Gifted and Talented Program

Gifted and Talented Legislation

On January 13, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law A4710, the Strengthening Gifted and Talented Education Act.  The legislation is to ensure appropriate instructional adaptations are in place for identified students.  School districts are to implement an  ongoing K-12 identification process using multiple measures for intellectual ability, creativity, or a specific subject area, while ensuring equitable access for identification.  In identifying and serving students, districts must consider National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) standards.  Districts are required to maintain a list of students receiving services, and develop and document the plans that are in place.  Districts must also provide time and resources to support services and support professional development for staff.

Link to Ridgewood Board of Education Policy 2464, Gifted and Talented Students

Definition According to Legislation
"Gifted and talented student" means a student who possesses or demonstrates a high level of ability in one or more content areas when compared to his chronological peers in the school district and who requires modification of his educational program if he is to achieve in accordance with his capabilities.

Gifted and Talented Program, Ridgewood Public Schools


Mark Ferreri, Supervisor of Social Studies, World Languages and Business

Dan Kilday, Supervisor of Wellness

Chris McCullough, Supervisor of Visual and Performing Arts

Greg McDonald, Supervisor of Mathematics and Computer Science

Susan Nold, Supervisor of English

Jeannie O'Neill, Supervisor of Elementary Education

Tara Taylor, Supervisor of Science

Joyce Cerbasi, Staff Developer (K-5)

Stacie Poelstra, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment

Identification Process

In grades kindergarten through five, multiple measures for identification include Fountas and Pinnell reading assessments, diagnostic math assessment and exemplar, teacher observations of student proficiency, and NJSLA scores (not available in 2020-21).  These assessments are administered annually to identify students who will qualify for Individualized Differentiation Plans.
In grades six through twelve, multiple measures for annual identification include student proficiency in a variety of courses, and/or completion of prerequisite requirements
All students have access to enrichment through these channels.  

Continuum of Services, Ridgewood Public Schools

Each unit of study in our curriculum includes a "Differentiation for Enrichment" section to provide recommendations for teachers with respect to strategies and/or specific curricular extensions for students who demonstrate advanced proficiency.  Students may receive enriched curriculum on a unit-by-unit basis depending on relevant pre-assessment data.

In grades kindergarten through five, Individualized Differentiation Plans (IDPs) are developed for identified students. IDPs document differentiation strategies and are shared with parents and updated by the teacher.  Time is built into the day for students to engage with learning at their level of proficiency (reading levels, small group work in class, curriculum extensions) within the regular classroom.  Instructional resources across a variety of grade levels serve students who require enrichment services.

In grades six through twelve, IDPs are not utilized due to the differentiated nature of the program of studies.  Academics are geared toward students' level of proficiency on an ongoing basis, and instructional resources support a variety of advanced learners' needs.

Complaint Procedures

Should a parent/guardian have concerns regarding the district's ability to meet a student's needs, all efforts will be made to resolve the matter through district administration.

As outlined in the Strengthening Gifted and Talented Education Act, if the parent/guardian is not satisfied, the individual may file a complaint with the Board of Education.  If the parent/guardian remains unsatisfied, the family may file a petition of appeal of the Board's written decision to the Commissioner of Education.