District Mission Statement
The mission of the Southwest Licking School District is to assure that all students are prepared to be lifelong learners who possess a sense of self-worth, critical thinking ability, and necessary life skills enabling them to solve problems, adapt to change, value beauty, diversity, and cooperation, and be productive citizens. The mission will be accomplished by a skilled and dedicated staff providing personalized instruction with family and community support and participation by students in safe, modern facilities where quality education and technological materials are the standard.
District Philosophy for Gifted Education
Southwest Licking supports the philosophy that giftedness denotes the possession and use of untrained natural abilities (Gagne). Outstanding abilities are present in students from all cultural groups, across all economic strata, and in all areas of human endeavor. Gifted students’ natural abilities translate to educational needs that require differentiated instructional programming as an integrated part of their regular school day. In addition, the district supports research-based continuing staff development opportunities so that district teaching and administrative personnel may, through their teaching and educational leadership, ensure students learn and achieve at levels commensurate with their exceptional abilities.
Children are a valuable resource. The individual and society receive maximized benefits when attributes are enhanced and developed. Gifted children and youth are a unique group, who, due to high intellectual ability, need and profit from an educational program that provides curriculum beyond that available in the normal classroom. Students benefit from a curriculum that extends their learning in depth, breadth, and complexity at an accelerated pace.
Southwest Licking Local Schools recognize the responsibility to provide an educational environment in which each individual can develop character, leadership, service, and scholarship according to his/her abilities and needs.
To accomplish these goals, Southwest Licking Local Schools offer many differentiated programs. The district is committed to providing organized, diverse programs for students to offer educational experiences commensurate with the gifted students' learning abilities.
For more information about gifted education in Southwest Licking Local Schools, please contact Ashley LeJeune, Gifted Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Licking County Schools Philosophy for Gifted Education
We believe all children should be provided a variety of educational opportunities designed to foster maximum development and personal actualization. In order to realize their contributions to self and society, Gifted and Talented students, by virtue of their outstanding abilities and being capable of high performance, require differentiated educational services beyond those normally provided by the regular school program. We support the development and implementation of services, which will assist gifted and talented students to reach their full cognitive and creative potential. Services for the Gifted and Talented students should be an integral part of the total educational program and not an optional provision.
Motivating and challenging Gifted and Talented students enhances both the student and society. Research suggests these students often learn by intuitive leaps and unique perceptions; therefore, their educational provisions must also be unique to allow interaction with their intellectual peers in specialized risk-free environments separate from the regular classroom. These youth are individually and intellectually different. Local conditions vary. One cannot say there is one best single pattern for organizing educational for the Gifted and Talented; however, these students need to be provided opportunity for interaction with their intellectual peers
Local school districts in Licking County will be given support to design services which are based upon the nature of giftedness, comply with Ohio’s House Bill 282, the Ohio Revised Code (ORC 3324-01-07), and with the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC 3301-51-15), and are compatible with local school district philosophies and student needs.
State of Ohio Definition of Gifted
The state of Ohio 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 who are identified under division (A), (B), (C), or (D) of section 3324.03 of the Ohio Revised Code.
- Gifted Identification
- Referral for Gifted Identification
- Placement Criteria for Gifted Services
- Gifted Services
- Summer and Community Opportunities
- Family and Student Resources
- Additional Information
District Gifted Identification Plan
The district accepts referrals, screens and identifies, or screens and reassesses students who perform or show potential for performing at high levels of accomplishment in the areas of superior cognitive ability, specific academic ability, creative thinking ability, and/or visual and/or performing arts. Referrals can be made by a review of student’s data history, a teacher, a parent or guardian, the student, or any individual. The district must follow policy and procedures established in Ohio Administrative Code 3301-51-15. These rules specify that assessment instruments must come from the list approved by the Ohio Department of Education.
Whole Grade Screening
Students in grades 2 and 5 - 8 will be screened using the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) in reading and math one to three times per year; as well as the STAR Reading assessment in grade K-1 and 2-4. Notification of new gifted identification will occur in October, January/February, and June. Students in grade 11 will take the ACT. Students in grades 2 and 5 take the NNAT3 in November to screen for superior cognitive ability. Students who score high on the NNAT3 will also be screened for creative thinking. Scores are sent home within thirty days of receiving the scores.
Any student in Grades K-12 may be referred for testing in superior cognitive, specific academic, or creative thinking abilities for up to two opportunities per year for testing (including whole grade screenings). Students referred by October 1st will be tested between November 1st and January 1st. Students referred by February 1st will be tested between March 1st and May 1st. Students referred by June 1st will be tested between June 1st and August 1st. Students referred after June 1st will be tested in the fall. Scores are sent home within thirty days of receiving the scores. Testing cannot be performed unless a permission form is on file.
Out of District Testing
Any student in grades K – 12 may submit to the Coordinator of Gifted Services testing done by a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist if the assessment is on the State of Ohio’s approved vendor list, and the assessment was given in the last twenty-four months. Common testing includes the ACT, SAT, or PSAT. Results of the assessment review will be sent home within thirty days of receiving the documents.
Visual and Performing Arts Assessment
The assessment process for arts gifted identification is a multi-step process. Individual referrals of students in grades K- 12 are accepted between August 1st and October 1st and again from December 1st through March 1st. Parent permission is obtained shortly after the window closes with teachers completing the checklists in October/February and eligible students finishing the process with their audition or display of talent in March/September.
The State of Ohio forbids the use of state testing (OST) for gifted identification or placement in gifted services. The state tests measure a student’s achievement in grade level standards and do not assess if a student has mastered above grade-level standards.
Testing Results for Gifted Identification
To be identified as gifted in superior cognitive ability, a student must score two standard deviations above the norm on any approved assessment. To be identified as gifted in a specific academic area, a student must score 95% or higher on any approved achievement assessment.
Gifted identification in another Ohio public school district may be recognized by Southwest Licking Local Schools. Families should provide documentation of identification from the previous district when enrolling the child. Students identified as gifted by a district outside of Ohio may be identified in Ohio if the tests used are less than twenty-four months old and are on the Ohio Department of Education’s approved list of instruments. If the testing does not meet the criteria, the student may be referred for testing within ninety days of enrollment at family request.
Identification and Placement Appeal Process
In the event of a concern, parents or guardians should contact the Coordinator of Gifted Education. However, if the concern remains, the family may file an appeal regarding identification or placement. The appeal must be submitted in writing within 30 days of parent notification of identification results or a placement decision. Appeals should be mailed to the Assistant Superintendent at 927-A South Street Pataskala, Ohio 43062. The Assistant Superintendent will issue a written final decision within 30 days of the appeal.
Referrals for Gifted Identification
SWL Schools accepts referrals from students or other individuals throughout the year. Please see the link below for a description of the areas of gifted identification and characteristics of each area.
Referral Form for Gifted Identification Testing
Referrals must be made using the District Referral Form linked below. No student may be assessed until his or her parent or guardian has completed the Permission to Assess Form.
Timelines for Specific Academic, Creative Thinking, and Superior Cognitive Identification Referrals
- Students referred for assessment by October 1st will be tested between November 1st and January 1st.
- Students referred for assessment by February 1st will be tested between March 1st and May 1st.
- Students referred for assessment by June 1st will be tested between June 1st and August 1st.
- Students referred for assessment after June 1st will be tested in the fall.
Timelines for Visual and Performing Arts Identification Referrals
Students referred for assessment between August 1st and October 1st will have screener checklists completed within thirty days of receiving permission to assess and eligible students based on the screener will finishing the process with their audition or display of talent in March.
Students referred for assessment between December 1st through March 1st will have screener checklists completed within thirty days of receiving permission to assess and eligible students based on the screener will finishing the process with their audition or display of talent in September.
Placement Criteria for Gifted Services
Each year, student data on state approved gifted assessments are reviewed to determine placements. Teacher recommendations and classroom assessments and grades are not used for placement. Students are prioritized for tiered services based on data. Gifted services are filled using the prioritized list for each grade level. When possible, a space is left in tier one and tier two gifted service classrooms. Criteria is based on the cumulative scores and gifted identifications of all students in the grade levels relevant to the gifted service.
National Association for Gifted Students has published gifted programming standards and student outcomes. Southwest Licking Local Schools has created programming that supports these standards and outcomes. Teachers of the gifted strive to accomplish these objectives and create a learning environment for students to obtain NAGC outcomes. Please see the link below for more information.
Students in gifted services at the elementary and middle school levels can expect to complete approximately the same amount of homework as their age peers. Usually homework will be focused on providing additional practice. Please discuss any homework concerns with your child’s teachers.
Written Education Plan (WEP)
Instruction of students placed in a gifted service shall be based on the individual's needs and be guided by a written education plan. Per state law, students who are served by the school district must have a written education plan (WEP). The district shall provide families with periodic reports regarding the effectiveness of the placement provided in accordance with the child's written educational plan. Families are asked to return the written education plan acknowledging receipt of the WEP. The signed WEP will be placed in a student’s permanent file.
It is important that our gifted programs adapt to the needs of our students and the communities. Therefore, often students and their families will be asked to participate in a survey about gifted services. The survey is anonymous. The results of the surveys are used to improve our programming.
Each year we reevaluate our gifted services based on program surveys, current district resources and needs, current state regulations, availability of staff to provide gifted services, and other factors. Therefore, gifted service offerings are subject to change.
Elementary and Middle School Gifted Services (2nd–8th Grades)
Tier One Services
Advanced Classrooms (3rd, 4th, and 5th grades)
Based on cognitive and achievement gifted testing data from previous years, students will be placed in an advanced self-contained gifted services classroom or cluster classroom settings. The instruction of this class is designed to meet the needs of the superior cognitive student who may or may not have other areas of gifted identification. If the class must be filled beyond the number of superior cognitive students in the grade level, students identified as gifted who have substantially high above average cognitive scores and reading and/or math identifications may be placed in the classroom. However, these students may not be placed in this service in subsequent years.
Advanced Language Arts and Math (6th, 7th, and 8th grades)
Students who display the greatest achievement in language arts over the last four years on the MAP test will be placed in advanced language arts and students who display the greatest achievement in math over the last four years on the MAP test will be placed in advanced math. These courses are self-contained gifted classrooms and are designed to address the needs of the gifted learner.
Math Course Progression:
Students in gifted services are on pathway B for math progression. A very few students will move to pathway C at the end of the sixth-grade year. Please see the link below for more information.
Tier Two Services
General Education Classrooms with Gifted Clusters with a Gifted Intervention Specialist (2nd - 5th grade)
Based on testing data from previous years, students identified as gifted are placed in general education classrooms with gifted clusters. Students are grouped together with other students who share their same gifted identification and are served by a gifted intervention specialist.
Tier Three Services
General Education Classrooms with Gifted Clusters (6th - 8th grade)
Students will be served in math and/or language arts gifted clusters in the general education classrooms if they meet ALL of these requirements:
- gifted identification in reading or math
- a cognitive score of 116 or higher
- have at least one achievement score of 95% or higher in the last four years
Deliberate placing of students identified as gifted allows for the teachers to provide targeted instruction for the needs of the gifted learner in the general classrooms. Please note, not all students identified as gifted in a specific academic area may be served.
High School Gifted Services
The high school offers a variety of courses including Honors, Advanced Placement, and College Credit Plus classes that are part of our gifted offerings. Students with guidance from families and teachers self-select coursework. Students who are identified gifted may be best served in gifted service classrooms. When considering course selections, families and students should consider a student’s future career goals, areas of gifted identification, student interest, student involvement in other activities, and other unique considerations. Typically, a student identified as specific academic gifted usually should take courses in their area(s) of identification to assure the instruction is appropriate for the student’s abilities. Students who are identified as superior cognitive ability should typically take multiple gifted service courses to help assure the instruction is appropriate for the student’s abilities.
High school guidance counselors will meet individually with each student who is identified as gifted and discuss the services available. Guidance counselors will send a course request form home for parents to review and sign. The form will indicate the courses the district advises the student to take based on his or her gifted identification(s). This form serves as notice of the district offering services or not offering services to the student. Additional the high school provides gifted cluster service in general education classrooms as possible. If a student chooses not to take a gifted service class in his or her area of gifted identification and is not served in a gifted cluster, the form will serve as the refusal of gifted services and will be placed in the student’s permanent file.
State Model Acceleration Policy
Southwest Licking Local Schools has adopted the state model acceleration policy.
Please see the document below for highlights of the model policy or click on the link below to review the model state policy.
Early Entrance Kindergarten or First Grade
Students must turn five years old prior to August 1st to be enrolled in kindergarten and six years old prior to August 1st to be enrolled in first grade. Students who do not meet this requirement may apply for early entrance under the district’s acceleration policy.
- Request for early entrance kindergarten or 1st grade using the district referral form for acceleration below must be received by June 1st for all current residents of the district. Residents, who move into the district after June 1st, must submit a request for early entrance within 30 days of residency or no later than August 1st. Proof of the date residency was established must be provided. After this date, no referrals will be accepted for the current school year.
- Early Entrance to Kindergarten Application Packet
- Early Entrance Referral: Southwest Licking Schools
- District Referral Form for Acceleration
All subject acceleration or grade level acceleration referrals must be made using the District Referral Form for Acceleration. Referrals must be returned to the Coordinator of Gifted Services.
Summer and Community Enrichment Opportunities
Opportunities are for information only and are not sponsored by SWL Schools. Please investigate the opportunities to determine if the event is appropriate for your family and child.
Check back in the spring for summer opportunities in our area.
Thurber House, Columbus, Ohio, has a variety of creative writing opportunities and events. Check out the Thurber House website after clicking on youth programs to find one that is of interest to your child.
National Write a Novel in a month challenge starts November 1st! NaNoWriMo website
Resources for Families and Kids
The information provided on the website is informational only and is not an endorsement of any organization or product.
The family resource page has suggestions for where families can go for more information on a variety of topics regarding students who are identified as gifted. Please reach out to Mrs. LeJeune, Coordinator of Gifted Services, if you need more information about a specific topic or have concerns or questions regarding your child.
The student resource page has a list of websites students can go to for enrichment and remediation. A brief description is provide for each website. Families, please supervise your child's use of these websites.
Resources for Families of Students who are Gifted
Here are some links to find more information on topics specific to children who are gifted:
- NAGC Tips for a Summer of Play
- NAGC Enrichment at Home for Gifted Learners
- Library of Videos and Topics Addressing Social and Emotional Needs of Gifted Learners
- Davidson Institute Resources and Links to Other Resources
- National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Resources for Parents
Student Resources: Southwest Licking Gifted Website for Students
Resources for Kids
- Three Act Math Tasks: Videos set up with math discussion questions and problems to solve!
- Whyville: Curious about the world around you? Create a character for Whyville and learn a lot about a bit of everything.
- Roblox: Online building game for younger children. Problem-solving and creativity skills are developed!
- Highlights for Kids: Critical thinking and creativity activities and puzzles
- Website Builders: Provides information about how the internet and related items work
- Classics for Kids: Explore the world of classical music through a variety of games and access to music
- National Geographic Kids: Lots of games and information on the earth and the animals on the planet
- San Francisco Orchestra: Site for kids to explore composing, performing, and conducting.
- American Museum of Natural History: Lots of information and games related to a variety of science and social studies topics.
- National Gallery of Art: Interactive site with games and information on art and art history.
- NASA: Lots of information and games about space
- National Council of Teachers of Mathematics: Very challenging puzzles and word problems to solve for all grades including ones for high level math content in high school. Family section with information about supporting math skills at home.
- World Food Program: Answer trivia questions from a variety of categories and earn rice to feed those in need around the world. The program is adaptive meaning it gets more difficult to adjust to the child's ability.
- Coolmath.com: Tons of math games for all ages and references and lessons for a ton of math topics.
- Hoagies: This site has a ton of links to other sites that the site has deemed great for kids identified as gifted.
- Childhood 101: This site provides a list of twelve free sites that will teach kids coding
- Koo Bits: This site provides a list of ten free sites that will teach kids various languages.
Students new to the district who have been identified as gifted (per the gifted identification process for transfer students) will be served in the appropriate classroom based on availability. The following school year the child will be considered for gifted services using the placement process.
Students Identified as Gifted Not in Gifted Services
Teachers are notified of all students who are gifted in their general education classrooms. The Coordinator of Gifted Services and teachers of gifted services are available as resources to general education teachers differentiating for students identified as gifted. Students may want to take advantage of the enrichment opportunities offered throughout the district and community.
The RTI Process
The Response to Intervention (RTI) process is a method used to monitor and assist students not achieving at their level of ability. Gifted students performing on grade level may be performing below their potential ability. Teachers and families need to monitor student performance to initiate intervention assistance when an achievement/ability gap occurs.
While gifted students have great potential for academic success, instances occur when children struggle to perform at their expected level of achievement. Even a student performing above grade level may not be meeting his or her full potential due to curricular, behavioral, or affective issues. Open communication between families and teachers is essential. Teachers will implement interventions in the classroom and the school. If these interventions are not successful, teachers and parents should follow Southwest Licking Local School District’s RTI process before considering withdrawal from services.
Refusal of Services
If a family wants to remove their child from gifted services, whenever possible a meeting will be convened to determine whether the student will remain in the service with interventions put in place or a timeline for removal. A student who withdraws from gifted placement will not be accepted back into the service during that same school year.
Parents or guardians must complete a refusal of service form every year that service is refused. This form is available from the building principal or Coordinator of Gifted Services. The form will be signed by the building administrator and Coordinator of Gifted Services and placed in the student’s permanent file. A meeting will not be required after the initial withdraw though a refusal of services form must be filed each year the student is offered placement in gifted services.
We welcome family and community members to enrich our gifted programming in our district. In particular, we are always looking for adults willing to mentor our students, organizations who can involve our students in their work, adults willing to share unique experiences and careers, and adults and high school students willing to volunteer in the classroom or oversee special activities like chess or quiz bowl. If you are interested in volunteering, you will need to complete the district's volunteer process. Please contact your child's teacher(s) or the Coordinator of Gifted Services for more information.