The Scholars’ Program
Murfreesboro City Schools is committed to capturing and cultivating the minds of all students. In order to accomplish this, a continuum of services is provided for students who perform or show the potential for performing at remarkably high levels when compared to others of their age, experience, or environment. These students may have academic needs that require varied learning experiences that extend beyond the general grade level curriculum or in conjunction with the general education curriculum. Murfreesboro City Schools feel this is a shared responsibility between the general education teacher, gifted specialist, and parents to make certain that gifted and talented students are connected to stimulating learning experience.
There will be times when a student’s intellectual ability and potential for achievement are so outstanding that their needs cannot be met in the general education alone. In this situation, the student may receive special education services through an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) if he/she meets the criteria as outlined by the state of TN. You can find more about this… https://www.tn.gov/assets/entities/education/attachments/se_eligibility_gifted_manual.pdf
Recognizing Talents and abilities
According to the National Association for Children (NAGC), a typical gifted child often exhibits some or all of the following traits:
- Unbridled curiosity
- Eagerness to know “how” and “why”
- Exceptional memory
- A vast wealth of general knowledge
- Keen understanding of the way humans interact
- Sensitivity to the emotions of others
- Able to grasp abstract concepts
- Pays attention to details when making observations
- Good sense of humor; “gets” and tells jokes
- Early ability to hone in on specific interests
- Committed to projects
- Expansive vocabulary, both in speaking and in writing
- Ability and preference to hold conversation with adults
- Able to learn quickly (within 1 to 2 repetitions)
- Impatience with repetitive tasks
- Frequent elaboration in artwork and writing
- Perfectionist tendencies
- Able to make unusual connections
You can learn more about what sorts of characteristics are common indicators of extraordinary talent through the links below, provided by the National Association For Gifted Children (NAGC), both in English and Spanish.
Recommending a Student for the Scholars’ Program
You can request that your child be tested or screened for the Scholars’ Program by asking about this at your child’s school or by making direct contact the gifted specialist assigned to your child’s school. Parents, guardians, certified school personnel and other students are all eligible to make these recommendations.
Once a referral has been made, parent consent will be obtained for further testing. Eligibility is determined by academic performance, gifted characteristics/creativity, and cognitive abilities. Once testing is complete, parents will be notified of the results and a differentiated education plan will be created if needed.
What to Expect from the Scholars’ Program
The Scholars’ Program offers varied learning opportunities that specifically target the social, emotional, and academic needs of each student. Students are paired with like-peers to optimize opportunities that focus on developing students’ ability to collaborate, communicate, think critically and to think creatively. Instruction is interdisciplinary and aligned with Tennessee content standards. Scholars also work with gifted specialists throughout the school year on unique projects or learning tasks.
In addition, general education teachers participate in professional development to learn more about delivering instruction to address the unique needs of advanced students and appropriate instruction. Specific thinking models and instructional strategies are utilized to increase student achievement and increase student self-efficacy.
If you would like more information about the continuum of services offered through the MCS Scholars’ Program, please contact one of our gifted specialists.