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Catoosa County Public Schools

Horizon Program for Gifted Students

Instructional Program Description

 

The Georgia state definition for a gifted student:  a student who demonstrates a high degree of intellectual and/or creative abilities, exhibits an exceptionally high degree of motivation, and/or excels in specific academic fields, and who needs special instruction and/or special ancillary services to achieve at levels commensurate with his or her abilities.

Students are identified for gifted services through a multiple-criterion approach. Parent permission must be obtained before formal testing is done. After the initial referral, students are screened in four areas as approved by the Georgia State Department of Education.  The four areas of evaluation are: mental ability, academic achievement, creativity, and motivation. Students who qualify in three of the four areas are eligible for gifted services.  Students who meet state eligibility requirements for gifted education are served through Catoosa County's Horizon Program.  An unbiased nomination procedure ensures that students are considered on the basis of their academic and creative potential throughout the eligibility process.  Schools use an advanced academic curriculum with complexity and acceleration.  Increased academic rigor is the goal of all gifted classes. 

            The resource, advanced content, and/or cluster group model is used in elementary school.  The advanced content model is used in grades 6-12.  High school gifted students are served through honors and advanced placement classes.  Post secondary options, with the opportunity to earn college credits, are available for gifted twelfth graders.

 

Horizon Program goals include:

  • Develop lifelong independent learners
  • Focus on higher-order thinking skills and advanced problem solving
  • Provide opportunities for independent studies and self-directed projects
  • Compacting and enriching the regular curriculum through the use of interdisciplinary units of study
  • Prepare students in K-12 in standardized test-taking skills
  • Prepare students for college admissions requirements, including written applications, oral interviews, and academic competition
  • Increase communication skills, orally and written, in an exemplary manner
  • Provide opportunities for creative expression
  • Solicit input from all stakeholders for the purpose of program involvement
  • Develop research skills
  • Develop productive citizens with opportunities to contribute to their community
  • Prepare students to be technologically competent

 

Students in the Horizon Program have many opportunities to advance beyond the basic curriculum.  A greater breadth and depth of learning is encouraged (fostered) that may include 1) additional educational field trips  2) in-depth conceptual units  3) competition through media festivals, art shows, social science fairs, writing competitions, Governor's Honors Programs, and a variety of other competitive and cooperative opportunities.  Eligible and interested seventh grade students participate in Duke University's Talent Identification Program.

 

Gifted learners should be able to:

  • Exhibit higher levels of creative thinking and advanced reasoning, logic and evaluative abilities
  • Self-direct their own learning experiences through research, competition, study skills, extension and enrichment activities
  • Complete complex tasks that enrich and extend classroom basics
  • Work at an accelerated pace with a high degree of accuracy and quality
  • Communicate in written and spoken forms at a superior level
  • Contribute to their school and local community in productive and worthwile ways

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