GIFTED PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
The Galena Park Independent School District identifies and serves gifted and talented students who excel consistently or who show the potential to excel in the areas of general intellectual ability and creative and productive thinking.
The district serves students in grades kindergarten through twelve. Every effort is made to place students in the most appropriate educational setting.
Journeys is a talent pool of identified students in kindergarten through fifth grade. It is an enrichment program designed to serve the top four to seven percent of the student population at each grade level at each campus.
Beginning in the fourth grade, students are eligible to participate in the Encounters program which consists of the district’s top three to five percent. This provision is maintained through grade nine.
Students in the fourth and fifth grade Encounters program participate in pull-out services one day a week at a designated school.
The top three to five percent of the district’s students in grades seven through nine participate in the Encounters program on their home campus.
Students in grades six through twelve also participate in the Pre-Advanced Placement and Advanced Placement Program through classes offered in specific academic areas. Students also participate in other options at the high school level (concurrent enrollment and/or independent study) appropriate to their educational endeavors.
Frequently Asked Questions
How are the Gifted and Talented students evaluated?
Report cards specific to Journeys, grades K-5, and Encounters, grades 4-5 only, are given to students periodically. This report informs the parents of the many topics of study which are covered every grading period. This report card also reports the student's academic commitment. Grades 6-9 receive a grade on their report card for the Encounters class.
How are the student's needs met?
A student's needs are met through differentiated classroom experiences. The identified population, both Journeys and Encounters, is given the opportunity to develop effective leadership skills and encouraged to think at a very high level. Enrichment activies throughout the curriculum are provided through innovative and effective teaching strategies which include scientific units of investigative study, creative approaches to research, creative problem-solving, critical thinking, and decision making.
What is differentiated curriculum?
Galena Park ISD has adopted activities for Journeys and Encounters that meets the needs of the identified population. The difference is in the content, the process, and/or the product.
How are the Gifted and Talented (Journeys and Encounters) students selected?
Students are selected by a committee comprised of at least three individuals with training in the Nature and Needs of Gifted children. The committee can consist of any combination of the Director of Advanced Academics, the Program Director of Advanced Academics, the Gifted and Talented Specialists/Teachers, and other trained individuals. The following criteria are used: aptitude test scores, achievement test scores, teacher profile scores, creativity scores, a student's submitted products, and evidence of outstanding school and/or community performance.
How can I request for my child to be tested for Gifted and Talented services?
A request for testing may be made by contacting your child's teacher or the Advanced Academics office (832.386.1064). You may also complete this referral form to have your child tested. All referrals are due by January 1st of each year with the exception of Kindergarten referrals, which are due by October 1st. Testing will take place during the designated time for each grade level (Kindergarten - November/December, 1st and 3rd Grades - January/February/March, 4th grade and above - April/May). All second graders will be tested in February, there is no need to request testing for those students.
What is the difference between Journeys and Encounters?
Journeys is the top 4-7% of students at any one campus, grades K-5. Encounters is the top 3-5% of the district students and runs grades 4-9. The Journeys program serves students in the regular classroom on every elementary campus, while Encounters students are served in separate classes clustered entirely with other Gifted and Talented identified students.
Once identified, is a student always identified as Gifted and Talented?
The simple answer to this question is no. There are two separate services offered, Journeys and Encounters. Once a student is identified for one of the services, he/she will continue receiving that service until it ends (Journeys is kindergarten through fifth grade and Encounters is fourth grade through graduation). The exception to this would be if a student is exited from the program for lack of academic commitment or moves to a new campus. A student that is receiving services through Journeys must qualify to be selected for services through Encounters.
What would result in a student being exited from Gifted and Talented?
One or more of the following may result in a student being placed on probation or being exited from receiving services.
- Student shows signs of extreme frustration
- Student shows a lack of response and/or academic commitment (i.e., a student does not complete the required project)
- Student's performance falls below minimum academic standards (i.e., a student who earns an "F" in any subject)