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  • NEW Elementary Center for Gifted Studies

    Serving North County Elementary Gifted Students

    Located at the former Palm Harbor Elementary

    Q & A 


    Priorities/ Proximity

    Will students who live near the new Center for Gifted Studies be given proximity priority?

    Proximity priority is awarded to students who reside closest to the school (as calculated by Manhattan or City Block distance).  20% of available seats are granted proximity priority after any sibling and professional courtesy priorities have been granted. For 2019-20 proximity priority will be granted for grades 1through 5. In subsequent years, proximity priority will only apply at 1st grade.



    Will current Ridgecrest gifted students who reside in the north county area automatically get a seat in the new north county program?

    No. Current Ridgecrest students who reside in the north county application area will need to apply during the upcoming application period.



    Will there be any priorities granted for siblings of current Ridgecrest gifted students who reside in the north county area?

    Yes. Sibling priority will be given to younger siblings of current Ridgecrest gifted students when they apply for the north county center for gifted studies. Applications for younger siblings will now be restricted to the Center for Gifted Studies in their geographic region. If younger siblings accept a seat, sibling priority would then be granted to older siblings. PCS will make every effort to keep siblings together.



    Will students have priority to Dunedin Highland Middle School Center for Gifted Studies?

    Yes, North County Center for Gifted Studies students have a feeder pattern priority to Dunedin Highland Middle School Center for Gifted Studies, as long as they reside in the geographic region. However, parents must follow the district process for application and acceptance.



    How can I tell which Center for Gifted Studies program my child is eligible to apply for?

    Students are eligible for the north county Center for Gifted Studies if the zoned middle school for their address is:

    Carwise Middle, Dunedin Middle, Palm Harbor Middle, Safety Harbor Middle, and Tarpon Middle. You can         verify your zoned middle school by typing in your address here: https://sap.pinellas.k12.fl.us/PubInfony/  .



    My child is currently enrolled in a Pinellas County school.  Will I need to provide a copy of my child’s Educational Plan (EP) when I apply?

    No, gifted eligibility and EPs can be accessed through the district system.



    My child has been identified as gifted but does not attend a Pinellas County public school.  Will I need to provide a copy of my child’s Educational Plan (EP) when I apply?

    Yes, to verify gifted eligibility your child’s EP will need to be reviewed. Please contact the Gifted Office

    at (727) 588-6088 for further information.  You may email a copy of the most current EP to Coral Marsh at                 

    marshco@psb.org  .



    My child does not attend PCS schools and I would like to have them evaluated for gifted for potential entry to this program, whom do I contact to do this?

    Anne Carter is our gifted teacher who coordinates the eligibility process for our private and homeschool families. You can reach her at CarterANN@pcsb.org or 727-588-6046.





    Is this a neighborhood school or a school within a school?

    Neither, it is not a zoned school or a school within a school. It is a 100% school of choice. There will be 2 magnet

    or application programs housed in this school that will serve students in grades 1 through 5. The Center for Gifted

    Studies serving gifted students and the Center for Literacy Innovation serving students with dyslexia.



    How many classes per grade level?

    In the Center for Gifted Studies, we are planning on 3 classes in 1st grade, and 4 classes in grades 2,3,4 & 5.







    What is the teacher/student ratio?

    In all PCS schools, 18 students in primary grades (1st through 3rd) and 22 students in intermediate

    grades (4th and 5th)



    Where is the school located?

    At the site of the former Palm Harbor Elementary School. 415 15th Street, Palm Harbor, FL 34683



    Will bus transportation be provided?

    Yes, transportation is available via arterial bus transportation (buses that operate on main roads with a limited

    number of stops) for students in who live more than two miles from the school in the north county application area.


    Will Before/After School care be available?

    Yes, it will be provided by the R Club. Information will be posted on the school website this summer.



    What are the school hours for next year?

    School hours for students for 2019-20 will be the same as other Pinellas elementary schools.


    Are there any parent involvement requirements?

    None that are required. Parents are invited to volunteer in school functions, in classrooms, on SAC and/or PTSA, but there is not a required number of hours.



    General/ Student & Curriculum Focus

    What specials/electives will my student have?All PCS elementary schools have at minimum, weekly art (60 mins), music (60 mins), and PE (150 mins) as well as daily recess (20 mins). In addition to those, we expect to be able to offer our students an additional special called “makerspace” where they will work with technology to develop problem-solving skills. Students will also take part in weekly interest-based enrichment clusters.


    What is the Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM)?

    SEM is an opportunity for students to discover, learn and celebrate an area of interest and talent. SEM is based on the gifted education research of Dr. Joseph Renzulli, University of Connecticut.  Students andteachers will take interest surveys and enrichment clusters will be formed based on their interests. Students will work in these clusters weekly and later develop a product of their choosing to show off what they learn. In addition, this model offers an infusion based philosophy to bring students’ interests and learning preferences in throughout the day in the various content areas. 


    What unique features of the North County Center for Gifted Studies ensure that my child meets Florida Gifted Education Standards?

    Students will have explicit time each day with a focus on Florida Gifted Standards for approximately 45-60 minutes.  Each day will target a special feature: Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM),creative and critical thinking, research skills, social/emotional characteristics/needs, and advanced literature, science or social studies with units developed by the College of William and Mary Center for Gifted Studies or other supplemental gifted curricula.


    Will the teachers be specially trained to work with gifted learners?

    Yes, in addition to holding elementary certification, all teachers will be gifted endorsed or in the process of completing the 5 course/300 hours of endorsement courses. This means that CGS teachers have a unique understanding of gifted leaners, their needs and how to best help them grow.



    My child has never been in a full-time gifted program experience, how I can I know if he/she will be successful?

    Students who meet the criteria for gifted have the academic potential for success in a full-time gifted program. The curriculum at the North County Center for Gifted Studies is designed to provide a challenge and promote academic growth. However, that does not mean all students are expected to excel in all subject areas at all times. Important factors to consider are your child’s willingness to meet an academic challenge and to persevere when the work is complex or difficult or success does not come easily.  Time management, self-direction and organizational skills are also important.  The teachers at the North County Center for Gifted Studies will work with students to develop these important life skills.  Should additional support be needed the teacher will collaborate with individual students and parents through the Educational Plan (EP) process.



    Will the subject area curriculum be a challenging?

    Students will be expected to meet the general education standards in each subject area at each grade level. Grade level expectations serve as the foundation with room for students to be challenged with depth and complexity inside of the state standards. For many gifted learners, grade level curriculum, tasks, questions, and pacing aren’t challenging enough for them to make continuous growth so district curriculum will be supplemented with research based gifted curriculum designed to promote growth in the skills of the gifted learner.


    Will there be extensive homework?

    Homework decisions will be made by the teachers. It should not be assumed that students will have an extraordinary amount of homework because they are in a full-time gifted school. We encourage teachers to focus on quality over quantity with regards to homework. We also expect that they maximize learning opportunities during the school day to decrease the need for work to be done at home.