In The Cluster Grouping Model, gifted students are clustered into a mixed-ability classrooms at each grade level. The teacher is trained in understanding, planning for, and instructing gifted students. Gifted Specialists assist cluster teachers with scheduling, provide professional development in gifted education, and facilitate with the planning and implementation of differentiated curriculum. In this model, gifted students receive differentiated curriculum and instruction in all content areas on a daily basis.
Classroom compositions are carefully structured with two main goals: to ensure that there is a balance throughout the grade level, and to reduce the learning range found in any given classroom. This system provides opportunities for teachers to more readily respond to the needs of all their students.
Gifted cluster teachers plan appropriately challenging instruction for their gifted students. This may involve acceleration, enrichment, and various extended learning opportunities targeted to develop the following skills through learning in the content areas:
- Logical thinking
- Reasoning skills
- Critical and creative thinking
Gifted students receive instruction that is differentiated in content, process, product, learning environment and assessment:
- Content — Complex, abstract ideas presented in a variety of disciplines, including interdisciplinary curriculum
- Process — Higher-level thinking through Bloom’s Taxonomy and the Multiple Intelligences
- Products — Alternative methods of demonstrating mastery with a range of complexity
- Learning environment — Student-centered, flexible grouping based on readiness, interests, and abilities
- Assessment — Pre-assessment and testing out-of-grade level curriculum
Students qualify for gifted services at SUSD by obtaining a score at or above the 97th percentile in verbal, quantitative, and/or nonverbal areas and/or a Full Scale IQ (FSIQ) of 128 or above.