Advanced Learning Options ALO    |   AVID 


  • Differentiation and GATE Instructional Models 

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    Legislation governing Gifted/Talented Education states that Districts must provide a comprehensive continuum of services and program options responsive to the needs, interests, and abilities of gifted students and based on philosophical, theoretical, and empirical support. These program designs are based on the number of students, personnel involved, availability of local resources, and program funds.

    School Program Options

    The school program may include one or a combination of the following:
    • Cluster: Grouping students within the regular classroom for instruction by the regular classroom teacher
    • Special Day: Homogeneous class(es) for a minimum school day. Classes for students who have liked abilities and interests.
    • Part-Time Grouping: Classes conducted outside the regular classroom for a part of the school day or on Saturday.
    • Enrichment: Supplemental educational activities conducted within the regular classroom but provided by someone other than the regular classroom teacher.
    • Independent Study: Special tutors or mentors or enrollment in correspondence course.
    • Acceleration: Placement in advanced grades or classes.
    • Postsecondary: Advanced Placement classes or part-time enrollment at university.


    All programs must include the four "non-negotiables" of gifted instruction:
    • Depth
    • Complexity
    • Novelty
    • Acceleration


    Cluster Models


    The regular local school “clusters” students in one of the following models to ensure maximum opportunities for peer interaction in flexible learning groups:

    • Model 1 — Full Day: Consists of clusters in elementary school (class period in middle or senior high school, usually designated as Honors or Advanced Placement) and are composed of (1) identified gifted students, (2) students who are being screened for recommendation, (3) students who are recommended for continued screening and advanced instruction.
    • Model 2 — Self-Contained: Consists of all identified gifted students with an emphasis on acceleration and continuous progress that is appropriate to individual needs, i.e., highly gifted or individualized honors programs.
    • Model 3 — Team-Taught Cluster: Consists of two or more teachers working as a team with flexible grouping and regrouping strategies in core subjects: math, social studies, language arts, and science. Schools offering a program for students in visual and performing arts would offer advanced-level experiences.
    • Model 4 — Alternative Program Model: Some schools have unique circumstances or requirements and cannot meet the clustering options that are defined above. These schools may describe an alternative clustering model that addresses their unique needs. (The model is subject to approval by Gifted/Talented Programs.)