WGSD Gifted & Talented Program

Newsletter, December 2022

Things to Know...

Several 2nd and 4th graders participated in a national pilot study over the last two weeks. This study, called the Naglieri General Ability Tests, was designed to remove cultural influences, allow students to solve problems regardless of the language they speak, and significantly reduce the amount of formal knowledge required so tests measure how well students 'think', rather than what students 'know'. The scores of WGSD students will be a part of the test's national norms. The results from the CogAT and the Naglieri General Ability Tests will be compared and correlated to ensure our district has the most reliable, valid and culturally fair universal screener.

Why are affective skills an important component of the gifted curriculum?

Affective processing includes interpersonal interactions, intrapersonal development and leadership skills. Gifted learners work on developing self-acceptance and self-awareness while demonstrating responsibility for their personal growth and engagement in their communities while embracing cultural and personal difference. Check out, Simple Acts Big Impact, a book and podcast that celebrates teens doing service work and being changemakers in their community.


  • Gifted Fine Arts nominations are open until January 9, 2023 (see flyer below).
  • Gifted Fine Arts Evaluations will take place on February 22 and 23, 2023.
  • Academic Gifted nominations are open until May 8, 2023 (see flyer below).
  • Missouri Scholars Academy - a few GT10 students are selected on the basis of an application process (essays, GPA, recommendations) and have an opportunity to participate in a three week summer program at the University of MO - Columbia (see flyer below).

If you have questions about nominating a student, reach out to the gifted specialist in your building or Pam Washington.

Hixson Gifted Social Studies

Mrs. Schroeder, GSS 6

In Gifted Social Studies, we wanted to create a foundation for thinking like historians. Students focused on the four major historical thinking skills of sourcing, contextualization, close reading, and corroborating. Students learned how to analyze primary and secondary sources for valuable information, as well as understanding the strengths and limitations within these sources. Students continue to practice these skills with each unit throughout the year. Continue here to read more about what students are learning.

Mr. Wetter, GSS 7 & 8

It has been a very exciting year so far for the Hixson Gifted students. This year both seventh and eighth grade students are covering the eighth grade social studies curriculum. This means we are starting from where humans began walking upright up through the middle ages. Mrs. Schroeder and myself are working very hard to develop the curriculum and enhance it with project based learning. We are on pace to include two major projects in each unit of study - one that is more of a creative project and one that incorporates the skills of researching and writing. Continue here to read more about what GSS 7 & 8 students are learning.


Ms. Savens, GT 9 and 11

November was a month of action. Gifted 11 has been reading and performing, The Crucible by Arthur Miller. Gifted 9 has started reading and performing Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. Students will begin tracking their own understanding on Monday. I am expecting a fun unit. A special thank you to everyone who sent in costumes for our work!

Gifted 9 students also participated in the national NaNoWriMo campaign. November is National Novel Writing Month. https://nanowrimo.org/about-nano#nanowrimo This is the largest and most challenging creative task we have all school year. Students are aiming to write their own 10,000 word narrative story -- any genre. The goal is not perfection or a finished draft. The purpose of this unit is to apply the narrative structures we learned about in the last unit and to get words on the page. I have been encouraging students to turn off their editor and turn on their creator! Students will only turn in a small portion of the creative work later in the month of December.

Ms. Moore, GT 12

Students in Gifted 12 began the semester by working on their college essays and completing their college applications. Several students applied Early Decision and Early Action to their top-choice schools, so we are anxiously awaiting the results. We are currently finishing Toni Morrison’s Beloved with a formal literary analysis essay, and we will be completing a final novel before winter break. First semester of senior year has flown by for us, and I’m excited to see how they’ve grown!


On December 5th, Hixson GFA went on a field trip to Thrive and WGHS! The WGSD Thrive Program is an innovative and dynamic program that combines education, professional guidance, and personal development to help high school juniors and seniors acquire critical business and entrepreneurial skills to pursue productive, fulfilling lives. Continue reading GFA news here.

Avery Project +

Project + at Avery has been busy working on passion projects, researching the brain, investigating the Global Goals, Shark Tank projects and weekly team challenges.

Givens Project +

Project Plus students have been busy! Our 3rd grade enjoyed a field trip to Magic House: MADE, and the 5th grade enjoyed a field trip to the History Museum. Click here to read more.

Bristol Project +

Bristol P+ kids ended our first grading period on a high note! In the last few weeks, we began a new tradition at the end of each grading period. Continue reading here to hear more about what students are doing at Bristol.

Hudson Project +

The Project Plus students at Hudson are working on several projects during this first term. Click here to read more about these projects.

Edgar Road Project +

Project Plus students have been busy! Our 3rd grade enjoyed a field trip to Magic House: MADE, and the 5th grade enjoyed a field trip to the History Museum. 3rd grade students are learning about the brain, and working through the Social Skills Book for Kids. Click here to read more.

Clark Project +

The Clark Project Plus students are enjoying the first term. We are working on several things and some of them will be in partnership with Hudson. We are working on fostering positive relationships, building good social skills, and the 5th grade is learning about leadership skills. Click here to read more.

Pam Washington, Ph.D.

WGSD Gifted Coordinator, Academic Gifted and Gifted Fine Arts Programs