Mission Statement: To create a learning community that honors diversity and mutual respect while developing the students’ talents and strengths through various resources and enrichment opportunities.
Okmulgee High School Gifted and Talented Program Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)
Q: What is R.I.S.E.?
A: R.I.S.E., or “Reaching Intellectual Success & Excellence”, is the gifted and talented program at Okmulgee High School.
Q: Who is considered a “gifted and talented” student?
A: According to the Oklahoma State Department of Education, a gifted and talented student is defined as: “those children identified at the preschool, elementary, and secondary level as having demonstrated potential abilities of high performance capability and needing differentiated or accelerated education or services. This may also include students who excel in one or more of the following areas: Creative Thinking Ability, Leadership Ability, Visual/Performing Arts Ability, and a Specific Academic Ability”.
Q: How can my student be identified as a gifted and talented student?
A: Pursuant to Oklahoma state law and the Okmulgee Public Schools district gifted and talented plan, a student can be identified as “gifted and talented” by one of two ways. The first way is for the student to take a nationally recognized, standardized intellectual ability test and score a 97% or better. The second way is for the student to meet a minimum of 3 criteria for inclusion as determined and approved by the Okmulgee High School site gifted and talented selection committee.
Q: Who is on the Okmulgee High School gifted and talented selection committee?
A: The selection committee is made up of a minimum of: a school counselor, the gifted and talented site coordinator, a teacher of gifted students, a regular teacher and an administrator as assigned by the building principal.
Q: Who is on the Okmulgee High School gifted and talented steering committee?
A: Currently, the RISE program is being developed by two core teachers, a parent of an OHS student, and a student representative. Each member of our steering committee has various experiences and perspectives in gifted education which allows us to address issues from all aspects of the program. We are confident in our ability to create a great gifted and talented program. We are also humble enough to admit that we do not have all the answers. So, we encourage any input from other teachers, parents, students, and other stake holders to make this program the best in the county and the state.
Q: What is the nationally recognized standardized intellectual ability test used to determine giftedness at Okmulgee High School?
A: The steering committee determined that the Otis-Lennon School Ability Test would be the test of choice for our program. However, any nationally recognized standardized intellectual ability test is sufficient and accepted for inclusion in the program.
Q: What are the criteria for inclusion in the RISE program?
A: According to the district gifted and talented plan, the site committee determines the criteria for inclusion into the program. The site steering committee met in March of 2016 to determine the following criteria for inclusion (Note: A student must meet a minimum of 3 of the following.): 1.) a student must maintain a 3.5 or better GPA on a 5.0 scale; 2.) a student must submit 2 Core teacher recommendations + 1 elective teacher recommendation or mentor recommendation highlighting the student’s giftedness or talents; 3.) a student must submit electronic and/or physical artifacts or samples of their gifts and/or talents; 4.) a student must submit proof of a minimum of a 28 on an individual subsection of the ACT test or a similar nationally recognized subject area test; and 5.) a student must submit a community service portfolio with a minimum of 3 entries with references highlighting their leadership potential.
Q: If my child has already been identified as a gifted and talented student, will my child have to reapply or retest annually?
A: There are two main scenarios that should be addressed.
First scenario: if your student is identified as being gifted and talented in the district at a previous site or in a previous year, then your student is not automatically continuously enrolled in the program. If your student was included because of testing, then the test result will allow inclusion for 3 years minimum. If your student was included because of a multi-criteria evaluation, then your student may be reviewed annually at the discretion of the site identification committee.
Second scenario: if your student has transferred from a different school district, then your student will not be identified as gifted and talented until all documentation has been received from the previous school district. Without this documentation, the student will have to apply to the program through the outlined identification procedures.
Q: Can my student be removed from the RISE program?
A: Yes. As outlined in the Okmulgee Public Schools district gifted and talented plan, a student may be removed from the program “if a student no longer meets the requirements for inclusion”. Also, a student can be removed from the program if they are interfering with effective teaching/learning experiences in the classroom. If a student is being considered for removal, the parent will be notified by mail and given an opportunity for a conference with the site selection committee. The parent will then fill out a withdrawal form signed by the student, the parent or guardian, the gifted and talented site coordinator, and a counselor.
Q: I do not want my student to be a part of the program. Can I request non-inclusion?
A: Yes. You may request your child not be a part of the program by written consent.
Q: What activities and services does the program offer to students?
A: Activities and services for the current year are still being discussed and decided within the steering committee.
Q: Will my student have to participate in every event or service?
A: No. Because of the diversity of the giftedness and talents of the students in the program, not all activities and services are geared for every student. However, participation in activities and services aligned to each individual student is highly encouraged and recommended for a rich and engaging experience.
Q: When, where, and how often do students meet?
A: Locations and times of the scheduled events will be made public on the Gifted and Talented webpage.
Q: Is there a separate class devoted to the gifted and talented students or is it serviced through a different class and/or curriculum?
A: It is the goal of the program to service our students in all of their classes through differentiated instruction and cluster grouping. However, the majority of the program will be serviced through the Advanced Placement and Pre-Advanced Placement classes. Additionally, we will have pull-out programs and activities for our students outside of the regular classroom environment periodically throughout the year.
Q: Can my student receive any advancement toward graduation through the program?
A: Outside of an independent study credit and the Pre-AP/AP curriculum, there is no special advancement toward graduation through the program. The program is designed to be an enrichment program to compliment the advanced curricula rather than replace requirements.
Q: Are there any special honors, awards, scholarships, etc. for my student if they are a part of the program?
A: The site steering committe is determining ways to distinquish our students in the RISE program from other students. When these determinations are made, we will make them public on the Gifted and Talented web page.
Q: How will the RISE program benefit my child’s emotional, social, and intellectual development?
A: One of our goals is to provide every student in the program a unique path of development catered specifically to them. The National Association for Gifted Students (NAGS) has produced many scholarly articles on their website addressing this topic in-depth. Here is an excerpt from one of their articles addressing part of this question: “Gifted programming positively influences students’ futures. Several longitudinal studies have shown that gifted programs have a positive effect on students’ post-secondary plans. For example, studies found that 320 gifted students identified during adolescence who received services through the secondary level pursued doctoral degrees at more than 50X the base rate expectations.” – (See more at: https://www.nagc.org/resources-publications/gifted-education-practices/why-are-gifted-programs-needed#sthash.LHMQydk6.dpuf)
Additionally, in regards to social and emotional development, a nationally recognized group called “Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted” (SENG) is devoted to supporting emotional and social development of gifted and talented students. Here is an excerpt from one of their scholarly articles addressing myths and concerns: “It is, however, paramount that parents, teachers, and other care providers recognize the importance of allowing gifted and talented children and youth to navigate through each of Erikson’s stages in a balanced manner, such that they will grow up with the will and motivation, purpose, and competence to form an identity that is also flexible, empathic, and humble. And, if they do hit that wall, as we all do, provide them the understanding and guidance to help them attain an identity that is resilient, well-rounded, and most of all happy.” - See more at: (http://sengifted.org/archives/articles/directors-corner-the-psychosocial-development-of-gifted-children#sthash.W0oozfON.dpuf )
In summary, we believe our program will be able to address the concerns and myths associated with the social, emotional, and intellectual struggles gifted and talented students often face during their teenage years.
Q: Where can I find information and forms for including my student in the program?
A: All information and forms about the gifted and talented program can be found on the Okmulgee High School gifted and talented web page.
Q: Who can I contact about the gifted and talented program at Okmulgee High School?
A: For inquiries into the program, please contact:
Brian Riley, M.Ed.
Okmulgee High School Gifted and Talented Site Coordinator
415 W. 3rd Street, Okmulgee, OK 74447
You can also contact Mr. Riley via phone at (918)-758-2075 ext: 3150 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org .