In the State of Missouri, “gifted children” mean those who “exhibit precocious development of mental capacity and learning potential as determined by competent professional evaluation to the extent that continued educational growth and stimulation could best be served by an academic environment beyond that offered through a standard grade level curriculum.”
School districts in Missouri may establish programs for gifted children when a sufficient number of children in the district are determined to be gifted and their development requires programs or services beyond the level of those ordinarily provided in regular public school programs. The State Board of Education determines the standards for these gifted programs.
All districts with gifted programs must follow the rules and regulations set forth in the State Approved Gifted Program Guidelines
. There is no limit to the number of students who can be served in a state-approved gifted program. It is the district's responsibility to use the foundation funding they receive to support their gifted program. The "application" for state approval will be included in the Core Data and MOSIS information submitted annually by the school district.
Senate Bill 638 passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by the Governor requires the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to do an annual desk audit of state approved gifted programs to verify that districts are continuing to serve at least 80% of the total number of gifted students as they were serving in each previous school year. If a district experiences a decrease in its gifted program enrollment of twenty percent or more from the previous school year, an amount equal to the product of the difference between the number of students enrolled in the gifted program in the current school year and the number of students enrolled in the gifted program in the previous school year multiplied by six hundred eighty dollars shall be subtracted from the district's current year payment amount. The provisions of this subdivision shall apply to districts entitled to receive state aid payments but shall not apply to any school district with an average daily attendance of three hundred fifty or less.
Acceleration Policies and Gifted Programs
Many schools have policies relating to gifted education that specify how to identify and serve gifted students and how to evaluate gifted education programs. However, gifted education policies don't necessarily specify how to identify and serve students for acceleration; in fact, some policies inadvertently endorse an enrichment approach to serving gifted students and thus acceleration is not presented as an option. An acceleration policy and recommendations for acceleration are not intended to take the place of enrichment opportunities. Some students will be served best by enrichment, some by acceleration, and some by a mix of the two (Neihart, 2007; Rogers, 2002; Schiever & Maker, 2003).
35th Annual Gifted Education Conference
The 35th Annual Gifted Education Conference will be held October 15-16, 2016 at the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO. For more information, go to http://www.mogam.org/conference.html .