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Roles of School Personnel in the Life of a Gifted Child

Roles of School Personnel

The first few years of parenting a gifted child can often be both awesome and overwhelming at the same time. By the time they are ready to enter school, the educational system can seem daunting to even the well-informed parent. While every school system may be different, they will share many of the same personnel. It’s important to learn who should be contacted in certain situations whether it is testing and identification, additional services, or the special needs of twice-exceptional students.

Who should be the first person contacted in a school when considering gifted education for a child? School psychologists are usually tasked with testing and identification of gifted students. Gifted coordinators should be contacted if there isn’t a school psychologist. Some schools may require that only the principal be contacted directly by parents. In any case, try to determine who your first contact should be prior to taking action.

Deciding whether additional services are necessary is usually a decision made by a team of professionals who may include the parent, classroom teacher, GT teacher, school psychologist, guidance counselor and/or parent. Several states use Gifted Individualized Education Plans in which specific services can be stipulated. In the case of twice-exceptional students in the U.S., parents may consider pursuing a 504 Plan. (See links below for more information.) A full transcript can be found here.


Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S., midnight in the UK and Saturdays 1 PM NZ/11 AM AEDT to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Pageprovides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community.

Head Shot 2014-07-14About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime advocate for gifted children and also blogs at Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at:



A Breakdown of the Roles of School Personnel

VA: Local School Boards: Roles & Responsibilities in Gifted Programs (pdf)

The Professional School Counselor and Gifted & Talented Student Programs (pdf)

OH: Gifted Education Coordinator Factsheet (pdf)

Social & Emotional Needs of Gifted Students: What School Counselors Need to Know

WI: Gifted & Talented Educational Services Plan

FL: Teacher of the Gifted Job Responsibilities (pdf)

KY: Nurturing Our Future ~ Parents’ Guide to Meeting Needs of Gifted & Talented Youth (pdf)

OK: Qualifications & Responsibilities of Gifted Education Program Staff (pdf)

Gifted Program Guidelines Responsibilities of District Personnel (pdf)

Auxiliary School Personnel: Their Roles, Training & Institutionalization (pdf 1966)

Diagnosis & Treatment of Attention Disorders: Roles for School Personnel

CT: Suggested Roles & Responsibilities of School Personnel

Roles of Related Services Personnel in Inclusive Schools

New Roles in Response to Intervention: Creating Success for Schools & Children (pdf)

Roles of School Personnel Section 504 Responsibilities (pdf)

Photo courtesy of MorgueFile.

Introducing Rigor at the Secondary Level

This chat was spirited from the very beginning. The first question asked  participants to define the term ‘rigor’ and many different perspectives were expressed. In terms of this topic, most could agree that rigor was academic challenge that needed to be tailored to the individual student. All were in agreement that more rigor was needed at the secondary level. According to Kingore, we need rigor to reverse learned ‘habits of mind’ from ‘the least I can do’ to higher-level thinking.

Instructional strategies mentioned included differentiation, Socratic learning and Problem/Project-based Learning. Students need to have increased opportunities to apply learning to real-life situations making learning relevant to their lives. Schools need to provide equitable access to many possibilities including additional rigorous courses for advanced learners. Educators need time to collaborate to ensure the organization and sequencing of curriculum.

It was noted that sometimes increasing rigor can unintentionally promote failure and frustration when it is perceived as more work, more difficult work and too fast-paced instruction. Well planned implementation was seen as key.

Although it was suggested that an increase of rigor and subsequent instructional strategies would be good for all students, it was noted that gifted students still need greater depth and complexity in their studies. A full transcript can be found on this blog.



Differentiating Instruction To Promote Rigor/Engagement For Advanced/Gifted Students 

Lift the Ceiling Increase Rigor with Critical Thinking Skills (pdf)

Differentiation at the Secondary Level (pdf)

Increase Complexity and Rigor in Tiered Assignments

Encouraging Achievement: Igniting Student Passion for Learning (Coil) (pdf)

Before and After the Walkthrough: What to Do to Improve Instructional Rigor (pdf)

Getting Rigor Right: Academic Challenge without the Backlash of Failure (pdf)

Increasing Rigor Throughout the Lesson: Data-Driven Classroom Best Practice

Rigor Redefined

A Resuscitation of Gifted Education (pdf)

High School Reform and Gifted Students from @DukeTIP

Introduction to Curriculum for Gifted & Talented Students (pdf)

Introducing Depth and Complexity” from @ByrdseedGifted

Go Deeper! Get More Complex” from @ByrdseedGifted

Transforming Textbook Questions” from @ByrdseedGifted

Is Unschooling Right for Your Gifted Child?

A lively discussion was engaged in during this week’s chat. I’m hopeful that new light was shed on unschooling and the  philosophy behind it. Participants included people from 16 states and 7 countries proving that this was a topic with global appeal. Although we chatted about unschooling in general, we also discussed why unschooling and homeschooling are so attractive to parents of gifted children. Mika Gustavson of Gifted Matters described unschooling as “Child-led learning; life-relevant learning; relevant-to-the-child learning.” A full transcript of the chat may be found here.

Two announcements were made during gtchat this past week. First, the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented will be powering our chat for the upcoming year. Many thanks to the folks at Texas Gifted, the Board of Directors and to J.J. Colburn, Executive Director for all they do and for their contribution to continuing the conversation within the global gifted community. Second, on June 7th at 7PM ET, #gtchat is pleased to welcome our first teen guest, Ms. Calista Frederick-Jaskiewicz, CEO of @OrigamiSalami1. We will spotlight Calista in an upcoming blog post!

Once again, #gtchat became a trending topic on Twitter. Our thanks to all the great contributors who attend chat each week and provide such a strong presence on Twitter. We couldn’t do it without you!


The Natural Child Project: What is Unschooling?

Four Reasons to Quit School and Become a Teenage Homeschooler

Thrive Right Now

The ‘Unschooling’ Movement: Good Parenting or UNparenting?

‘Unschooling’ Gaining Popularity, Allows Children Alternative Learning Tools

Extreme Homeschooling: No Tests, No Books, No Classes, No Curriculums

A New Chapter in Education: Unschooling

Unschooling 101

Unschooled: How One Kid Is Grateful He Stayed Home

“Shackles” of Structure Cast Off in Child-directed “Unschooling”

Unschooling or Homeschooling?

Socialization: A Great Reason Not to Go to School

The Beginner’s Guide to Unschooling

Meet a Mother That’s ‘Unschooling’ Her Kids (video)

The Benefits of Unschooling: Report I from a Large Survey

Gifted and Talented Ireland

Cybraryman’s Passion-based Learning Page

I Hate School

Cybraryman’s Genius Hour Page

Socratic Method

Cybraryman’s Socratic Seminar

Cybraryman’s Self-Directed Learning Page

Gifted Homeschooler Forum’s Unschooling Blog Hop

A Positive Vision of a Transformed Education

Cybraryman’s Questioning Techniques Page

Gifted Homeschoolers Forum: Educators’ Guide to Gifted Children

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The Educators’ Guide to Gifted Children is a new brochure from Gifted Homeschoolers Forum. Our guests for this chat included Corin Goodwin, Executive Director of GHF; Mika Gustavson, MFT, Director of GHF Professionals; and Marlow Schmauder, on behalf of GHF. When asked why GHF decided to write about this topic, they explained that they wanted a tool to help parents begin a conversation about their gifted kid with other adults. They added that many good teachers are still confused by the social and emotional needs and the difference between gifted & high achieving students. The brochure is free and can be downloaded here. A full transcript of the chat can be found here.

There will be no #gtchat next week. Our next chat will be Friday, May 10th @7PM EDT/6PM CDT and our topic will be “The Misdiagnosis Initiative” from @SENG_Gifted. Follow @gtchatmod on Twitter for all the latest information on #gtchat. Our Facebook Page can be found here.


Educators’ Guide to Gifted Children 

Education Alternatives from GHF

Gifted Homeschoolers Forum on Facebook

Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Email Discussion Group 

Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Professionals Email Community

Twice-Exceptional Resources at GHF

Twice-Exceptional Articles by Topic at GHF

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