Important Principal Update

I want to update you this week on some information that I shared with our GO Team at our monthly meeting last Thursday night. As our GO Team works to approve our school’s strategic plan, one of the items we must address is the way in which we offer Gifted services to our identified gifted students. Since our current delivery model conflicts with our IB Signature Program in the North Atlanta cluster, each of the six elementary schools in our cluster must address this exact issue. Many families have heard about this upcoming change to our Gifted delivery model from friends at other local elementary schools as each school is currently sharing this information through their GO Teams and communications channels.

To help clarify this work and what it means for Brandon, I have included several documents (IB PYP/Gifted Education Talking Points and FAQs) for you to review to understand exactly what is and what is not going to change regarding Gifted services in the coming years. Some key points to note include the following:

  • The delivery model will change over time, not whether or not students are identified as Gifted or whether or not they receive services. Gifted testing will always occur each year. Students who are found eligible for services will always receive them. There are multiple ways to provide these services and we will adopt an alternate way.
  • There will be a positive impact on class sizes as we adopt a new model as, over time, we will convert our Gifted teacher positions to Homeroom teacher positions, thus adding teachers at each grade level which, over time, will reduce the number of students in each class.
  • All changes will not occur next year. There will be a phased in approach so that by 2020, the time of our next IB evaluation, we will have phased out the Resource model. At this time, that means that students currently in 2nd grade or higher at Brandon would continue to receive Gifted services through a Resource model for the duration of their time at Brandon while students currently in 1st grade or younger would begin receiving services next year through an alternate model.

If you would like to hear more information around the reasoning behind the need to make this change as well as our proposals for exactly how we may make this change a smooth and valuable process, I invite you to come to a meeting about Optimizing the Gifted Program within our IB PYP framework. We will offer this at two separate times: November 3 from 6-7pm and November 4 from 8:30-9:30am, both in the Media Center at Main Campus. We will have district IB and Gifted representatives on hand at each meeting as well as Brandon administrators and our IB Coordinator to assist with any questions you may have.

Thank you for partnering with us as we continue to strive to offer the best IB PYP elementary experience for all of our students!

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