"Gifted and advanced" comes in lots of different forms
There are gifted, advanced, and talent development students in every grade at every school, and they represent all populations. City Schools is committed to equity and excellence in identifying and serving our gifted and advanced learners, inclusive of those who may also have learning challenges – also known as twice exceptional learners. All schools are required to support their gifted and advanced learners – GAL students.
City Schools’ Board policy for Gifted and Advanced Learning (GAL) covers four categories – formally identifying GAL students, expectations for instruction, professional development, and evaluation. Below is information about each category. For additional information, please read the policy.
Dennis Jutras, Coordinator– Gifted and Advanced Learning (email Dennis Jutras, Coordinator)
Identification: How are GAL students formally identified?
All City Schools students can be identified as gifted and advanced learners. In kindergarten, ALL students are initially screened, but the process is ongoing. If you would like to have your child formally identified as a GAL student, please fill out one of the Formal Identification forms below.
What does instruction look like for gifted and advanced learners?
Every student who is identified as gifted, advanced, or talent development receives an Instructional Learning Plan (ILP). They are created with GAL leads, teachers, parents/guardians, and the student to make sure students are regularly supported academically, socially, and emotionally.
Kindergarten to Grade 5
In the early grades, GAL students are grouped in their classrooms and receive enrichment through supplementary resources such as:
Grades 6 to 8
In middle school, honors math, English, science, and social studies classes are available to challenge all students. Gifted and advanced learners taking these classes should expect to experience above-grade-level curricula in honors English, compacted/telescoped curricula in honors math, and course-long original projects in honors science and social studies. Through middle school choice, 5th-grade students can apply for seats at Advanced Academics schools, which offer honors courses in all core content areas, and the Ingenuity Project, both of which are offered at several schools beginning in 6th grade. Please note that formal GAL identification is not required for admission to either nor is admission handled by the GAL office.
Grades 9 to 12
In high school, gifted and advanced learners can take honors and Advanced Placement courses at all schools, and can pursue dual enrollment to earn college credits and mentorships. The Ingenuity Project is available at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, and Baltimore City College offers the International Baccalaureate.
Since high school offerings vary, it is important for students to learn about the opportunities offered at each school as part of the choice process to ensure the best fit. The right time to start planning is 6th and 7th grade!
Honors Criteria (6 to 8 and 9 to 12)
If your child has been formally identified as a Gifted or Advanced GAL student, they have a right to take honors programs. Other students are invited as well as outlined on pages 5 – 7 of the GAL Regulations.
City Schools provides a variety of acceleration opportunities based on national models. Acceleration includes whole grade acceleration (see request forms later on this page), subject acceleration, mentorships, and extracurricular programs as outlined on pages 6 – 7 of the GAL Regulations.
All teachers and additional school staff receive instruction and coaching to help identify and support our gifted and advanced learners. Many of our teachers and instructors have been recognized for their accomplishments in gifted education.
Javits-Frasier Scholarships awarded to City Schools teachers
Meggy Awards won by City Schools teachers
State-level awards from the Gifted and Talented Advisory Council
Meggy Awards won by City Schools teachers
Excellence in Gifted and Talented Education (EGATE)
Every year, the Maryland State Department of Education, and the State Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education award the Excellence in Gifted and Talented Education (EGATE) designation to schools across Maryland.
20 different schools within City Schools have been given the EGATE designation since 2014.
In addition, dozens of students and teachers from City Schools are recognized for their work annually.