West Plains School District Gifted Program

    Amy Ross Ed.D., Special Services Director
    Sylvia Hershenson-Teacher
    Heather Miller, South Fork Elementary Counselor
    Michelle Miller-West Plains Elementary Counselor
    Laurie Shrable-West Plains Elementary Counselor
    Courtney Hughes-Middle School Counselor
    Stephanie Huddleston-Middle School Counselor
    Whitney Orchard-Counselor
    Jennifer Edgeller- Counselor 
    Raegan Fox-Counselor

    Program Goals

     The Missouri Learning Standards approved by the Missouri State Board of Education in May of 2016, provide the basis for the goals of the Gifted Program. The Missouri Learning Standards define the knowledge and skills students need in each grade level and course for success in college, other post-secondary training and careers. These goals and standards provide students with support and structure for finding challenge in the school environment. Meeting these goals and standards will also ensure that students will leave the West Plains School District having a solid foundation of knowledge, skills, and competencies that are essential to leading productive and fulfilling lives. It is the mission of the West Plains School District to provide “Excellence in Education, Service, Life.”

    Program Rationale
    All pupils have special talents and abilities. The mission of the West Plains School District is Excellence in Education, Service, Life. Programs for identified gifted students are a result of this mission and this commitment. Giftedness is an indication of ability; it is not an automatic guarantee of success. In addition to a student’s potential, teachers, parents, and administrators must exert their own creative and intellectual abilities to challenge and motivate gifted students.  Services to gifted students exist to provide gifted students with both challenging and diverse opportunities to prepare them for the future.

    Program Design

    The West Plains School District is committed to providing an educational program in which students may grow to become productive and contributing members of society.   The Gifted Program is designed to provide an array of learning opportunities that help students realize their potential, instills a desire to develop their talents and abilities, and encourages scholastic rigor.

    Elementary Program (Grades 1 – 4) and South Fork (Grade 1-6)

    Students in grades one through six participate in a "pull out" program known as S.O.A.R.   The S.O.A.R. (Students Organizing and Researching) program provides services for students in first thru fourth grade at West Plains elementary and grades first thru sixth grade at South Fork Elementary.  This program provides pull-out services for 150 minutes per week. A certified gifted specialist provides a curriculum that focuses on communication, research skills, thinking skills and problem solving, creative expression, and effective education The S.O.A.R. program also endeavors to make its resources available to the regular classroom teachers.  Materials may be checked out by classroom teachers for use in their classrooms.  S.O.A.R. students, at classroom teacher request, develop and provide presentations to supplement classroom lessons.  Teachers are invited to the S.O.A.R. classroom for in-service on gifted characteristics, appropriate materials and activities.

    Middle School Program (Grade 5 – 8)

    Students in grades seven through eight participate in a program known as S.E.A.R.C.H. (Students Exploring Analyzing Researching Creating Hypothesis).  Students meet with a certified gifted teacher during their elective period each day. Gifted students are placed in a special Reading class that provides instruction aligned with the Missouri Learning Standards but also allows opportunities for gifted enrichment including the areas of communication, research skills, thinking skills and problem solving, creative expression, and effective education. Students who have been previously served by the S.O.A.R. program are eligible to participate in the middle school gifted classes without further identification processes.  A student not previously placed in the gifted program may be screened as identified in the assessment section.

    High School Program (Grades 9 – 12)

    At the high school level, services to the gifted population are provided through a gifted resource educator.  This gifted resource counselor is available each day to assist students who participate in the Gifted Services Program.