The goal of the WDMESC Gifted and Talented Program is to assist member school districts in coordinating, implementing, maintaining, evaluating, and improving local programs for gifted and talented children and youth. This goal is pursued through two primary objectives as defined by the Arkansas Department of Education: (1) to develop and implement the cooperative’s technical assistance activities in gifted education to assist member districts in meeting the state’s standards for gifted/talented education; and (2) to provide liaison with the ADE Office of Gifted and Talented Education and Advanced Placement, parent and professional organizations, and other public and private agencies; and conduct public awareness and advocacy programs.
During the school year, the co-op’s Gifted and Talented Education Program provides a broad range of services and activities incorporated into five strands:
On-site consultation and technical assistance as needed
Curriculum materials and resources
In-service and staff development training
Professional development opportunities
Specific needs of school district G.T. coordinators, facilitators, and students were addressed through the following activities and/or presentations:
College Board Support:
AP Teachers Sharing Strategies Workshops: Calculus, Biology, English Literature, World History
Pre-AP Teachers Sharing Strategies Workshops: Pre-Calculus, Trigonometry, Biology
College Board Pre-AP Strategies in Math
College Board Pre-AP Strategies in English/Social Studies
College Board Pre-AP Strategies in Science
Various staff development workshops for K-12 teachers and administrators were provided as requested and/or pre-planned including:
School district G.T. program coordinators’ training and updates
Problem-based learning, learning styles
Implementing the Stock Market Game
The WDMESC G.T. Specialist meets with the ADE and other co-op G.T. specialists to gather and exchange information on current events, Advanced Placement and Pre-Advanced Placement opportunities, promising programs and practices, curricular ideas, and progress on proposed revisions in the standards for gifted programming. This information is then shared with all district G.T. coordinators. Throughout the year, the WDMESC coordinators meet to discuss issues and concerns and to do group planning. Mock Technical Assistance Visits and new coordinator consultations are provided on-site for those districts requesting such services.
Special roles and responsibilities assumed by the WDMESC G.T. Specialist included coordinating Project Fair activities between school districts, coordinating and hosting co-op wide Quiz Bowl Competitions, assisting with state Quiz Bowl competitions, assisting area students in receiving information about and making application to Arkansas Governor’s School and the Arkansas School for Mathematics and Sciences, serving on the selection committees for Arkansas Governor’s School and ASMSA, coordinating and hosting Technology Fair in conjunction with a school district's E.A.S.T. program, and hosting chess tournaments. She also serves on AGATE and AAGEA board of directors and serves as speaker/presenter at various local and state meetings.