Milam Elementary Gifted and Talented Committee 2016-2017
Chairperson: Ms. Donna Serna
Kindergarten: Ms. Tomiann Cassidy
1st Grade: Ms. Carol Vasquez
2nd Grade: Mrs. Elizabeth Rodriguez
3rd Grade: Ms. Donna Serna
4th Grade: Ms. Kelly Sullivan
5th Grade: Ms. Melissa Ornelas
Advanced Academic Services Department
Nomination and Qualification Process
Milam Elementary School is beginning the identification procedures for its 2016-2017 elementary gifted programs. Any student in the primary grades or in grades 4 or 5 may be nominated by a parent, teacher, or other concerned individual to participate in the screening process. Students are identified using a combination of five screening criteria: specific classroom assessment activities, a teacher behavioral characteristics log, a parent checklist, student grades, and a general intellectual ability standardized test.
Milam’s GT Screening Committee will review and evaluate all five of the screening criteria for each nominated student. Members of the committee are trained in the special needs of gifted students. Students who meet all five criteria will qualify for the program automatically. Students who do not fully qualify will have appeal options.
The GT Screening Committee will review all paperwork for transfer students who have qualified outside of the El Paso Independent School District to determine placement.
K-3 GT Program
The K-3 GT program is designed to group young gifted learners together for part if the school day to address their unique intellectual, social, and emotional needs. The group of K-3 GT students receives services a minimum of 45 minutes per day with a GT trained teacher. The curriculum for the K-3 GT program integrates language arts, social studies, science, mathematics, creativity, leadership, and fine arts instruction. The thematic units of study are aimed at developing higher level thinking skills through differentiated content and instruction. Students may also participate in the Junior Great Books Program, an inquiry-based reading process. This curriculum offers young gifted students an opportunity to develop their critical, creative, and problem solving thinking abilities. All students in kindergarten will begin the identification and assessment process in December and begin receiving GT services no later than the last instructional day of February.
4th and 5th Grade Programs
Students who are identified as Gifted and Talented in grades 4 and 5 will have the option of participating in two different programs. Parents and students will need to make the choice as to which program to participate in.
Milam Elementary School offers the Schoolwide Enrichment program which provides for differentiated learning opportunities for cluster groups of gifted and talented students within a heterogeneous classroom setting. Students are provided opportunities to work on curricular activities aligned with the grade level standards and built around universal themes. In many cases, the activities integrate math, science, social studies, and language arts. Advanced-level products and presentations are developed as part of the program.
Students who wish to participate in the Connections 4 and Connections 5 Program will be transferred to a site designated for the school, Coldwell Elementary School. Bus transportation is provided by the El Paso Independent School District for students qualifying for the program who do not attend a designated connections site school. The Connections program is built around the examination of universal themes and integrates the study of social studies, literature, writing, and the fine arts. Math and science activities are correlated to the novel studies. Students develop sophisticated products and presentations. The curriculum is aligned to state standards and delivered using Dr. Sandra Kaplan’s Model of Depth and Complexity and the National Association for Gifted Children’s Parallel Curriculum.