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500 in PA Cyber Gifted-Talented Program

High achievers without GIEP can participate in online school’s GATE program

MIDLAND, Pa. Jan. 25, 2011


Answer: they are among the 300 students with a GIEP (Gifted Individualized Education Plan) currently enrolled in the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School and it’s GATE (Gifted And Talented Education) program.

The PA Cyber GATE team has developed a program that allows an additional 200 high-achieving students to participate in GATE classes and activities. Students enrolled in the STARR (Student Tasks for Academic Rigor and Responsibility) program may or may not have been tested for the required minimum IQ of at least 130 for a GIEP, yet have demonstrated strong academic achievement.

Karie Walaan


Marian Acon

Requirements for GIEP, STARR

Anna and Frank Trovato Pittsburgh

Gianfranco Trovato MIT

Anna Trovato

University of Pittsburgh

Harrisburg Philadelphia

One of the biggest benefits of the GATE and STARR programs for students is simply the opportunity for these bright young students to meet one another.

Anna Trovato

To be accepted into the STARR program students must maintain a 3.25 GPA and have the recommendation of their instructional supervisors. They also must meet two of the following criteria: test above grade level in reading or math in DORA-DOMA tests administered by the school, have tested to advanced status in annual PSSA state tests or equivalent standardized tests, and/or have accelerated grade placement.

The process of obtaining a GIEP for a student usually begins with a request from a parent or teacher that a student be tested, said Walaan. A school psychologist administers a standardized test such as the WISC-IV, the Fourth Edition of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children. An IQ score of 130 or higher on this test places the individual in the top 2 percent of the population for intelligence.


Acceleration ‘a huge benefit’

"Time Magazine featured a wonderful article that said profoundly gifted students are happiest working two to three grade levels above their age grade," said Acon. "Grade acceleration is a huge benefit of a gifted program, and PA Cyber’s GATE/STARR team works diligently to appropriately place its students."

Gettysburg Pittsburgh

Every three months the GATE staff meets with a group of PA Cyber teachers who serve as advisers and peer coaches. "We can learn so much from each other when we take the time to sit down to talk and plan," said Acon.

These same teachers find research papers, resources and articles on gifted-talented education that are shared with GATE parents.

The GATE/STARR team offers many exciting, fun, and innovative educational opportunities to its students. "The GATE/STARR team prides itself on going the extra mile for our students," said Cilli.

Fred Miller [email protected]

SOURCE PA Cyber Charter School

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