Gifted Service Continuum

  • Columbus City Schools is home to the largest population of students identified as gifted out of all the urban districts in Ohio with approximately 10 percent of our students identified in one or more areas. Student achievement data, feedback from families and educators, and changing state rules all served as catalysts for the 2014 Gifted Workgroup to develop the continuum of services implemented in 2015.  The district will convene a new stakeholder workgroup in 2022 to review the model and make recommendations for continuation and/or adjustments moving forward. 

    Primary Enrichment
    The first component is an early intervention and enrichment program. A primary thinking skills program is currently taught by specialists in all K-2 classes in 38 buildings with our lowest rates of gifted identification. This program is based on research demonstrating positive outcomes from talent development programs in other urban centers and focuses on directly teaching critical and creative thinking skills to all students in these classes. The goal is to equip all students with foundational ability in these skills while giving us information that may lead to the identification of gifted students missed through traditional testing.

    Columbus City Schools offers a four-level continuum of services for identified gifted learners.

    Pyramid representation of Continuum

    Category A - Gifted and high achieving in all schools (informal service – No Written Education Plan)
    **similar to our current model

    • Differentiated instruction as needed with resources available to teachers
    • Enrichment programs as clubs and embedded in the general curriculum (varies by school)
    • Cluster grouping grades 1-10
    • Professional development for teachers

    Category B – Specific areas of gifted identification (formal service in most cases – Written Education Plan provided)

    • Establish AIMS and Fort Hayes and gifted service sites for arts identified students (lottery or selective admissions placement required)
    • Gifted resource room for superior cognitive, creative thinking, or reading identified students in grades K-2 at all elementary schools 
    • Gifted self-contained reading classes for reading identified students in grades 3-8 at select schools (elementary taught by gifted specialist, middle taught by content specialist; student will have enrollment transferred into these buildings and would be enrolled in general classrooms for all except reading)
    • Gifted self-contained math classes for math identified students in grades 3-8 at select schools(elementary taught by gifted specialist, middle taught by content specialist; student will have enrollment transferred into these buildings and would be enrolled in general classrooms for all except math)
    • Gifted Support elective course for superior cognitive ability or creative thinking identified students in grades 9-10 via online course available in all high schools 
    • Honors, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, College Credit Plus courses in grades 9-12, availability varies by school

    Category C – High-need areas of gifted identification (formal service - Written Education Plan provided)

    • Columbus Gifted Academy - Self-contained gifted program at a single location for grades 3-8 students identified in superior cognitive ability or both reading and math
      • Mastery, problem-based learning approach
      • 3-5 program
      • 6-8 experiential learning program with community partners
      • Located at the former Everett Junior High School

    Category D – Specific student needs
    **Programs already in place; only acceleration is managed by the Gifted & Talented division

    Families who have students eligible for higher levels on the continuum may take advantage of those opportunities or may choose to have their children participate in less intensive services. For example, if a student is eligible for the self-contained program in Category C, the student may enroll in that program, may opt to instead enroll in the reading and math classes in Category B, or may remain in the home school for cluster grouping and enrichment under Category A.