Collaboration Plan Danielle Ledford ELSE 6033

Collaboration Plan
Danielle Ledford
ELSE 6033: Affective Programming in the Classroom
Arkansas State University
Collaboration Plan: Phase 1
Every student has different needs that need to be met throughout their education career. This is no different for gifted, talented, and creative students. Gifted, talented, and creative students have different education, social, and emotional needs, then students who are in a regular education setting. There are different options to meet the needs of gifted, talented, and creative learners which include enrichment opportunities, pullout, and an inclusive classroom with accelerated courses. Parents have the option of keeping their child in a regular education classroom where they will be pulled out for enrichment, or they can be placed into a gifted classroom where students will be taught a grade level higher than their grade and will still be given enrichment opportunities.

Gifted students have affective needs unlike students in the regular education setting. It is very important to have their emotional needs met through instructional opportunities given by their teachers and even the counselor of the school. “Highly able students have concerns related to social and emotional development, and that collectively they may experience development in a qualitatively different way than do others their age. “(Peterson, J. 2016)
To make sure the students are getting their educational, social, and emotional needs met, it is going to take not only work just from the teacher, but from the parents, community members, and the school support staff such as the school counselors.
When you think of gifted students, you may think they just have education needs that need to be met and that is all they need, but that is not the case. Just like any student, gifted learners may be twice exceptional. Twice exceptional means that they are gifted and have a disability. For our twice exceptional learners, we as educators, need to work together and collaborate to make sure students’ needs are met.

It is our job as educators to meet the needs of our students which does not just include their educational needs, but their social and emotional needs as well. We need to come together with the students, parents, community members, administrators, and our colleagues, to give our students the best education that they deserve.

Parent Section:
The most important thing in any classroom, in my opinion, is communication with the parents and guardians of our students. For our students to succeed in and out of the classroom, there needs to be constant communication between both parties, so they can make sure the students’ needs are being met. As of right now, parents are able to meet with the teachers one on one during parent teacher conferences. This only happens four times throughout the entire school year. At the conferences, teachers are able to communicate with the parents about the students’ grades, behavior, work ethic, and any concerns they may see in the classroom. Even though this is a good time to meet with the parents to discuss the things you need to know about the students, I believe there is one small problem. The one small problem is that there are a lot of parents that will not show up or their work schedule will prohibit them from coming to the conferences since they are during the school day. I propose that in addition to the parent-teacher conferences, teachers should schedule afterschool hours meetings or phone meetings regularly for the parents that may not have the transportation to the school or the ability to get off of work on the only day of parent teacher conferences. Teachers need to be more flexible for the parents that do not have the most flexible schedules.

“Parental involvement is becoming increasingly important in all aspects of education, but particularly in gifted education. (Cassidy, 1981) The parents of gifted children are the voice of all students. If you do not include parents in their child’s education, you will not have a successful program. Parent evolvement is essential and that is why I believe parents should be able to meet with the school board and the gifted supervisor to speak with them about the gifted program. They will be able to speak about the strengths and weaknesses of the program, what they see on their side, and how we can improve our program. The parents see a whole different side of the gifted program and their child’s education, which is why we need to get them on our side and see from their perspective.

When you think of a gifted student, you cannot just picture what they will look like. Children from all different walks of life can be identified as gifted. That is why we need to do what we can to make sure we are able to effectively communicate with parents with all different backgrounds about their child’s educational needs and the gifted program that is available to their child. If a parent is not familiar with giftedness, they may not be able to see the needs that their child needs in their education. Teachers should make sure they speak with parents and communicate in a way they can understand. Teachers should make sure they are not only using the technical terms but using words that any person can understand and explaining everything in depth.

One of the biggest things is documentation, it is good to document communication between teachers and parents, as well as what you see in your students. When you use written communication, there is little that can be misinterpreted, and they also have a visual reminder. Written communication can be used for anything from field trips, gifted placement, gifted program information, to classroom information and expectations. No matter what, written communication is important and may sometimes be more beneficial to use rather than word of mouth. (See ATTACTMENT A)
Feedback is an important part in the classroom as well as outside of the classroom. It is important to give students feedback on their work, but it is also to get feedback from parents. Getting feedback from parents about the gifted program that their child is in can improve the program for the years to come. You will be able to evaluate how the program is being run by teachers and look at suggestions and concerns that you may never have thought of since you are in the program and may not be able to see the whole picture. (See ATTACHEMENT B.) Teachers can also ask parents for suggestions regarding different units they may be able to cover and different opportunities that follow curriculum and state standards. When a teacher has been teaching for years, it is sometimes hard to change their ways. They know what has always worked in the classroom and they may think why do they need to change what they have been doing their while career.

Classroom Teacher Section:
As a teacher, you should always be learning and growing as an educator. Teachers should be continuing their education on the needs of their students who are in the gifted and talented program. To help their students succeed in the classroom and to make sure not only their educational needs are met, but their emotional needs are met as well, I propose that teachers take the time to drive around their students’ neighborhoods, so they can become knowledgeable in their students’ backgrounds. (Even if these students are identified as gifted, lack of resources and support by the family and school challenges the development of the gifts and talents of these special youngsters.” (Baum, 2016) Teachers cannot tell a lot about a child on a deeper level by looking at them, but if teachers are able to see where they came from, you may get some knowledge about their students. For teachers to continue their education on their gifted students, teachers should be given opportunities to be informed on characteristics of gifted as well as their educational, social, and emotional needs through classes and mandatory inservices. During this time, teachers should also be given the opportunity to learn how to meet the needs of all of their students.

To help teachers fell included in the gifted program, teachers should be involved in the identification process. As a gifted teacher in the school district, you are made aware that you will be getting a new student the day they register into your school. Teachers may be notified that a student was tested into gifted, but that does not mean they will be coming into their classroom. If teachers were involved in the identification process, they will be able to feel included in the program, they will also be able to get more information on the student that may enter their classroom. Which will benefit them as well as the student.

As stated before, teachers should continue their education on gifted and talented students educational and social/emotional needs, so they can grow as educators. For educators to continue their education and meet the needs of their students, they should be provided with courses and presentations before, during, and after the school year. The presentations should include the social and emotional needs of gifted and talented students, differentiation of students, affective needs of gifted students, and about the special gifted units that will be covered this upcoming school year, which will include the enrichment aspect of the class.

In schools, there seems to be a divide between regular education teachers and gifted and talented teachers. Regular education teachers feel as though they may have it harder and they are expected to do a lot more for their students, and that gifted teachers get to do are and enrichment with their students all day. To close this gap, there needs to be communication between all teachers. Instead of separating teachers based on what and who they teach, there needs to be collaborations where all teachers can discuss different things they may see in their classrooms and different scenarios. This way they can see they are all trying to get to the same end goal, which is having their students succeed.

Community Section:
If you think about it, community is and should be a big part of anyone’s life. “Major goals of the Network are to enhance parent effectiveness and to network community resources.” (Networks-Parent & Community) During students’ education, teachers should help them explore different opportunities that could be there for them in the future. Bringing in different community members will also help everyone build relationships and will enrich the students into a community they may have never experienced before.

To keep the community informed and welcomed into the gifted program, there will be articles and special announcements that will be placed in the local newspaper and the local news channel. The gifted program has special units that they cover every schoolyear and it is a great thing for the community to learn about. Everyone in the community will be invited for an Open House at school. Before the Open House community members are invited to watch a student-made video about all of the events and opportunities the students have attended. During the Open House, the community members will be able to walk around the school, visit classrooms and interact with the students, the students will speak about their classroom, the Leader in Me program, and are invited to ask questions to the students about their educational opportunities. Each school and classroom will have a social media account which will be used to inform others throughout the schoolyear as well.
One event that will be available to involve community organizations is the Patriotic Ceremony. For Veteran’s Day, students will invite all of the community members who have served in the Military and will honor them. They will create the ceremony and interact with the veterans.

The teachers will be in contact with the community newspaper to publish school events, conferences, the Open House, Patriotic Ceremony, so community members will be in the know and will have the opportunity to come to the school events. The newspaper can also have the opportunity to interact with the students and interview them. They will bring in students who may be interested in the news and work with them, so that the students can experience something new that may help them make career decisions when they are older.
There will be the chance for community members to come in to the classroom and speak to the students about themselves and different opportunities that are out in the community where they can get involved.
References
Peterson, J. (2006). Addressing Counseling Needs of Gifted Students. Professional School Counseling,10(1), 43-51. doi:10.5330/prsc.10.1.b76h32717q632tqn
Cassidy, J. (1981, October 1). Parental Involvement in Gifted Programs. Retrieved November 26, 2018, from https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/016235328100400307?journalCode=jega
Baum, S. (2004). Introduction to Twice-Exceptional and Special Populations of Gifted Students. Introduction to Twice-Exceptional and Special Populations of Gifted Students, Xxviii-Xxix. Retrieved November 26, 2018, from http://us.corwin.com/sites/default/files/upm-binaries/7019_baum_intro.pdf
Networks – Parent & Community. (n.d.). Retrieved November 26, 2018, from https://www.nagc.org/get-involved/nagc-networks-and-special-interest-groups/networks-parent-community
ATTACHMENT A
November 26, 2018
Re: _______________________________________________________________
Dear Parent,
It is our policy for students in grades 1-4, who are identified as gifted and talented to discuss the individual child’s needs and how they might be best met through a variety of program options.
The first option is to have your child remain in their home zone school. If your child was to stay in their home zone school, they will receive services from a gifted enrichment teacher anywhere between two to six hours a week. They will participate in activities that require creative and critical thinking skills.
The last option is to place your child in an accelerated program. Students placed in the accelerated program will work on content which are advanced for their grade level. Depending on your home address, your child will either be placed at Woodvale or Middlebrook Elementary school. If one of these schools is not your home zone school, special transportation will be provided for you child.

We want to know how we can best serve your child’s learning needs. Please complete the bottom of this form so we can provide the best education to your child.

Sincerely,
Danielle Ledford
Gifted Education Teacher
_______ My child will receive gifted and talented enrichment at their neighborhood school.

_______ My child will receive their gifted and talented education by an accelerated academic program at either Woodvale or Middlebrook Elementary School.

_______ My child will not receive gifted and talented education services at this time.

Parent/Guardian Signature _________________________________________ Date __________
ATTACHMENT B
Lafayette Parish School District
Gifted and Talented Program
Parent Evaluation
My child is in grade_____.

Please select the option that applies to your student.

My child attends: _____________________________________________.

My child:
_____ receives gifted and talented enrichment
_____ receives gifted and talented education by an accelerated academic program
Please check ALL statements that match your perceptions of the gifted program.

_____ Emphasizes the use of a higher level of thinking.

_____ Emphasizes critical thinking
_____ Emphasizes imagination and creative thinking
_____ Develops and applies leadership skills
_____ Develops self-awareness
_____ Emphasizes self-acceptance
_____ Emphasizes problem solving skills
Please check ALL that apply. In which areas has the gifted program helped your child?
_____ Become an independent learner
_____ Ability to solve problems
_____ Ability to persevere through challenging problems
_____ Ability to develop leadership skills
Which statement best reflects your opinion regarding the level of difficulty of the LPSS gifted curriculum?
_____ Too challenging_____Appropriate level of challenge
_____ Not challenging enough_____ I do not know
ATTACHMENT B (Continued)
How would you describe the communication between you and your child’s gifted teacher?
______________________________________________________________________________
Do you feel as though your child’s needs are being met in the gifted and talented program?
______________________________________________________________________________
What are the strengths of the gifted and talented program?
______________________________________________________________________________
What are the weaknesses of the gifted and talented program?
______________________________________________________________________________
What could be incorporated or improved in the gifted and talented program to serve your child’s needs?
______________________________________________________________________________
Any additional comments or recommendations about the gifted and talented program.

______________________________________________________________________________
Please return this completed questionnaire to the school or mail it to:
Danielle Ledford
Woodvale Elementary School
100 Leon Dr.

Lafayette, LA 70503