The Lampeter-Strasburg School District is committed to an educational program that recognizes individual student differences. Embodied in this commitment is the responsibility to help mentally gifted students maximize their high potential. Lampeter-Strasburg School District recognizes the varied dimensions of giftedness and thus utilizes multiple criteria to identify gifted students. Multiple criteria includes leadership, school achievement, cognitive ability, and creativity. These students exhibit learning styles and thinking dimensions which demand experiences both inside and outside the educational mainstream. The program for gifted students provides a comprehensively planned curriculum that allows both acceleration and enrichment. Incorporated in the program are higher-level thinking skills such as inquiry, problem solving, and creative thinking. Development of self-direction, risk-taking, curiosity, imagination, and interpersonal relations is also emphasized.
A universal screening is conducted in the spring of 2nd grade. Currently, the District administers the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) to all students during their 2nd grade year. The screening is done to help District staff target students who may need challenge/enrichment beyond what the typical classroom teacher is able to provide. The CogAT is a fast but reliable and valid measure to indicate possible giftedness. Students scoring at/above the 90th percentile on the screening are referred for formal evaluation with the school psychologist.
High achieving students prior to spring of 2nd grade, for whom staff identify as highly likely in need of specially designed instruction, are referred to the gifted support teacher for informal Challenge programming. These students score 2 years or more above grade level on reading and/or math assessments. At any time, while receiving these services, parents or school staff may recommend formal testing. Offering these services at the K-2 level, prior to formal testing, has helped to provide educational enrichment to high achieving students while also waiting on formal evaluation until such time as cognitive scores are more stable and reliable measures of true mental giftedness.
Students at all ages/grades may be referred for screening and evaluation, beyond the general guidelines of the universal screening.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education defines mentally gifted as outstanding intellectual and creative ability, the development of which requires special services and programs not ordinarily provided in the regular education program. This term includes a person who has an IQ of 130 or higher and when multiple criteria as set forth in Department Guidelines indicated gifted ability. Determination of gifted ability will not be based on IQ score alone. A person with an IQ score lower than 130 may be admitted to gifted programs when other educational criteria in the profile of the person strongly indicate gifted ability. Determination of mentally gifted shall include a full assessment and comprehensive report by a public school psychologist specifying the nature and degree of the ability. 22PACode Chapter 342 L-S utilizes a screening and identification process. Teachers, parents, school counselors, a school psychologist, administrators, and other individuals at the parents' request are involved in the process. The process includes: 1) Review of classroom performance and school records; 2) Use of rating scales and parental input; 3) Evaluation by school psychologist and multidisciplinary evaluation. All students in the gifted education program demonstrate a need for specialized instruction.
- To provide all District personnel with adequate knowledge, skills, and resources to be effective partners in the delivery of gifted education programming.
- To encourage parental involvement in all phases of the gifted education program.
- To identify and meet the needs of all students with giftedness, including culturally diverse and underachieving students.
- To include instructional strategies which stress learning, motivation, creativity, and leadership.
- To utilize community resources in the implementation of gifted education programming.
- To encourage active participation of all staff members.
- To promote a learning environment that encourages and rewards divergent thinking and risk taking.
- To support gifted students in the development of a positive self-concept, intrinsic motivation, awareness of self and others, and the ability to transfer information to humanistic goals.
A wide variety of options are available to students within their Individualized Education Plans. The learning objectives in each student's Gifted Individual Education Plan (GIEP) are developed from his or her unique needs. Development of creativity, leadership, high level thinking and problem solving, advanced study and research skills, and affective skills are included in the GIEPs as needed for individual children. Consultative services to the regular classroom teacher, instruction in the gifted classroom for various amounts of time, seminars, independent studies, field trips, and mentoring are available to students in all grade levels. Acceleration and enrichment are provided both within the regular classroom setting and through the instruction provided by the teacher of the gifted. Close communication between the regular education teachers, parents, and the gifted education teachers occurs throughout the school years. Students are involved in program planning at the high school and as appropriate in earlier grades.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) specifies rights related to educational records. This Act gives the parent or guardian the right to: 1) Inspect and review his/her child's educational records; 2) make copies of these records; 3) receive a list of all individuals having access to those records; 4) ask for an explanation of any item in the records; 5) ask for an amendment to any report on the grounds that it is inaccurate, misleading, or violates the child's rights; and 6) a have hearing on the issue if the school refuses to make the amendment.
Equal Rights and Opportunities Policy
Lampeter-Strasburg School District is an equal opportunity education institution and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, marital status, or handicaps and disabilities in its programs, services, activities, or employment practices as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. For information regarding civil rights or grievance procedures and information regarding services, activities, and facilities that are accessible to and useable by handicapped persons, contact the Assistant Superintendent, Title VI, Title IX, and Section 504 Compliance Officer for the School District, at P.O. Box 428, Lampeter, PA 17537, 717-464-3311.