Middle School Gifted and Talented Programs
The HCPSS Middle School G/T Program provides advanced-level learning opportunities in academics, visual arts, and music. The middle school G/T curriculum is developed by Howard County educators, is aligned with state and national standards.
Each HCPSS middle school has one G/T Resource Teacher that serves as the gifted education specialist, supporting differentiated instruction and providing specialized services.
The G/T Resource Teacher will:
- Provide direct instruction to individual and small groups of students.
- Act as a consultant to classroom teachers and administrators
- Serve as a liaison to families and the community regarding program services for advanced-level learners and talent development opportunities.
Find out more about the curriculum and how it encourages students to pursue their academic interests
Content Area Classes
An accelerated and enriched program is provided for identified students who may participate in one or more G/T classes. These classes replace the general education classes in each subject area and are taught on a daily basis by designated G/T content area teachers.
All Howard County public middle schools offer G/T classes in the following academic areas: English, mathematics, science and social studies. The G/T Resource Teacher works with the G/T content area teachers through an interdisciplinary planning team to assist with the implementation of a differentiated curriculum for advanced-level learners.
G/T Instructional Seminars are designed to extend student interests beyond general exploratory experiences. Students develop a broad range of advanced-level skills in preparation for in-depth study and creation of a product on a chosen interest.
G/T Resource Teachers provide advanced-level instruction and schedule these opportunities for interested students. Skill development might include written, oral, and visual communication skills, critical and creative thinking skills, research skills, technology skills, and skills in visual and performing arts.
Television Production, Middle School Book Club, and the Debate seminars are offered in each of the school system’s middle schools. Additional seminars are offered, such as journalism, environmental studies, robotics, creative problem solving, film production, and leadership, based upon the interests of the students at the school. Teachers, students, or parents may nominate students to participate in an instructional seminar, as they are open to all students based upon student interest.
G/T Curriculum Extensions extend the essential curriculum of the G/T content area classes to provide additional rigor and challenge and to engage students in advanced-level thinking, questioning, and research. These offerings may be taught in collaboration with G/T content area class teachers or by the G/T Resource Teacher alone. G/T Curriculum Extension Units vary by school, with offerings such as Writers Guild, History Day, and Shakespeare Troupe/Festival.
The G/T Research Class is offered at all Howard County middle schools and is designed for sixth-grade students who participate in G/T English and G/T Math. Participating students receive instruction in advanced-level skills that they apply in their G/T classes. The research class provides a curricular framework for students to become producers of new knowledge as they apply research skills modeled in the curriculum to an original investigation in a self-selected area of study.
Students will learn how to conduct both primary and secondary research in an effort to address a particular topic and research question. As part of the secondary research process, students will learn how to select and define a topic, locate source material, record notes, and assemble a conclusion paper. While working through the primary research process, students will learn how to state a research question, state a hypothesis, determine the appropriate research design, collect data, analyze data, write a conclusion, and present their findings. See the G/T Research Class Essential Curriculum for further details.
G/T Research Investigations offer the highest level of enrichment for students who demonstrate a sincere interest in a particular field and a willingness to pursue this interest at an advanced-level over an extended period of time. In their roles as investigators, individuals or small groups of students discover and document real-world problems, create original solutions, and seek to fill gaps in the knowledge within a field of study. Students apply their knowledge of advanced-level content in their pursuit of the investigative process. This process includes formulating a problem, using the research tools and methodologies of a professional, and presenting the results to an authentic audience.
The G/T Resource Teacher provides instruction on advanced-level skills, facilitates the gathering of resource materials, and provides opportunities for feedback from professionals. Investigations generally last throughout the school year. The amount of instructional time each week with the G/T Resource Teacher depends upon the complexity of the investigation and involves additional work outside the classroom.
Parents can expect regular progress reports throughout the investigation and a formal evaluation at the conclusion of the investigation. All research investigations are displayed for community viewing at the school enrichment fairs in the spring.
Middle School Expo
Each year, under the direction of the G/T Resource Teacher, middle school students in Howard County Public Schools engage in academic pursuits that allow them to explore their intellectual curiosity. Providing an arena to spotlight these pursuits, the annual Middle School Achievement Expo offers the opportunity for student ambassadors to participate in a professional conference where they can interact with other learners to be inspired to use their voices for change.
The conference begins with a keynote speaker, and then students attend morning sessions where they listen to their peers describe their academic learning in their various fields of study. In the afternoon, ambassadors attend sessions presented by adult professionals who share their research methodologies to inspire the students’ scholarship. The conference closes with the opportunity for students to synthesize their experience and complete a Declaration of Intention, stating how they will use their voices for change in the upcoming school year.
Middle School G/T Resource Teachers
View the contact list for all middle school G/T Resource Teachers.