Clinton City Board of Education members were mum about the 2016-2019 AIG plan at Tuesday night’s meeting, a drastic change from the rantings at previous meetings in the last few months.
In all, between regular board meetings and work sessions, the board has spent nearly eight hours hearing the AIG specialists team’s recommendations to the upcoming plan and making their own recommendations, which some board members have said found their way to deaf ears.
At the Jan. 28 work session, the board was presented with the AIG team’s final changes to the current plan. This was the third and final review board members are required to have prior to the adoption of the plan.
Board chairman Jason Walters spent one minute on the agenda item Tuesday night, stating he has received feedback from some board members since the work session last week, and would continue to take any other recommendations or changes the members would like relayed to the AIG team before final adoption at the March meeting.
Between now and the March 3 meeting, Walters will continue to gather board comments and questions that will be put on the table at the next meeting. Final adoption of the plan should come at that time, before the plan is presented to the state for approval.
According to Debbie McDuffie, AIG specialist and teacher at Sampson Middle School, since the initial presentation of the 2016-2019 plan in November, the team has convened for many meetings, taking the board’s recommendations and adjusting the plan as requested.
“Some changes have been made,” McDuffie said Thursday night at the work session. “What we are presenting will broaden our scope of services.”
Over the last two months, board members and team specialists have met on an individual and group basis to discuss the plan and what changes needed to be made to the current plan and allow the school system to better serve all students. In a previous meeting, several board members expressed their concerns about the team not listening to the board’s advice and making any changes they have recommended.
In the team’s final recommendations, the new AIG plan will identify gifted students as AG (Academically Gifted) and IG (Intellectually Gifted). Students who are currently serviced through the AIG program either receive content replacement services or resource services. In conjunction with PowerSchool, the school’s grading and information system, students who are in content replacement will now be identified as AG and students who are in resource will be identified as IG.
The team is also requesting a change in the requirements for placement, even though those recommendations haven’t been made publicly by board members.
“We want to make sure we aren’t missing any children,” Lisa Green, AIG specialist and teacher at Sunset Avenue School, said during last week’s work session. “There are a lot of children with a high IQ, but are scoring low on the achievement tests. We want to make sure we are servicing all gifted children, in every area.”
In the new plan, to receive placement in the AG portion of the program, a student must meet two of three categories. The new requirements are:
• A student must score 92 percent or higher on the Naglieri Nonverbal Aptitude Test
• A student must score 90 percent or higher on the Iowa achievement test
• A student must be recommended by a teacher or score Level 5 on the End of Grade tests
In the new plan, to receive placement in the IG portion of the program, a student must have a 92 percent or higher on the NNAT and one other of the following criteria:
• A student must score 80 percent or higher on the Iowa achievement test
• A student must be recommended by a teacher
“Many of these students aren’t prepared to come in and take the achievement test,” Green stated. “By adjusting the numbers, we are opening the gates for some very bright children to enter the program.”
Services for students on the K-2 level will be available to all students in those grades. The new program, K-2 Think Lab, is much like the current nurturing program, as students are not tested until the end of second grade and not identified as gifted until that time.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.