Illinois Association for Gifted Children
What is your school district doing to provide talent development opportunities for underserved high-ability learners? Read this preview of the upcoming IAGC Conference presentation on Young Scholars by Kirsten Maloney, K-12 Advanced Academic Programs Coordinator, Fairfax County Public Schools here.
The number of minority and low-income students continues to rise in the U.S., and yet these subgroups continue to be underrepresented in gifted programs. Drawing on such a small fraction of both background and number of students is not only a social equity issue, but also one that disadvantages economic prospects for our communities and our country as a whole. Fairfax County Public Schools’ (FCPS) framework for closing the achievement gap includes six drivers. The Young Scholars model is included as a strategy in our access to rigor driver to promote talent development and bring together multiple critical elements to address excellence gaps in gifted education.
I have worked with the Young Scholars model as a teacher leader, as an educational specialist in central office, and most recently as the K-12 coordinator of advanced academic programs in FCPS, a large school district in northern Virginia. Most recently, our team has used the model’s many entry points to facilitate school leaders’ reflection and goals setting for continuous improvement in the areas of access, opportunities, and achievement for students traditionally underserved in gifted programs. We have also focused on vertical articulation to ensure efforts to develop student potential in the primary grades continue in a strategic way as students enter secondary school and enroll in advanced coursework.
My presentation will focus on the components of the model, professional development opportunities for teachers, and school examples of how goal setting has influenced teacher mindsets and efficacy.