Talented and Gifted (TAG)
Salem-Keizer Talented and Gifted Services
TAG Program Associate
- Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm
The mission of Talented and Gifted Services within Salem-Keizer Public Schools is to recognize, identify and provide instructional services that serve the unique strengths and needs of students identified as talented and gifted.
Recognizing the diversity of the students we serve, we believe that giftedness exists in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups across all genders, and it is our goal to provide appropriate instructional services to create educational opportunities for all students, including those identified as talented and gifted.
Talented and Gifted Information
Talented and Gifted Introduction
The Oregon Talented and Gifted Act, which was passed by the legislature in 1987, requires school districts to identify and serve both intellectually gifted and academically talented students in grades k-12. Salem-Keizer Public Schools provides instruction for Talented and Gifted students through an in-class model. Teachers are the primary service provider for gifted students.
Because of the unique learning needs of students with exceptional abilities, a differentiated program is necessary. Differentiation may, not exclusively, take the form of:
- Independent Study/Project
- Tiered Assignments/Assignment Modification
- Cluster Grouping
- Flexible Grouping
- Learning Contract
- Multiple Intelligence
- Learning Styles
- Higher Level/Critical Thinking
- Anchor Activities
- Graphic Organizers
Usually, a combination of these modifications is appropriate. The classroom teacher is responsible for ensuring that the learning needs of Talented and Gifted students are met. Both formal and informal assessments are used by teachers to provide the basis for the differentiation of the curriculum.
The Oregon Talented and Gifted Education Act
Oregon Administrative Rules (OARs) outline the specific requirements of the Oregon Talented and Gifted Education Act. These rules and statues apply to all children grades K-12.
The OARs for the Oregon Talented and Gifted Education Act are as follows:
- Each school district shall have policies and procedures for the identification of Talented and Gifted students.
- Each school district shall have a written plan for programs and services.
- The instruction provided to identified students shall address their assessed levels of learning and accelerated rates of learning.
- Parents rights of Talented and Gifted Students:
- School districts shall inform parents at the time of the identification of the child of the programs and services available.
- School districts shall provide an opportunity for parents to provide input about the programs and services to be received.
- Parents may request the withdrawal of their child from programs and services.
- Parents shall be informed of the right to file a complaint.
OAR 581-022-2270, 581-022-2325, 581-022-2330, 581-022-2370, 581-022-2500, 166-400-0060,
166-400-0015. ORS 343.391-343.413
For a complete text of the OARs governing TAG, please go to the TAG/ODE website.
Standards for Salem-Keizer Public Schools TAG Services
The qualities of strong services are consistent throughout all schools, K-12. The eight standards around which each school’s services are built are as follows:
- There will be an ongoing search for students eligible for TAG services.
- Information will be provided by the school to parents in a timely manner when a student is identified.
- Level(s) and rate(s) of learning will be assessed.
- Documentation of instruction for assessed level(s) of learning and accelerated rate(s) of learning will exist.
- There will be opportunities for parent input and regular communication among parents, school staff, and students.
- There will be a shared responsibility among parents, school staff and students.
- Appropriate service options for each student to work at assessed level(s) and accelerated rate(s) of learning will exist.
- Opportunities for interaction with other TAG students will exist.
Salem-Keizer Public Schools identifies students in the categories of Academic Talents and Intellectual Gifts. Those identified as Academically Talented have shown specific ability in either reading or math. Intellectually Gifted students have demonstrated unusual capabilities in mental reasoning.
Identification is based on multiple criteria that call for a consistent pattern of excellence over time. One piece of evidence will be results from a nationally standardized test of academic achievement or mental ability. Additional information must be gathered, and may include referral forms, classroom test scores, work samples, observations, and anecdotal records. No single test score, measure, or piece of evidence shall be the sole criterion for identification or prevent students from being identified.
Step 1: Initial Screening/Referral
Classroom teachers, parents or community members may refer a student (K-12) to the school’s TAG Team. Students may also make self-referrals. Students in kindergarten through twelfth grade are considered for TAG testing as a result of ongoing review and observation. The district may also use a universal screener for all students at a specific grade level(s) as an indicator for further research of potential inclusion in TAG services.
Students are grouped into nomination window timeframes based on grade levels for inclusion in TAG testing.
Step 2: Data Review
When a student has been referred, the TAG Team collects and reviews applicable data. In addition to standardized test scores, this data must include supporting evidence such as work samples, observations, anecdotal records, and teacher/parent referral. The TAG Team then decides whether the student:
- Meets criteria for identification,
- May meet criteria, but more information is needed, or
- Does not meet the criteria.
Step 3: Testing
When additional information is needed, individual testing may be requested. Parent permission is required for individual testing. Test results will be shared with parents and the TAG Team.
Step 4: Communication
Parents and the student’s teacher(s) will be notified of the identification decision. Parents have the right to appeal the decision if they disagree and should contact the principal.
Questions regarding the identification process should be directed to the school’s TAG Advocate or the district TAG Office.
Instructional Services for TAG students
For students identified as Talented and Gifted, instructional services are provided through an in-class model where TAG students may be clustered for instruction. In this model, the classroom teacher is the primary service provider. Classroom teachers are responsible for assessing the student’s level of learning and monitoring the student’s rate of learning and providing appropriate instruction. This applies to all grade levels and all subject areas or courses. Regardless of the category of identification, all identified students receive instruction at their assessed level and monitored rate of learning in all content areas.
Level of Learning is the student’s instructional level in the curriculum, the place where the student will be successful, but will encounter knowledge and skills he or she has not yet learned or mastered.
Rate of Learning is a measure of the pace at which a student successfully progresses through the curriculum after being placed at the appropriate level. A student’s rate of learning will vary depending on the following:
- Point in the learning process
- Degree of interest to the student
- Level of difficulty of the material, and/or
- Learning style of the student
- Student Motivation
At all levels, the goal is to ensure that the gifted learner is stimulated and challenged throughout the school day by means of advanced content, flexible pacing, higher order thinking skills, research, projects, and/or materials appropriate for the student’s learning.
TAG Instructional Plans
- TAG Grade Level Instructional Plans will be written for grades K-5. This plan documents the instructional strategies that may be used for identified TAG students, based on assessments and classroom performance.
- It is important that TAG students in secondary level of instruction receive academic instruction at a rate and level of learning that is appropriate to meet their needs. Each instructor along with the student is expected to identify and share opportunities where the level and rate of learning may need to be adjusted to meet these needs. Each course syllabi are expected to include the following language that outlines this need:
“The curriculum and instruction of this course will be differentiated based on assessed data and ongoing learning evidence to include specialized groupings, compacting of curriculum, accelerated pacing, and providing of extension/challenge activities (on the principle of ‘different work’ not ‘more work’), in order to ensure that students designated as ‘Talented and Gifted’ (TAG) receive academic instruction that is appropriate for their rate and level of learning.”
- At grades 9-12, TAG students may take advantage of Advanced Placement, accelerated, and/or honors courses. Other options include dual enrollment and independent study.
- Parents/Guardians are encouraged to contact their student’s teacher for information on how instruction is differentiated at the secondary level.
At all grades, parents have an opportunity to provide input. Parents may provide input by contacting the school or by filling out the TAG Input Form. The nature of this opportunity may vary. Information about how parents can give input will be provided by the school. Questions regarding instructional plans and options should be directed to the school principal or TAG Advocate.
District Complaint Solution Process
Salem-Keizer Public Schools is committed to the best education possible for TAG students. Planning to meet a student’s instructional needs is best accomplished through clear communication between teacher and parents. If a problem arises, every effort should be made to resolve the issue at the classroom teacher/school level.
If a problem cannot be resolved by working directly with the school, the parent should follow the district complaint procedure. Complaints specific to TAG Students and/or TAG Services will be reviewed concurrently by the TAG office and affected parties within the school district.
The District recognizes that talents and gifts are present in all student populations, and identification will not be predicted nor predetermined by race, national origin, gender identity, or level of proficiency upon entering our schools.
Talented and Gifted Services announces nomination windows for identifying TAG students
For the 2022-2023 school year the Salem-Keizer School District has implemented Nomination Windows for submission of testing requests for identification of Talented and Gifted Students.
Parents/Guardians that believe that their child is a candidate for testing should work with their child’s teacher or the school’s TAG Advocate to submit information necessary for consideration of testing.
Testing requests must be submitted during the following Nomination Window timeframes:
- October 10, 2022, through November 4, 2022, Grade Levels 4-12 nominations will be open for TAG testing.
- November 1, 2022, through November 19, 2022, Grade Levels 2-3 will be given testing using a Nonverbal Universal Screener chosen by the district. Parent/Guardians will receive notification via ParentSquare™ with additional information.
- February 27, 2023, through March 13, 2023, Grade Levels K-1 nominations will be open for TAG testing.
TAG Input Form
Use the form below to connect with the TAG department staff
or download PDF: English | Marshallese | Russian | Spanish
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