Ad. Learning Programs & Services

Gifted Services Update September 2020


We have enjoyed connecting with you in such intentional ways last year even during at-home learning. Advanced Learning Services is looking forward to continuing that connection and building upon it as we navigate the world of virtual and in-person learning during the 2020-2021 year. Please know that we are dedicated to meeting our students' needs and supporting them regardless of the learning model chosen by your family. Yes, #RISDWeveGotThis!

Connect With Us

We love to hear from you! Here is one way you can connect with us at any time. You can ask us a question or leave us a comment at

Who will be my GT teacher (ALT=Advanced Learning Teacher) this year? (Elementary)

As you know, we are updating our elementary gifted services model so that we can provide more support and enhanced services to our high-ability students. Click HERE to see which teacher is serving which campus(es) and learn how to connect with them by phone or email.

What is Class Tag?

Class Tag is an application that allows us to send messages to our families. Families can choose how they receive the messages, either by text or email, and in what language. This is not another learning platform and once you are set up there should be no further steps required. We will use this application in our elementary grades. If you have not received an invitation or you need help with this process, please reach out to your ALT for your campus. Thank you for engaging with us!

Responsive Acceleration Pathway Update

With the adjustments we have had to make in response to Covid-19, we have altered our schedule for implementing RAP. We are using the 2020-2021 school year to identify and transition in services for students who demonstrate that level of need.

Our RAP teachers will begin reaching out to potential RAP students' families with next steps in October. Some students will need updated testing while others may not. They will complete student interviews and placement portfolios which will be provided to the placement committee. Students who have not been identified as potential RAP students but whose families would like to pursue further consideration will have the opportunity to request it later in the year.

In the meantime, our Advanced Learning Teachers and RAP teachers are here to support your students as they learn whether it is virtually or in person.

Elementary GT Referrals and Testing Update

Each year, RISD provides an opportunity for students to be referred for gifted services. For grades K-6, the referral window is usually in October. Currently, we plan to continue with that timeline. However, we are finalizing a few other dates so we will be providing a referral SMORE parent information video with the timelines and helpful links on October 1 unless there are other districtwide changes that affect our ability to proceed.

Secondary Services Update

Secondary GT Summer Referral Window and Testing

RISD offers GT- sheltered sections of the following courses in grades 7-11:

GT PreAP/AP ELAR (English/Language Arts)

GT PreAP/AP Social Studies

GT PreAP/AP Science

Students who were scheduled to test in the spring of this year or signed up for testing during the summer referral window but were not tested in August will be scheduled once in-person learning has resumed on their campus. Newly-enrolled 7th-11th grade students may request testing through their school counselor who can contact our department for scheduling.

These testing results will be used to determine GT placement for Fall of 2020.

From the desk of ... Monica Simonds

  • Well, it's finally here. Some of our kids are coming back in person. Others will remain learning virtually. Regardless, it's yet another transition for our families, students, and team. Because of this, I'm calling in one of our favorite guest speakers we had present virtually a couple of years ago through our GT Guest Lecture Series. She has provided two free resources to help parents navigate this time. One video is about helping kids deal with anxiety as they head back to school this semester. The other is about how we talk to children about the pandemic using safety-based messaging. Enjoy!

"Dr. Bryson is the co-author (with Dan Siegel) of two New York Times Best Sellers—The Whole-Brain Child and No-Drama Discipline—each of which has been translated into dozens of languages, as well as The Yes Brain and The Power of Showing Up and the forthcoming Bottom Line for Baby. She is the Founder and Executive Director of The Center for Connection, a multidisciplinary clinical practice in Southern California. Dr. Bryson keynotes conferences and conducts workshops for parents, educators, and clinicians all over the world, and she frequently consults with schools, businesses, and other organizations. An LCSW, Tina is a graduate of Baylor University with a Ph.D. from USC. The most important part of her bio, she says, is that she’s a mom to her three boys. You can learn more about Dr. Bryson at"

  • Also, check HERE for a September 15 FREE webinar from TAGT.

Exec. Director of Advanced Learning Services

Elizabeth Swaner, M. Ed.

Advanced Learning Specialist

Dr. Joseph Russell, Ph.D.

Advanced Learning Specialist

Jasmine Patel, M. Ed.