Association for Bright Children Peel Chapter
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ABC Peel Bulletin


There are growing problems with the way that the Peel DSB is managing its gifted program.

  • The identification, placement and program practices between the 180 or so elementary schools vary to an unacceptable degree. For example, there seems to be a significantly reduced number of gifted identifications taking place.
  • CCAT results for grade 4 may be discussed with some parents in a meaningful way, by well-informed classroom teachers, in May of the grade 4 year. That allows time for an IPRC and placement in ISELP or ELC by September of their grade 5 year.
  • For other schools, CCAT results are either never revealed (despite being above the cut off) or only brought to parents at November grade 5 parent-teacher meetings, i.e., six months late, often providing limited understanding or explanation of intent or meaning of CCAT and the results.
  • Then identification might never happen, or have been delayed 8 months (though no staff time is saved as a result of the delay).
  • Girls continue to be under-identified in all grades. This was first pointed out years ago, and yet no resources have used to investigate or remedy these apparently unjustifiable differences.
  • There is no consistent policy to provide CCAT to children entering after grade 4 from other boards, or who who are in ESL (English as a 2nd Language) at the time of the grade 4 CCAT.
  • The board's psych services were allocated to ISA and other spec ed services for an extended period, and gifted assessments virtually stopped, with no compensating review or assessments after that stand-still period.
  • The number of children in congregated (ELC) classes has been dramatically cut, and is now about 50% of the rate of 8 years ago. Criteria for moving from ISELP to ELC are inconsistently applied.
  • The quality and intensity of the withdrawal program has been significantly reduced for most ISELP. Often the allocated teaching resource is not committed at the school level, though the school has identified gifted children with ISELP placements.
  • Acceleration is almost always being refused; that now seems to be an unannounced board policy. For some, subject and grade acceleration is being refused irrespective of the child's need.

The attitudes toward gifted seem to have shifted within the board:

  • There were disparaging comments by some Peel staff about the nature and needs of children who are or might be gifted and of those who are already in Junior Enhanced Learning Classes.
  • Many parents have found teachers unresponsive to the individual needs of their children and that the IEP process is flawed for many identified gifted children.
  • Peel staff have stated that the regular classes are now better able to meet the needs of the gifted than in the past, so parents decide that ISELP and ELC are not necessary.

Are we being too negative? There are many marvelous and committed classroom teachers who do great things for the gifted in regular and congregated classes. And board policy has been and can be excellent.

However, along with the concerns discussed above, most teachers have limited experience or training on the needs of gifted. Few ISELP or ELC teachers receive substantive ongoing training, mentoring or supports on classroom practices for the gifted to meet lighthouse or other accepted practices of Peel.

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