The in-person seminar discussion program will resume when schools reopen. In the meantime, follow the link for Online Enrichment Opportunities. Students in grades 9, 10 and 11 should also keep an eye out for the Google (Gifted) Classrooms coming soon to an electronic device near you!




2019-2020 Seminar Schedules  Grade 9  Grade 10  Grade 11  Grade 12


Gifted Education Program at Forest Park High School

Gifted Education Resource Teachers:                                   
Mr. Dan Bredbenner   bredbedw@pwcs.edu
Mr. Nicholas Watkins  watkinnj@pwcs.edu


What do students learn in the high school gifted program? See this overview or read on for more information...                                                                                                

The primary method of instruction in the high school gifted program is interdisciplinary seminar discussions. These highly collaborative sessions use thought provoking activities and high-level primary readings to spark academic discussions and foster development in thinking skills. While the topics and questions change with each seminar, they provide an interrelated and cumulative curriculum throughout the four years that is always focused on using the various topics to teach students how to improve in the areas of Critical, Creative, Reflective, and Collaborative Thinking. The ultimate goal is for students to reach advanced Conceptual Thinking skills and the ability to comprehensively and respectfully explore complex ideas in diverse group settings. Historically, students who have been most consistent in effort and attendance have been the most likely to achieve this level.

Seminar Location

Students will report to room 1143 near the main stairs.  Further information will be provided if an alternative location will be used for a particular seminar.

Seminar Attendance

Students participating in the gifted program are expected to attend seminars on a regular basis. If a student is unable to attend a scheduled seminar, please make prior arrangements to attend at another time, if available. To be excused from a particular seminar, a student should submit a written note from his/her parent or guardian. The parent can also email a resource teacher prior to the beginning of the seminar.

Students who have been identified as gifted by PWCS must be provided the opportunity to receive the appropriate level of services as determined. Teachers may not forbid students to attend a seminar during a particular period. They are always welcome to contact Mr. Bredbenner prior to the scheduled period if a conflict arises and a mutually satisfactory arrangement can be made 99% of the time. If school is cancelled, missed seminars will not be made up due to schedule restraints - the material will be condensed into future seminars.

 

Seminar Schedule

Seminar schedules need to be custom designed each year to minimize conflicts and maximize benefits for the students. Individual student schedules are not available until mid-late September when that work is completed. The first seminars typically begin in the 3rd week of school, but a maximum of two grade levels can be scheduled in a particular week.

Exact dates and topics of all seminars will be posted on the wall outside room 1143, distributed by email to parents & teachers and by paper to students, and posted on this page as soon as they are approved. Links to posted schedules are on the menu on the left side of this page. The Gifted Resource Teachers at Forest Park understand that it can be a challenge to miss classes, so every effort is made to minimize the impact on classes while maximizing the benefit of the time spent in the resource program.

All 9th and 10th grade students enrolled in HPE I and HPE II will be scheduled to attend seminars during the physical activity portion of their HPE classes. They will typically miss class for the period as a group with other students in the same section. Students who are not taking HPE I or II will attend the same seminars as HPE students, but rotate through their classes. This will mean that you must choose the best period during the two days listed. 

All 11th and 12th grade students will receive passes which allow them to attend ONE class period out of the options available during the scheduled days. All active students are expected to participate in each of the seminars, but it will be left to them to make a responsible decision about which period each time. They may repeat particular period(s) or choose a different period each time as they consider their particular situation. 

Conferences

All students will complete their Differentiated Services Plan (DSP) in seminar conferences before scheduling in February. The DSP is intended to aid students’ and their parents’ long range planning in pursuit of each student’s personal educational goals. In addition to the DSP conferences, gifted education teachers are available to conference as needed with gifted students. Conferences can be initiated by the student or teacher. Please contact the teacher in advance to schedule a conference. Conferences can be used to address issues such as college applications, academic progress, socio-emotional issues, and other concerns.

 

Program Participation

All needed materials will be provided. Students identified as gifted are expected to attend seminars on a regular basis. If a student wishes to attend during a different class or withdraw from seminars on a temporary or permanent basis, he/she should have a parent contact the resource teachers to discuss options.

 

Make-Up Work

Prior to coming to a seminar, students are encouraged to go to the class they will be missing, check in with their teacher for attendance purposes, turn in any work that is due and get any make-up assignments needed for that class. Whether they do that or not, all missed work must be completed according to the teacher’s make-up work policy just like any other absence from class.

 

Peer Nominations

Students are welcome to nominate peers for the gifted program. Nominees must go through an eligibility process to be identified as gifted and participate in the program. Nominations should be made to a gifted resource teacher.

 

Evaluation

Evaluations are currently being revised for the 2019-2020 school year. The previous explanation for evaluations has been left up to provide a sense of how students growth is assessed each year. The new version should be more user friendly and we will post it as soon as possible...

Seminars are an ungraded environment where all ideas are considered and intellectual risks can be taken without the fear of a low grade. However, at the end of each school year, students are evaluated by themselves and their teachers using the rubric below. Students tend to enter high school on the left side of this chart, but those who participate regularly throughout their high school careers tend to reach the right side by graduation. 

The seminar program is designed to foster four different types of thinking, each with its own sets of foundational, advanced and mastery level skills. Students are self- and teacher-evaluated annually with a range reflecting their least and most mature thinking. The growth marks in each area are:
Novice – inconsistently uses these skills
Developing – frequently uses these skills
              Reaching (proficiency) – regularly uses these skills                    
                    Proficient
– reliably uses and models these skills to peers

 

CRITICAL Thinking

FOUNDATIONAL

ADVANCED

MASTERY

Defines and clarifies concepts and distinctions

Attempts to analyze and clarify concepts; may use conflicting or inaccurate definitions

Uses reasonable and appropriate definitions when analyzing and clarifying concepts

Uses succinct and precise definitions and distinctions to analyze and clarify concepts

Student

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

Teacher

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

Questions and evaluates sources, information, and conclusions

May accept novel ideas with little scrutiny; and/or challenges ideas which differ from own position, supports those which confirm

Considers quality of source materials and conclusions; looks for strengths and weaknesses in familiar and novel ideas

Evaluates the quality and validity of all source materials and conclusions

Student

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

Teacher

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

Reasons to develop positions and to respond to differing positions

Understands the reasoning behind some positions

Uses logic in developing positions; may use reasoning in considering differing positions

Uses logic and reasoning in developing own positions and in reacting to differing ones

Student

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

Teacher

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

 

CONCEPTUAL Thinking

FOUNDATIONAL

ADVANCED

MASTERY

Grasps, Explains, and Constructs Meaning

 

Grasps some abstract concepts; Expresses meaning that reflects standard definition

Understands abstract concepts, Builds own meaning that is appropriate and satisfactory

Explains abstract concepts concisely; Creates new meaning that is comprehensive

Student

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

Teacher

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

Extends and refines concepts

Understands how concepts relate and looks for internal and external connections

Enlarges aspects of concepts; relates new to previous concepts and seeks implications

Finds new aspects of concepts; explores assumptions, consequences, implications

Student

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

Teacher

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

Expresses point of view supported by evidence

Expresses conventional point of view; may not have considered issue personally

Expresses a viewpoint adapted or combined from others

Expresses a distinct and consistent individual viewpoint based on evidence

Student

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

Teacher

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

 

REFLECTIVE Thinking

FOUNDATIONAL

ADVANCED

MASTERY

Exhibits independent insight

Shows willingness to explore personal connections to develop insight

Reflects on new concepts in developing new awareness and insight

Reflects on previous and new concepts in developing connections, new awareness, and insight

Student

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

Teacher

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

Examines, combines, and transforms ideas

Examines and considers ideas

Examines, considers, and combines ideas

Examines, considers, combines, and transforms ideas

Student

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

Teacher

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

Evaluates to improve own performance

Evaluates own performance with personal point of view

Evaluates own performance and listens to the formal or informal feedback of others

Evaluates own performance in detail and incorporates evaluation of others to improve performance

Student

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

Teacher

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

 

COLLABORATIVE

FOUNDATIONAL

ADVANCED

MASTERY

Thinking

Cooperates with peers

Participates in group process; attempts communication with people who have different feelings and ideas

Helps facilitate group process; communicates well with people who have different feelings and ideas

Actively facilitates group process; is sensitive to the feelings and ideas of others

Student

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

Teacher

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

Initiates and furthers discussion

Initiates discussion when prompted; provides feedback when prompted

Initiates discussion when interested in material; provides positive feedback spontaneously

Willingly initiates discussions; provides useful and positive feedback

Student

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

Teacher

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

Learns through collaboration

Recognizes concepts; recognizes different ideas

Examines concepts; is open-minded to different ideas

Explores concepts; encourages different ideas

Student

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

Teacher

D

R

P

N

D

R

P

N

D

R

P