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How does the gifted program work?

The Paradise Schools gifted program is based on a Schoolwide Cluster Grouping Model. Within this model, all students, grade 1-8, are purposely placed in classrooms based on their abilities, potential, or achievement. Students that are identified as gifted are clustered into a mixed-ability classroom with a teacher who is trained in differentiating instruction for gifted students. Within this classroom, there are other gifted students, as well as students with other ability levels.


Why are gifted students clustered together?

Gifted students need to spend time learning with others of like ability to experience challenges and make academic progress. They also better understand their own learning differences when they are learning with their peers. Gifted students also need opportunities to engage in intellectually stimulating endeavors that go beyond the curriculum. The cluster model provides all of these opportunities to gifted students.


What are the advantages of cluster grouping?

Grouping gifted students together provides social, emotional, and academic advantages for all students. Teachers can focus their instruction to better meet all students’ academic needs within the classroom. Cluster grouping also creates learning and leadership opportunities for all students.


Are gifted students "visible” in the classroom?

Gifted cluster groups are rarely distinguishable from other groups of students in the classroom. All students move in and out of groupings within the classroom based on interest, ability, and pace regarding different topics.


When are students tested for gifted?

Based on teacher recommendation and parent requests, students can be tested for gifted eligibility before winter break and before summer break. Student's found eligible for gifted mid-year will not be moved into the gifted cluster until the following school year.
How are teachers supported with this program?
Teachers will receive on-going professional development throughout the school year, with longer trainings during the professional development days.  Teachers are also given opportunities to attend conferences and seminars regarding gifted education.  


What are the characteristics of gifted students?

· Intensely curious and have many interests

· Process information with great speed and deep understanding

· Remember forever what they learn

· Readily grasp underlying principles and make generalizations

· Relate well to older students and adults

· Demonstrate an advanced sense of humor

· Prefer to work alone


Terra O’Brien, Exceptional Student Services Director

tobrien@paradiseschools.org or 623-546-7206



Arizona Department of Education-Gifted Education-  http://www.azed.gov/gifted-education 
National Association for Gifted Children-  http://www.nagc.org 
Arizona Association for Gifted and Talented- http://www.arizonagifted.org
PEC Campus
15533 W. Paradise Lane
Surprise, AZ 85374

PEC, K-5 Elementary School

PECMS, 6-8 Middle School

PHHS, 9-12 High School
PHHS Campus
12775 N. 175th Avenue
Surprise, AZ 85388