Madame Chairperson, Board members, Mr. Hendrick, and Staff.
We are excited to bring to you tonight, our fourth proclamation for Gifted and Talented Education Awareness Week in Pinellas County. In the hall, you will see a few student-created advocacy posters from past year’s celebration.
Under your leadership, our gifted and talented program continues to grow and transform.
Today, we are currently serving over 11,000 learners identified as gifted in KG through 12thgrade and an additional 4,000 talented learners in elementary school. We have around 200 gifted teachers providing services.
The growth we have seen in the last five years is a direct reflection of the initiatives the leaders in this room, and others before them, have supported. Here are just a few we should be extra proud of.
In the past year:
- We screened over 6,000 students for gifted.
- We identified 371 students for gifted using alternative eligibility.
- We expanded the number of schools with talent services and doubled the number of students in our talent program.
- We hosted Camp Invention this summer for 600 gifted, talented, and ESOL students.
- We started our fifth and final year of our Javits Gifted Education Grant Award, a highly competitive federal grant that Pinellas won back in 2019. Much of the work centers around supporting teachers to best meet the needs of their gifted and talented learners, which in turn elevates learning for all students.
These initiatives continue to matter.
We have changed who is identified for gifted services in Pinellas County and expanded the types of services available. Through both access and support, gifted and talented learners are being served in powerful ways. These efforts are being recognized at the national level. This November, we have the honor of facilitating 4 sessions at the National Gifted Conference, showcasing some of the impactful work happening in Pinellas Gifted and Talented.
Thank you, on behalf of all our gifted and talented students and educators, for taking this time to celebrate and bring awareness to the dynamic gifted and talented education programs in our district.