Gifted & Talented Education

Gifted and Talented Education (G&T) in the State of New Jersey is governed by the "Strengthening Gifted and Talented Education Act" (N.J.S.A. 18A:35-34 to 39).  In essence, the law requires Boards of Education to:

  1. ensure that appropriate instructional adaptations are designed for students who are gifted and talented;
  2. make provisions for an ongoing kindergarten through grade 12 identification process for gifted and talented students that includes multiple measures in order to identify student strengths in intellectual ability, creativity, or a specific academic area. School districts shall ensure equal access to a continuum of gifted and talented education services. The identification process shall include consideration of all students, including those who are English language learners and those with Individualized Education Plans or 504 plans;
  3. develop and document appropriate curricular and instructional modifications used for gifted and talented students indicating content, process, products, and learning environment, and including, but not limited to, additional education activities such as academic competitions, guest speakers, and lessons with a specialist;
  4. take into consideration the Gifted Programming Standards, Position Statements, and White Papers of the National Association for Gifted Children in identifying and serving gifted and talented students;
  5. provide the time and resources to develop, review, and enhance instructional tools with modifications for helping gifted and talented students acquire and demonstrate mastery of the required knowledge and skills specified by the standards at the instructional level of the student; and
  6. actively assist and support professional development for teachers, educational services staff, and school leaders in the area of gifted and talented instruction.

Other G&T codes and policies can be found at the following links:

Curricular modifications for G&T are embedded within each course at all grade levels and can be accessed at our curriculum site: Newton Public Schools Curriculum.

The following is an overview of the identification procedures, services offered, and professional development provided at each of our schools.

Merriam Avenue School (Grades K-4)
  • Identification Procedures
    • Students are identified through teacher recommendation and the iReady diagnostic score.
  • Services Provided 
    • G&T services are provided as part of our multi-tiered systems of support
    • Specifically, students identified for G&T services are provided with Tier 2 group extension and enrichment opportunities by their classroom teachers during the digital learning/specials time on a weekly basis. 
  • Professional Development 
Halsted Middle School (Grades 5-8)
Newton High School (Grades 9-12)
  • Identification Procedures
    • Criteria for the Advanced College Prep, Honors, and Advanced Placement level courses are based on teacher recommendation and student grades.
  • Services Provided (for more information, go to the Program of Studies on the Guidance Department webpage)
    • Advanced College Prep, Honors and Advanced Placement level courses are offered in English, Math, Science, Social Studies, World Language, 21st Century Life & Careers and Visual & Performing Arts.
    • Students are offered high school and college credit in courses through the Concurrent/Dual Enrollment Program.
    • For students with more specialized interests, there are opportunities in our unique elective offerings in Agriculture, Video Production, Computer Programming, and Photography, as just a few examples.
    • There are also a vast selection of clubs and activities for students to explore personal areas of interest and strength. Participation in clubs and activities is voluntary and all students may join.
  • Professional Development
    • Advanced Placement teachers are afforded opportunities for professional development through the College Board.
    • Honors Program teachers are afforded a variety of opportunities to attend workshops online and offsite for honors programs.

An individual who believes that the school district has not complied with the provisions of the "Strengthening Gifted and Talented Education Act” may file a complaint with the Board of Education in writing and deliverable to the Board Secretary at 57 Trinity Street, Newton, NJ 07860. The Board shall issue a decision, in writing, to affirm, reject, or modify the district’s action in the matter. The individual may then file a petition of appeal of the Board’s written decision to the Commissioner of Education through the Office of Controversies and Disputes in accordance with N.J.S.18A:6-9 and the procedures set forth in State Board of Education regulations.

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