Planning for Students who are Gifted
Individual Program Plans
All children who are coded “gifted” (Code 80, Alberta Education, Special Education Code) qualify as Special Education students, and are entitled to an Individualized Program Plan (IPP). The standards for Special Education are developed to meet the educational ability and learning needs of students who are considered ‘Special Needs’, and this includes learners who are gifted.
Specific learning needs and outcomes are monitored through the use of an IPP so that the student is provided the differentiated instruction required to help a student to be successful, and hopefully, work toward achieving their potential. Differentiating instruction involves the modification of five (5) elements which enhance thinking and learning:
- environment (peers and technology)
- assessment (pre-testing for knowledge and ability)
Program planning is not meant to be about adding more work, or adding depth and breadth. It is also not limited to enrichment of content and curriculum. Truly differentiated learning is providing the above 5 elements to the degree that only gifted learners would benefit from the modifications.
Special Education Programming
Some schools may not be able to provide enough supports and accommodations in the typical classroom to help a gifted learner to be successful. It is at this time that a family may wish to consider if placement in a special school or program is more appropriate.
The Gifted and Talented Education Program (GATE Program) is a Special Education program for learners who are gifted.