Supporting Exceptional Students at All Grade Levels
The Des Moines Independent School District systematically identifies and supports students with exceptional abilities or potential in the areas of advanced intellectual aptitude, specific ability aptitude, creative endeavors, leadership, and/or the visual and performing arts, in accordance with the Iowa Code.
Gifted and Advanced Learners have unique academic and affective needs. Administrators and teachers support a philosophy that acknowledges the need for and provision of a highly engaging and challenging academic learning environment for every gifted and talented student. To meet these needs, individual and small group programming for gifted and talented students is provided in every classroom and at every level of PK-12 education, and reflects the multiple talents, challenges and cultural diversity of the district’s population. In addition, the district supports research-based continuing staff development opportunities so that all district teaching and administrative personnel may, through their teaching and educational leadership, ensure gifted and talented students learn and achieve at levels commensurate with their exceptional abilities.
Beliefs Surrounding Gifted and Advanced Learners
Academically and/or intellectually gifted and advanced learners perform or show the potential to perform at significantly higher levels of accomplishment when compared with others of their age, experience or environment. They require differentiated educational services beyond those ordinarily provided by the regular education program. Outstanding abilities are present in students from all cultural groups, across all economic strata and in all areas of human endeavor. A variety of settings, service options and instructional models and strategies combine to create programming to meet the diverse needs of all gifted learners. Services are integrated into the regular curriculum by the classroom teacher whenever possible. This approach requires support from school administrators and collaboration between general education teachers and gifted education consultants, and supports the district’s mission of equity, excellence and focus on student learning and achievement.