Gifted & Talented Education
South Orangetown offers an array of programs and enrichment opportunities for high-ability learners and gifted and talented learners. Services are designed to challenge students academically, develop interpersonal skills, build critical thinking skills, integrate technology, develop problem-solving and foster creative thinking. At SOCSD, we offer a tiered approach that is flexible and responsive to student needs and committed to developing student talent across all domains.
During late winter/early spring of Grade 2, all students are assessed using the Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT). This universal screening test takes place over two days and is administered in the classroom. The OLSAT measures the ability to detect likeness and difference, recall information, follow directions, classify, sequence, and understand analogies.
OLSAT scores, local assessments, standardized assessments (STAR), and teacher recommendations are all considered in the initial, formal identification process. A district committee of educators and administrators reviews and recommends students who require additional gifted and talented enrichment services in the school day. Parents whose children are determined to be eligible for Gifted & Talented services are notified by letter in late spring.
Identification is an ongoing process. While in grades 3-5, students are reviewed mid-year and end-year, using STAR assessments, OLSAT-8, and teacher recommendations.
William O. Schaefer Elementary School
Enrichment Teacher Robin Courtwright works informally with all students in Grades 1-2. Whole class push in lessons focus on the development of self-reflection, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, divergent thinking, design engineering, archaeology, and more. Differentiated lessons are closely aligned with and extend the core curriculum.
Students who are reading at advanced levels have opportunities for in depth discussions with peers in book clubs. Students who are engaging with math at advanced levels have opportunities for problem-solving enrichment within the school day. Monthly Challenges promote creativity at home. A wide range of before and after school enrichment opportunities support the development of student passions. Enrichment opportunities vary year to year.
Technology and library classes enhance students’ general learning experience and include problem-solving, creative thinking, initiative and self-direction, discovery through research, higher order thinking, self-acceptance and the courage to be different. Library classes encourage students to research topics of interest and to become global citizens through the love of reading.
Cottage Lane Elementary School
Starting in Grade 3, identified students may be placed in a cluster class to receive instructional support. Teacher of the Gifted & Talented, Kerri McBride, provides pull-out and push-in lessons for identified students, differentiated instruction, and a variety of challenges.
In addition, during the “instructional support” period of the school day, flexible enrichment groups provide high ability learners and creative thinkers an opportunity to explore a variety of topics.
CLE offers all students school-wide challenges, and before and after school enrichments. Students have the opportunity to participate in robotics, chess, math leagues, instrumental music, etc. for additional challenges. Enrichment opportunities vary year to year.
South Orangetown Middle School
SOMS features an array of opportunities for high-ability learners which include the Challenge Lab elective, accelerated and honors classes, Virtual High School courses and instrumental music instruction to more than a dozen after school clubs, such as Math Club, Debate Club and Science Olympiads.
Tappan Zee High School
In addition to Honors and Advanced Placement classes in all content areas, Tappan Zee High School offers the rigorous Project Lead the Way engineering pathway, Virtual High School courses and dual-enrollment opportunities. Students also discover and develop interests through a rich assortment of extracurricular activities, honor societies and performing arts groups.