Groveport Madison’s gifted program expands horizons for students


By Rick Palsgrove
Southeast Editor

The Groveport Madison school district is working to provide its gifted students with opportunities for growth starting at a young age.

“If you can identify a gifted student early and work with them throughout their academic career, there are no boundaries to the amount of growth for the student,” said Lynnea Johnson, gifted coordinator for Groveport Madison Schools. “It’s important to identify these students at a young age to provide the mental stimulation they need and to help them embrace their love of learning at an early age.”

According to Johnson, a gifted student is one who performs at, or shows potential for, remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared to other students the same age.

Johnson said the district identifies gifted students through “a multitude of different assessments.”

These assessments measure cognitive ability, academic ability, creative thinking, and visual and performing arts ability.

This school year there are 654 students out of the 5,566 students in the district who are identified as gifted.

However, only 399 – 142 in elementary school and 257 in the secondary levels – have opted to participate in the gifted program, according to Johnson. That’s up from 387 participants last year.

The elementary and middle school gifted students in the district are grouped together at Sedalia Elementary and Middle School North. The high school gifted students are in the Advanced Placement/Honors program at their school.

Johnson said grouping the gifted students at one school helps create connectedness among them.

“They feel like they fit in. These students have different emotional needs and they need instructors and classmates who understand them,” said Johnson.

The 255 other gifted students who choose not to participate in the gifted program do so for various reasons, one of which is that some parents prefer their child attend their neighborhood school rather than be bused to Sedalia Elementary or Middle School North.

Gifted courses for elementary students are reading and math. Gifted courses for middle school students are reading, math, and science.

High school gifted students can take Honors and Advanced Placement courses in English, geometry, pre-calculus, algebra II, biology, chemistry, world history, American history, language, literature, calculus, government, and college credit coursework.

Groveport Madison Communications Director Jeff Warner said those gifted students who are in the program “are performing at a higher level than those who opted out” of the program.

Warner added that the district works to provide the best education, not just for its gifted students, but for all its 5,566 students.

“Education is different today from in the past,” said Warner. “Today instruction is differentiated so it can reach kids where they are at. We don’t teach a one size fits all. It’s more sophisticated with a variety of teaching approaches. We teach students where they are.”

For information on the gifted program, call Johnson at (614) 836-4788.

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