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The Differences Between Gifted Individualized Education Plans & Gifted Education

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What is a Gifted Individualized Education Plan?

The Gifted Individualized Education Plan (GIEP) is a critical framework for tailoring a student’s education when in a typical school environment. This document outlines personalized learning strategies, including acceleration and enrichment, to meet the unique needs of gifted students. 

Meetings to design or revise a GIEP are held annually and when requested by parents, teachers, or students over 16 years old. The people who make up a GIEP team are parents, teachers, a District representative, and others as needed, ensuring a conscientious approach to educational planning.

While GIEPs certainly serve a purpose and are useful when it comes to supplementing traditional education and curriculums, they don’t typically account for gifted students’ holistic development. That’s where purpose-built gifted education programs—such as the Davidson Academy—come in.

How Does a GIEP Differ from Gifted Education?

Gifted education is much more than a GIEP. It is a specialized approach to teaching and supporting intellectually advanced students. The goal is to help them reach their full potential and thrive academically, emotionally, and socially. Gifted education programs can vary from school to school and may involve different curriculum adaptations and support services, all to foster the complete development of these individuals.

It’s important that profoundly gifted students not only study curriculum at their individual intellectual level that aligns with their interests, but also that they engage with like-minded peers. While a GIEP can help customize the curriculum, a gifted education program bridges the gap that these plans don’t account for: Learning alongside other students of the same ability perpetuates more motivation and passion. 

Find Purpose-Built Gifted Education at Davidson Academy 

Understanding that GIEPs only contribute a piece to the puzzle, we champion gifted education as the cornerstone of our schooling model. At Davidson Academy, all of our curricula are individualized by nature, as every student who attends our school has unique knowledge, skills, and interests. 

That’s why GIEPs are rendered unnecessary for students at the Davidson Academy. Instead, we provide all of our students with a Prospective Learning Plan (PLP)

Created with the help of students’ parent(s), an Academy guidance counselor, and the curriculum team, students enhance their learning experience and correlate it to their interests and competence. PLPs encompass more than just independent pursuits or modifications to the core curriculum; they constitute the very essence of the curriculum. This plan empowers students to embark on a personalized educational journey that nurtures their full potential.

Additionally, students at Davidson Academy have greater success in the classroom and in their personal development because of the following benefits gifted education provides:

Like-Minded Community

It’s especially easy for profoundly gifted students to feel isolated in the typical school environment. When they advance far quicker than others in their class, they can feel bored and unmotivated while other students—who are just getting a grasp on the subject material—struggle to relate. 

A Davidson Academy education reduces these problems. In fact, we create a like-minded community by challenging exceptionally talented students in what they’re learning and uniting them with others at their skill level. Their peers are motivated and interested in the same things, making it easy for them to collaborate effectively.

Intimate Class Size

We also group students by demonstrated ability instead of age. Students all share the same competence level and are given the opportunity to truly connect with small classroom sizes. Classes contain an average of 10 students per faculty member, which boosts participation, confidence, teacher-and-student engagement, and student-to-student relationships. 

Sense of Belonging

So much time is spent at school, which is why it’s important to resonate beyond intellectual stimuli. When students connect with their classmates on an intellectual level as well as a social one, there’s a stronger sense of belonging in the school system.

In Conclusion

A Gifted Individualized Education Plan serves as a crucial framework for tailoring education in standard schools. However, gifted education extends beyond GIEPs, aiming to foster a student’s intellectual, emotional, and social development. Davidson Academy, founded upon gifted education principles, provides a purpose-built learning environment where PLPs empower students through community and curriculum, ultimately nurturing their overall growth.

Curious which gifted school is right for your child? Read this blog for more information.

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