Forest Hills offers a wide variety of learning options so that each student’s individual needs are met through programs and services that are matched with their abilities. One such service is Extend Learning Opportunities (gifted education), which adjusts the pace and rigor of instruction to provide an appropriate level of challenge for a student.
The Ohio Department of Education defines a gifted student as one who performs or shows potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared to others of their age, experience, or environment in one of the gifted areas.
FHSD is in the process of expanding gifted services to broaden learning opportunities for students. Future work and alignment will provide a continuum of services that truly deepen student learning.
Based upon a student's ability, need, interest and task commitment, gifted services may be provided in any of the following ways in accordance with Ohio Revised Code:
To help meet the needs of gifted students, Forest Hills teachers in all grades receive on-going professional development regarding gifted student services and consult with Gifted Intervention Specialists (GIS), a teacher with a special license who works to help provide services to gifted students.
Together, GIS and classroom teachers provide services and enrichment opportunities to students who are identified as superior cognitive (generally intellectually gifted), gifted in reading, gifted in math or gifted in social studies. Enrichment opportunities maximize learning and individual student development by stimulating individual interests, developing critical thinking skills, encouraging participation, fostering curiosity and empowering students to own their learning.
Students who are identified as superior cognitive (generally intellectually gifted), or gifted in math, or gifted in reading receive gifted services from their classroom teacher in the general education classroom.
Students who are identified as gifted in reading or math receive gifted services from their classroom teacher in the general education classroom.
Taught by a Gifted Intervention Specialist, the Math Plus program is also offered as a daily advanced class for students who qualify. Math Plus includes daily advanced math and interdisciplinary units of study that connect mathematics, language arts, social studies and science content. In order to qualify for the Math Plus program:
- Students in the class of 2025 and prior classes must earn at least a 122 cognitive ability score and a math achievement composite score that ranks at least in the 97th percentile or a superior cognitive ability identification.
- Students in the class of 2026 and beyond must earn at least a 120 cognitive ability score and a math achievement composite score that ranks at least in the 95th percentile (within the last year) or a superior cognitive ability identification. This new criteria was established as part of a thoughtful process to expand gifted services and broaden learning opportunities for students.
FHSD will continue to analyze and audit programming and expand opportunities as necessary to meet the diverse needs of all students.
Students who are identified as superior cognitive (intellectually gifted), or math identified (enrolled in Accelerated Math 7, Math I), or reading identified receive services by the general education teacher in the regular classroom with cluster grouping.
The Gifted Intervention Specialist, teaches the elective gifted encore course, Gift.Ed. It is offered as a quarter class for students who have been identified in the areas of superior cognitive (intellectually gifted), or reading, or math on a state-approved standardized test. Gift.Ed is an interdisciplinary opportunity for critical thinking, problem solving and independent learning. Technologies that incorporate STEM topics and apply creative thinking skills to open-ended challenges are explored. Student input and interests are considered as knowledge development and leadership skills are enriched through self-driven investigations.
Students identified as superior cognitive, or reading, or math gifted are served daily during Encore time for one quarter. Students identified as superior cognitive also meet with the Gifted Intervention Specialist for one unit of Academic Flex Time (AFT). Students identified as superior cognitive as well as an academic area can choose to participate in an Encore class (Gift.Ed) as well as an AFT class.
Students who are identified as superior cognitive (generally intellectually gifted) or gifted in social studies or gifted in reading receive gifted services from the Advanced Placement social studies teacher during the AP social studies class.
SCREENING AND ASSESSMENT
Forest Hills School District follows the identification eligibility criteria as specified in Section 3324.01.07 of the Ohio Revised Code and the Ohio Operating Standards for Identifying and Serving Gifted Students. At present, no state requirements exist for services for identified students. Students in grades K-12 who are identified as gifted in accordance with state guidelines may not necessarily be eligible for gifted services in Forest Hills.
The Ohio Department of Education requires all school districts to offer two opportunities per year to parents to have their children assessed for possible gifted identification. All referrals for gifted assessment are accepted and the district does not discriminate in any way.
The Ohio Department of Education published an approved list of tests that may be used for gifted assessment. Forest Hills uses a variety of assessments for this purpose.
To be identified as gifted, a student must be assessed using one of the instruments approved by the Ohio Department of Education and must score in a defined range. Opportunities for assessment are offered twice a year. Forest Hills ensures that there will be ample and appropriate scheduling procedures for screening assessment (and reassessment) including group tests and individually administered assessments.
Parent requests for reassessment must be submitted in writing by Sept. 15 for fall testing and Feb. 15 for spring testing.
Referrals to request that their child be screened for possible gifted identification can be made by:
- School Counselor
- School Psychologist
- School Administrator
- Gifted Services Representative
FHSD has established guidelines to provide for gifted assessment of disadvantaged students, children with disabilities, and ELL students. This information is available upon request from the Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment.
Students who are transferring from another district to Forest Hills will begin to receive gifted services after FHSD’s receipt of assessment information from the district in which the student was identified and confirmation of eligibility.
WRITTEN EDUCATION PLAN (WEP)
Upon successful assessment and gifted identification, parents/guardians receive a letter regarding the area(s) in which the student has been identified and the score achieved. Using guidelines from the Ohio Department of Education, each student who receives gifted services is provided an individual plan for success, called a Written Education Plan (WEP). This includes identification information as well as learning and affective (social, emotional) goals. These goals are based on the district’s curriculum, student needs and student interests. Parents will receive a copy of the WEP annually. Each grading period, parents will receive the FHSD report card and state assessment results highlighting achievement and progress.
WITHDRAWING FROM GIFTED SERVICES
If a student wishes to withdraw from the gifted program, parents/guardians must request the withdrawal in writing to the building gifted intervention specialist. All withdrawals are valid for one school year and students will become eligible for Extended Learning Opportunities the following year.
For more information, contact Bob Buck, coordinator of elementary programs (gifted), at email@example.com or 231-3600, or a gifted teacher below:
- Ayer Elementary - Amy Brown
- Maddux- Elementary - Debra Smith
- Mercer Elementary - Jill Martin
- Sherwood Elementary - Anita Hughes
- Summit Elementary - Tiffany NeCamp
- Wilson Elementary - Wendy Teismann
- Nagel Middle School - Rose Arnell, Ph.D.