Charlottesville City Schools revamp gifted student model

Charlottesville City Schools is revamping the way it identifies gifted students
Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 10:14 AM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Charlottesville City Schools is revamping the way it identifies gifted students, as the state requires schools systems to create a standard. Staffers say they are working to make the process inclusive with a focus on equity.

“The school division, the previous superintendent, the board, had been having lots of discussion about the disproportionality of the identification of students,” CCS Chief Academic Officer Katina Otey said.

Otey says 32% of the student body are African-American students.

“Only 10 % of them were identified a gifted, whereas 71% of Caucasian students were identified, they only make up about 40% of our population,” she said.

The testing is one thing that held some students back.

“Assessments aren’t geared to all students. So now we’re looking more at growth with a new model,” Otey said.

That model shifts focus from pulling out gifted students to pushing in gifted resource specialists to work with the teacher and the whole class.

Two resource teachers were assigned to each school to enforce the new initiative.

“It really included making sure that students that were responsive to tier one instruction, first instruction, and who were able to participate in state assessments were able to be identified,” Otey said.

The shift from focus on test scores to catering to students’ specific needs changed the standard for kids. Now, 86% of students in Charlottesville schools are named gifted, building a bridge between different demographics.

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