Domain-Specific Services Model
Because students often exhibit a need for advanced learning services in specific content/reasoning domains, BSD’s Advanced Learning Department has developed a model to provide domain-specific services to students demonstrating a need. The CogAT 7 measures cognitive ability in the verbal, quantitative and nonverbal reasoning domains. Achievement tests measure skill levels in Literacy and Math domains. When the multi-disciplinary team analyzes a child’s cognitive and achievement data, they recognize if a child is in need of services in one or more of the following domains:
• Literacy (Advanced Verbal Reasoning / Advanced Reading Achievement)
• Math (Advanced Quantitative Reasoning / Advanced Math Achievement)
• Nonverbal (Advanced Nonverbal Reasoning – The ability to analyze visual information and solve problems using visual, abstract, inductive and/or diagrammatic reasoning)
Domain specific services are delivered in the general education classroom in the school where the child is enrolled. Classroom teachers have been provided professional development and will have support from the Advanced Learning staff, as needed, to determine how to best meet each child’s needs. It is important to note that teachers already use a variety of differentiation practices to meet the needs of students in their classroom, and application of these practices will continue for students identified as in need of advanced learning services.
In the fall, classroom teachers will receive information about each child’s domain strength(s). As the teacher completes formative assessments, he or she will determine how best to meet each child’s needs. Differentiation of instruction may be necessary for many units of study in the domain for which a child is identified, but teachers may find that at times, a child needs more standardized instruction. Research on students with high potential shows that sometimes they have advanced ability in certain areas of a specific content, but they may need intentional instruction in other areas in order for them to be able to extend their learning. What this means is that teachers act as diagnosticians throughout the school year and make decisions to best meet the needs of each child.
It is important to keep in mind that every child, every teacher, and every school is different. What works for one child may not work for another. Teachers’ instructional styles vary, and though one teacher may choose certain strategies/practices to meet the needs of high ability learners, another teacher might choose a different set of strategies/practices.
In the fall, parents and teachers of students identified as in need of domain-specific services will have access to an Advanced Learning Classroom-Based Student Plan. Each child’s plan can be found in ParentVue under documents in the student portal. The plan will explain academic/cognitive strengths as well as provide instructional options that the teacher may choose to utilize if needed. Parent-Teacher conferences are planned in the fall, and the conference will provide an opportunity to discuss all content areas with the child’s teacher, including the domain in which a child is receiving advanced learning services.
Parents interested in their child enrolling in self-contained services (SCS) will want to apply for testing again in the fall. The application window remains open from the beginning of September through the end of October. Students are welcome to test again each year to determine if ability in other areas has further developed and shows a need for self-contained services.