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The Gifted Program at Vincent Massey

Parents call it one of the Ottawa Carleton District School Board's best-kept secrets! This National Quality Institute award-winning school offers gifted children a high quality, broadly-enriched program within a supportive, culturally diverse environment. Parents credit the program and its talented teachers with reviving their child's interest in learning, saying the gifted classroom provides challenge, keeps kids excited about attending school, and provides a peer group "where it's okay to be smart."

A Powerpoint presentation on the program by some VM students.

French Immersion Gifted Classes at Vincent Massey

Recognizing the need to provide an enriching learning experience, the OCDSB and its predecessor boards have provided differentiated programming for its gifted students for many years. A key programming option for gifted children is the OCDSB's congregated, or as it is now known as, "specialized" gifted program. These classes group gifted students together full time so that they can learn with and from each other, sharing similar intellectual and creative talents and abilities. These specialized gifted classes have been at Vincent Massey for more than 20 years for French Immersion Grades 5 through 8.

The Specialized Gifted program provides an opportunity for gifted students to work in a community that supports their individual needs. Programming reflects a variety of broad enrichment activities that support students' grade level studies.

Our school is fortunate to have talented and effective teachers working with our gifted students. These teachers recognize the unique learning needs of gifted students and provide an enriched environment each day in every subject, allowing students to challenge themselves and acquire the skills necessary to reach their potential.

Why would I choose a specialized gifted class?

Every child has unique needs. Some students may choose studying in their neighbourhood school, while others would benefit from learning with students with similar intellectual and creative ability and talents as found in a specialized gifted class.

Highly gifted children tend to do well in specialized gifted classes, such as those offered by the Ottawa Carleton District School Board. These classes are successful through the use of a more in-depth, compacted curriculum, which also moves at a faster pace. The children learn organizational skills, time management and good study habits, things they may not have had to master to the same degree in a regular program. Gifted children are different not only in their faster learning, but by virtue of their deeper interest and level of understanding. Both these differences must be addressed in a successful educational situation.

If you feel that your child is exhibiting signs and signals such as high motivation in subject areas of interest; high creativity; boredom, and frustration, (because of already having mastered material, or because of the rote and repetition); or you feel he or she is performing at less than at his or her full potential, your child might benefit from a specialized gifted learning environment.

How is a Specialized Gifted Class different?

Students are really the strength of the whole program. They bring to the specialized classroom a wealth and diversity of talent, curiosity and a desire to learn.

Specialized Gifted classes offer gifted students the opportunity to work together on a full- time basis. Being together, these students benefit from the exchange of ideas with students of similar ability. Students study the same curriculum as their grade peers, but they do so in more depth and at a faster rate. Teachers act as facilitators to help each student work towards his or her full potential and help with their social and emotional needs. Students are members of the school community and are given opportunities to use their leadership skills and/or talents in school-wide activities.

The students work towards acquiring the same skills and knowledge as their peers in the regular program; however, more opportunity is provided to apply the skills and knowledge and to study topics in more depth. Cross-grouping activities provide older students with opportunities to build their leadership skills, while giving younger students role models to learn from.

Does my child qualify for a Specialized Gifted class?

Gifted programming is available to students who have met the OCDSB criteria for identification as intellectually gifted via either school board (group standardized tests of cognitive ability) or other testing (i.e. assessment reports from hospitals, from private practitioners and from other educational jurisdictions). Private testing costs may be covered by insurance.

For further information about assessment procedures, placement, program offerings and evaluation methods see the OCDSB Special Education Fact Sheet - Gifted Program (Gifted).

Depending on your child's needs, placement in a specialized gifted program can be very beneficial. At Vincent Massey Public School, we offer early French Immersion specialized gifted classes from grades 5 to 8.

Gifted programming is available to all students who meet the board's criteria for giftedness (via the board or private assessment). If you're interested in exploring this option for your child, contact the Learning Support Teacher (L.S.T) in your school and ask them to begin the application process on your child's behalf, or contact the Board staff directly.

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745 Smyth Road, Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA K1G 1N9 Hours: 8:00 - 2:30
Phone: (613) 733-5955 Fax: (613) 733-0925
Absentee Line: (613) 733-1808
http://www.vincentmasseyps.ocdsb.ca/index.htm