are given the same budget for supplies as all other programs (Meets Standard). Teachers at each school share resources. The STRETCH instructors meet monthly. At these meetings, the gifted instructors share units that have been particularly effective at their schools. The district maintains a small instructional library on gifted education at Waynesboro Middle School.
Criterion III: Program Design
The Wayne County School District provided services to intellectually gifted students in grades 2 through 8 at four of the five schools. This gives the district an Above Standard rating on guiding principle 1. The district earns a Meets Standard on Guiding Principle 2 in that it does make appropriate use of state funds to satisfy programming needs. A teacher endorsed in gifted education is employed at each of the district elementary and middle schools serving students in grades 2 through 8.
On Guiding Principle 3, the district earns an Above Standard rating as the program is reviewed annually by a variety of stakeholders. The results are reported and used for strategic planning. A Mississippi Department of Education representative audits the district on a scheduled basis earning the district an Above Standard rating. The district also earns an Above Standard on Guiding Principle 3.2. The Instructional Management Plan adopted by the school board includes a clearly articulated mission/philosophy statement and accompanying goals and objectives (Meets Standard). The district also publicizes these documents in a Gifted Education Program Guide, and the various gifted teachers have included them on their Online Classrooms. (Above Standard).
The district earns a Meets Standard on Guiding Principle 4. Gifted students are grouped together for a minimum of five hours in an approved gifted education program. The district also earns a Meets Standard rating on Guiding Principle 5 in that local school district policies include provisions for the needs of gifted students.
Criterion IV: Program Evaluation
The district earns Exemplary ratings on two of the three guiding principles under this criterion. Guiding Principle 1: The district’s annual evaluation of the program is based on the stated program goals/outcomes (Meets Standard); the data is analyzed to determine the strengths of the program (Above Standard); and the analysis of the data is used to determine the goals and objectives of the following year (Exemplary).
Guiding Principle 2: The evaluation is conducted on an annual basis and solicits relevant information from students, parents, teachers, and building administrators. Volunteers are solicited from the Wayne County Association for Gifted Children as well as from the communities surrounding the individual schools. This earns the district the Above Standard rating.
The district meets standard on Guiding Principle 2.2.2 in that all individual data are held confidential.
The final Exemplary rating in earned on Guiding Principle 3.The district makes a written evaluation that presents the results in a clear and concise format to all stakeholders. This is designed to encourage follow-through by all stakeholders.
Criterion V: Socio-Emotional Guidance and Counseling
The district meets or exceeds the standards in this criterion. On Guiding Principle 1, the district STRETCH teachers provide specific activities that address the soico-emotional needs of the gifted students. These instructors also serve as counselors on an as-needed basis for their students. STRETCH Instructor Fay Wells attended an MDE-endorsed training session at MAGC to earn an Above Standard rating on this guiding principle. The district STRETCH instructors also provide career guidance to the gifted students. This earns the district a Meets Standard rating on Guiding Principle 2. The district also receives a Meets Standard rating on Guiding Principle 3. The STRETCH instructors provide counseling services to address the needs of at-risk gifted students.
The district earns an Above Standard rating on Guiding Principle 4. The board-adopted Instructional Management Plan includes a section that addresses the affective needs of the gifted students with a well-defined scope and sequence. The district earns a Meets Standard rating on Guiding Principle 5 in that gifted underachieving students are identified and served.
Criterion VI: Professional Development
The district earns an Exemplary rating on Guiding Principle 1. The gifted teachers are required to meet regularly. At these meetings, professional development is addressed. Teachers share resources on successful units as well as separate sessions on the identification and assessment procedures followed by the district. Other teachers were invited to attend, and the information was shared with all school staff members. On the subsections of this guiding principle, the district earns an Above Standard rating. The district allows the gifted teachers to attend non-district professional development each year and allows instructors to attend state and/or national conferences. All STRETCH instructors were allowed to attend the Mississippi Association for Gifted Children conference in September. The district earns an Above Average rating on Guiding Principle 1.3 in that the district maintains a small library of professional development materials at Waynesboro Middle School, and a procedure is in place that allows all school personnel ready access to the materials.
The district earns an Above Standard rating on Guiding Principle 1.4. Each year staff development is provided on developing and implementing a differentiated curriculum. The district earns an Above Standard rating on Guiding Principle 2 in that all STRETCH instructors are endorsed in gifted education and the teachers continue to pursue training to update skills in working with gifted students.
Criterion VII: Student Identification and Assessment
The district earns Exemplary ratings on three of the four subsections under Guiding Principle 1. On Guiding Principle 1.1, the district earns an Exemplary rating as written information on all phases the STRETCH program is available to the parents and public, and professional development on the characteristics of giftedness is held annually. The district screens all first grade students enrolled in the district’s schools, and the school board has adopted a policy requiring blanket screening of these students. This earns the district an Exemplary rating on Guiding Principle 1.2. The district follows a policy, adopted by the school board, of accepting referrals for multiple sources. This earns the district an Exemplary rating on Guiding Principle 1.3. The district earns an Above Standard rating on Guiding Principle 1.4. Parents are provided information regarding the characteristics of giftedness and programming options offered by the district. The district has established a small library at WMS containing materials specifically related to giftedness and/or special needs of gifted students.
On Guiding Principle 2, the district earns an Exemplary rating. The student assessment process utilizes multiple assessment measures that include both objective and subjective measures, and flexibility is used in selecting the appropriate measure for each student. The assessment and planning process is done in a timely manner. The district earns a Meets Standard on Guiding Principle 2.2.2 in that all assessment instruments used are reliable and valid.
The district earns an Above Standard rating on Guiding Principle 3.1. Written procedures are in place for student identification, informed consent, notification of results, student reassessment, and student exiting. The district provides parents with information regarding all phases of the referral and assessment process and results. The district earns an Above Standard rating on Guiding Principle 3.2. The district has written procedures in place for entering and exiting the program as well as guidelines for parent appeals. These guidelines are available to district personnel and the public, and are implemented consistently.
The district earns Exemplary ratings on all subsections under Guiding Principle 4. On Guiding Principle 4.1, the selection of instruments is based upon a comprehensive student profile and makes provisions for students with limited English proficiency (Exemplary). The district employs licensed examiners and provides a variety of appropriate instruments for the identification and assessment of gifted students. All personnel have been trained in choosing and administering the most appropriate instrument for each student (Exemplary). The district provides professional development for all personnel involved in the assessment and identification of potentially gifted students, and the district’s psychometerist and gifted contact person attended an MDE approved training in these areas. Training in these areas occurs on an ongoing basis. This earns the district an Exemplary rating on Guiding Principle 4.3.
Based on these findings, the Wayne County School District is meeting all standards established by the Mississippi Department of Education. The district program will continue to build upon the foundation it has established as it serves the intellectually gifted students enrolled in the various schools.
(Documentation to support these findings is maintained in Fay Wells’