• What are some indicators of academic giftedness?

    A child shows academic giftedness when he/she demonstrates learning potential significantly, at least two years, beyond the expected level of his/her age group.  This advanced learning potential can be discovered in many ways and can be hidden by unfavorable life circumstances. Indicators often include achievement, aptitude, performance, teacher observation, interest and motivation to learn.


    How can a child be placed in the AIG Program (or receive services)?

    Students qualify for AIG services based on multiple criteria.  Criteria are used in this decision-making include EOG scores, aptitude scores, achievement scores, grades, outstanding work samples, and strong teacher referrals (referrals are done through a checklist).  The school Gifted Match Team reviews all the results and determines which students are exhibiting a need for differentiation beyond the regular classroom setting.  Based on the student's level of need, a plan for student services is developed Differentiated Education Plan (DEP) or Academic Blueprint (grades 6-12). 


    What is a Differentiated Education Plan?

    A Differentiated Education Plan (DEP) is an academic plan for each student needing differentiated services.  


    What is the Gifted Match Team?

    The Gifted Match Team is composed of the AIG lead teacher, the principal (or designee), classroom teachers, and school psychologist and/or guidance counselor as needed. This team determines if a child qualifies for gifted identification.


    How are children referred for services?

    A child, teacher, parent, or other knowledgeable adult may make a referral anytime during the school year.  The referral should be made to the AIG specialist or contact at the school.  A referral requires a meeting of the school Gifted Match Team.  Parents will be invited for a conference to provide information that demonstrates their child's academic giftedness.  Additionally, there is a system-wide search at third grade.


    Will differentiated education services result in students being given extra work?

    In the regular classroom, students may be working on the same objective/concept in the NC Standard Course of Study (SCOS) through assignments at multiple levels.  Some work on simpler more basic assignments while others work on assignments with greater depth and complexity.  If a student receives pull-out service, efforts will be made not to burden students with makeup work when students leave the regular classroom to attend pull-out services.  AIG Lead Teachers and regular classroom teachers should work together to ensure coverage of NC SCOS at the most appropriate level for each student.


    Will a student’s DEP carry over from year to year?

    Individual student review is a continuous process.  Since the program is based on a student's demonstrated need for differentiated services, it is necessary to review student needs regularly.  An annual review of the student's current information such as test scores and grades will determine the appropriate type of services to provide.  The parents of students receiving services will receive a letter of invitation from the AIG lead teacher giving them the opportunity to participate in their child's annual review. 


    Why is the program service delivery model in middle school different from the elementary school?

    The middle school concept is different from the elementary structure.  At the middle school level, students are in the advanced classes for which they have demonstrated a need for a challenge.  They receive this differentiated instruction from their subject area teacher, and there is typically no AIG resource pull-out option.


    Who develops the local AIG plan?

    A committee of parents, community leaders, teachers, and administrators contribute to the writing of the local AIG plan.  Guidelines are established by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.  AIG plans are written for three-year cycles.  The Onslow County Board of Education approves the AIG plan and NC has also reviewed the plan.


    Where is a copy of the local AIG plan?

    Copies of the AIG plan can be obtained from the AIG Specialist at each elementary or middle school, from this website, or from the Onslow County Technical and Educational Support Center (Central Office).  To contact the Central Office call (910) 455-2211 and ask to speak to Michael Elder. 


    When will parents know about the DEP for their child?

    At the Gifted Match Team meeting, input is gathered to complete a DEP.  The AIG teacher in collaboration with the classroom teacher(s) will complete the DEP.  A conference will be held with the parent to present the DEP as well as receive further input for services.


    What if the parent disagrees with the DEP?

    Most disagreements should be worked out by scheduling a meeting with the Gifted Match Team.  However, a parent has the right to appeal the Gifted Match team decision.  The appeals process is included in the "Onslow County Due Process: Parents' Rights in the AIG Program." 


    What happens in high school?

    At the high school level, students self-select Honors, Advanced Placement, IB, and advanced courses.  Students at the high school level also have an Academic Blueprint, including a DEP, developed and reviewed annually.  


    What can I do to prepare my child for the aptitude or achievement test?

    You can make sure your child gets a good night's rest, eats a healthy breakfast, and arrives at school on time.  No other preparation is necessary. 


    Since regular teachers have an integral part in appropriately differentiating curriculum for our higher ability students, how will they know how to provide differentiated education services?

    An AIG Specialist is assigned to each elementary school.  This specialist both provides services and consults with classroom teachers to assist in delivering appropriate differentiation strategies.  The AIG Specialist must hold AIG licensure in NC or be currently enrolled in an approved program.  Several classroom teachers have also completed AIG licensure or professional development to help them better meet the needs of gifted learners.  At the middle school, a teacher who has received professional development or licensure in giftedness serves as a resource for all classroom teachers.  At the high school level, content area specialists deliver curriculum at challenging levels for gifted learners.


    May a student be referred who does not meet the criteria for services?

    Yes, there are a very few students who display outstanding intellectual potential, but who do not meet traditional criteria because of their own uniqueness.  The use of alternate assessments may be considered and/or these students should have an individual academic plan developed specifically for them.


    Is there something my child must do once he/she has been identified to continue to receive services year after year?

    Each student must take responsibility for his/her own learning.  With this in mind, the local AIG team reviews the progress and performance of each student receiving AIG services in order to determine the appropriate level of differentiation.  The child will remain identified as gifted and services will be identified through the child's Differentiated Education Plan (DEP).


    If my child was receiving gifted services in another school district, does that mean he/she will automatically continue those services in Onslow County?

    Each school system has developed a plan which provides criteria for screening, identification, and services for their students who exhibit a need for differentiation.  Should a student transfer to Onslow County Schools, the school Gifted Match Team will review data to decide if further screening is necessary.  To qualify for AIG services in OCS, a student must meet or exceed our minimum criteria on all standardized tests.  Student who have existing scores on accepted standardized tests may be placed in the AIG program in Onslow County.  If a student received AIG services in another county, it is the general practice for that student to receive AIG services in Onslow County until testing can be completed.  Onslow County Schools honors the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children.  Thus, until a review of records can be completed, or further screening can be conducted, any military child will receive services if he/she states that he/she received services in their previous school.


    If my child does not qualify for services at the time of testing, can my child be reevaluated?

    If a student does not exhibit a need for differentiation at the time of initial screening, he/she is not excluded from future consideration.  The school Gifted Match Team reviews outstanding student work samples and can "wait and watch" for a student to indicate a need for differentiation during the next school year.  If the student's work and other criteria indicate a possible need the next school year, the Gifted Match Team can decide to do further testing.


    If I remove my child from AIG services and decide later, I want him/her to receive those services, what must I do?

    You can request the school Gifted Match Team to review your child's performance.  They will use the multiple criteria that governs initial placement of the student in the AIG program.  If your child demonstrates a need for differentiation under these criteria, the team can provide these services.  If at the time of review your child does not meet the criteria, he/she will not receive services.  A student may however be placed on a "wait and watch" for future consideration.  


    How will students be graded when they attend resource pull-out services?

    Resource teachers will evaluate student performance in specialized units and provide appropriate feedback to both classroom teachers and parents.


    At the elementary level, will my child only receive services from the AIG teacher?

    The differentiated services can be provided by both the classroom teacher and/or the AIG resource teacher.