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 wish to make a complaint that the district has not complied with the provisions of the SGTEA, the first point of contact is the building principal and/or the subject area supervisor.

Should the matter remain unresolved, or its determination be deemed unsatisfactory by the parent/guardian, the parent/guardian may appeal to the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment who will affirm, reject or modify the initial resolution.

As outlined in the Strengthening Gifted and Talented Education Act, if the parent/guardian remains unsatisfied, the family may file a petition of appeal to the Executive County Superintendent.  Specifically, the law states:

The Commissioner of Education shall develop a protocol pursuant to which an individual may submit a complaint alleging that a school district is not in compliance with the provisions of this act, and the executive county superintendent of schools shall investigate the complaint. The protocol shall also include procedures for remediating gifted and talented programs in school districts found to be in noncompliance.

A complaint submitted to the executive county superintendent pursuant to this section may only allege noncompliance that has occurred within one year prior to the date that the complaint is submitted.  The complaint shall include:

     (1)   a statement that the identified school district is not in compliance with the provisions of this act, and the specific facts on which the allegation of noncompliance is based; and

     (2)   the name, address, and contact information of the complainant.

The executive county superintendent shall complete the investigation within 60 calendar days after receipt of the complaint and issue a written decision with proposed remediation, if necessary, to the complainant and the school district.