The Discover Program
The Discover program is offered at each elementary school for students in grades three through five. Discover provides direct instruction for identified gifted learners using award-winning curriculum from the College of William & Mary. The gifted specialist works with Discover students 90 – 120 minutes each week.
Discover is based on the Integrated Curriculum Model developed at the College of William and Mary. Curriculum is designed to respond to gifted learners’ characteristics of precocity, intensity, and complexity through its three dimensions of advanced content, higher level processes, and interdisciplinary concepts.
The Discover seminars have been selected to complement and extend the regular classroom curriculum.
Discover Identification and Selection Process
Families do not need to fill out an application. The selection process for Discover is done by the District Selection Committee, which consists of a team of at least two Gifted Education Specialists and the Elementary Teaching & Learning Coordinator. The Gifted Education Specialist compiles the needed data on students in the talent pool. The District Selection Committee then reviews all students in the talent pool and determines which students meet criteria for the Discover program. The committee may also determine if there is a need for additional testing.
The Discover program starts in third grade. Families of students who qualify for the Discover program are notified in the spring of second grade for incoming third grade. After the initial entry point of third grade, families are notified as their child becomes eligible.
Parents or guardians may appeal identification decisions by writing a letter of request for reconsideration to the District Selection Committee. A Home Observation Inventory is required. Staff members may also request further consideration for a student by submitting a Teacher Observation Inventory. The District Selection Committee will review each request and determine appropriate action. Please see the link below for a PDF version of the Home Observation Inventory.
Appeal Due Date
Appeals for Discover are usually due by the end of June to ensure the request can be processed before Discover begins the following school year. Requests received during the school year will be processed within 30 days of the request unless additional testing is needed. Students entering Discover mid-year will be placed in the program at the start of the next unit.
Student performance in Discover is closely monitored. While these programs provide opportunities for challenge and success for most students, they may not match the needs of every student. If a parent, teacher, gifted specialist or student voices a concern regarding the student’s placement in gifted services, the ISD 194 Exit Guidelines will be used to determine the appropriate next steps.