Gifted and Talented Program at Red Cedar Elementary

Red Cedar Elementary Gifted Information and News

Welcome to the Red Cedar Elementary Gifted Education Page!

Gifted Education at RCES


Students who are identified as academically gifted and talented are served in third, fourth, and fifth grade in ELA and/or Math, depending on their area(s) of identified strength. The gifted/talented ELA and math classes are intended to provide students with an appropriately challenging educational experience, while ensuring that the students have opportunities to interact with with other students who have similar abilities and skill levels. The classes are taught by teachers who have earned their state endorsement in gifted and talented education. Curriculum in these classes is based on the state standards and incorporates materials and resources written specifically to meet the needs of gifted students. All G/T classes at Red Cedar include some "high achieving" students who have not yet been formally identified as gifted, but who exhibit strong academic achievement and a strong work ethic.

In addition to the 3rd-5th grade G/T ELA and math classes, there are several other programs offered to Red Cedar students through the gifted and talented program. These include:

  • Brain Boosters- Grade 2: Brain Boosters is a program taught by a G/T teacher to all second grade students during the first quarter of school. The purpose of the program is to expose students to critical thinking and problem solving activities similar to those often found in aptitude and cognitive ability tests. Since all 2nd grade students take the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) as part of the state gifted/talented identification process, it is important for the students to be familiar and comfortable with these types of activities.
  • "Whatever It Takes" (WIT): During WIT time, the G/T teachers generally work with high-achieving students to provide them with enrichment activites related to topics they are currently studying in their classrooms.
  • "Mentoring Young Mathematicians" (M²): This mathematics program gives students an opportunity to think, write, and talk about math concepts more in-depth. Students in grades K-2 are selected to participate in M² based on their math performance and their need for time to take their math learning a step further.

Our Staff
We have two full-time "dedicated" gifted and talented teachers at our school. Mrs. Virginia Pratt has fifteen years of experience teaching gifted students, and serves as the school's lead G/T teacher. Ms. Samantha Ford has five years of experience working with gifted classes, as well as strong knowledge in technology integration and differentiation strategies. Mrs. Pratt and Ms. Ford carry out the responsibilities set forth by the state regulation on gifted education and all district gifted initiatives, as well as teach G/T classes.

In addition to our two G/T teachers, we have a large number of teachers who have taken the required coursework to be endorsed in gifted education. Every teacher who teaches a gifted ELA or math class must be endorsed in accordance with state regulations. The teachers listed below are either already endorsed in gifted education, or are in the process of completing their endorsement. Teachers teaching gifted classes during the 2014-15 school year are indicated with the class/es they are teaching.


Gifted Endorsed Teachers at Red Cedar Elementary

Amy Barr Barbara Hodgins (3rd G/T ELA and Math)
Kelly Bausher Carmen Jones
Amber Blakes (MEd in Gifted Ed) Audrey Olmstead Kaney (4th G/T ELA & Math)
Julie Bruce (3rd G/T Math) Dee Kubic
Tara Crewe (5th G/T ELA & Math) Conor O'Hara (2nd High Achievers-Math)
Samantha Ford (4th & 5th G/T ELA & Math) Sean O'Hara (5th G/T Math)
Liza Fries (3rd G/T ELA) Virginia Pratt (MEd in Gifted Ed; 4th & 5th G/T ELA)
Lisa Galella Deb Ryan
Polly Gump Roni Shaner (2nd High Achievers- Math)
Randi Harms Whitney Sikora
Michael Henry (Media Specialist) Ashley Williams