Ad. Learning Programs & Services

Transition Update May 2020


We know we are in unique times and we have had to suspend our parent meetings. However, we remain committed to sharing with you information as it becomes available. Processes have been slowed for some parts of the transition of gifted services such as Responsive Acceleration Pathway, but we are confident each step will be implemented well and to the benefit of students. Be confident that as more information becomes available, we will update you through all means available.

Connect With Us

We love to hear from you! We are providing multiple ways to connect with us this spring. Because of physical distancing and the closing of school buildings, we are unable to have the planned parent meetings; however, as we learn new information, we will publish a SMORE newsletter and/or add information to our FAQ. In the meantime...

RISD Summer Learning

Will my child continue to receive gifted services?

Your child's engagement and growth is important to us. The RISD Teaching and Learning department have posted ways to continue to learn through the summer on the At-Home Learning website (no longer available). We are maintaining our Extended Learning site, too.

My child wants/needs to be more engaged right now. Do you have anything to help him/her with that?

Yes, we have an At-Home Learning Extension site located here:

More than anything else, READ! Click here for more information about Summer Reading 2020.

Tier 4 - Responsive Acceleration Pathway

The original plan for this level of service included identification of students this spring with services to begin in the fall of 2020; however, with schools not in physical session as a result of Covid-19, some students with incomplete or outdated (more than two years old) data profiles would not receive appropriate consideration, and we are committed to ensuring this opportunity is provided with equity.

Additionally, there is much unknown about how school will look in the fall. Our calendar is under reconsideration and some families may choose the RISD virtual learning platforms instead of attending in person, both of which would impact this service. It is important to all of us that we implement this expansion strategically and intentionally so it yields the highest form of success and growth for our students.

We realize that you may have questions about this service and process especially as our timeline has been delayed. We value your feedback and questions so we have included two ways to contact us: Monica Simonds at 469-593-0888 or or fill out this form with questions and someone will reach out to you as soon as possible.

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

The referral window is now open for rising 7th-11th graders already enrolled in RISD and all new secondary students who wish to be screened in August or when we return to face-to-face services. You may refer your rising 7th-11th grader by using one of the following links:



Students who were scheduled to test in the spring of this year will be tested in August or when we return to face-to-face services.

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

We're Glad You Asked

In this section, we usually select two or three questions we have been asked and dive a little deeper than the FAQ. Most of our questions have been about the Total School Cluster Grouping so we want to re-share the FAQ.

This edition is all about Total School Clustering Grouping. Click here for the FAQ.

From the desk of ... Jasmine Patel

Life as we know it changed in March 2020. I do not feel dramatic when I say life has COMPLETELY been turned upside down. All norms are impacted: predictable routines, successful industries, scheduled vacations/breaks, sporting events, rights of passage (commencement, professional drafts, weddings, funerals, etc), calendars (to name just a few)…..even who and what is truly essential! We have had to improvise a multitude of alternate plans to replace these standardized norms and practices.

We seem to have weathered the first pass of this storm and are now preparing to transition to a new normal...even if temporary in anticipation of the second (possibly bigger) storm that is predicted. But the magnitude of the upheaval makes many of us apprehensive about re-entry. Aside from the unknown risks of returning to a more “normal” lifestyle, many of us have embraced the simplicity of life that has come as a result of….well….living a more simple life! In some ways, re-entry isn’t all it's cracked up to be.

I do not say that to make light of what has been lost: my twin seniors are missing a rewarding end to a high school career in which they have worked hard to excel and achieve. They deserved those honors. What looms ahead is not their next steps to college are also in question. Our life plans are on hold. But my goal is to keep my family moving I’ve had to reframe my own focus.

As a parent, I consider all of this as it impacts my 3 children. I’ve done what every parent strives to do: ensure their health and well-being, and provide a safe place to shelter-in-place at home. We have filled our extra time with activities (walks, workouts, games, discussion, tv shows), gotten more sleep, read and learned more, stressed less, laughed a lot…..and really learned to appreciate all that we DO have. We share the joy of these outcomes.

My awareness of this comes from this 3-2-1+ activity I shared with my children...and I invite you to do the same with your own family and friends as well. (The discussions will likely be eye-opening. Ours was!)

As we prepare to transition from sheltering-in-place to re-entering the new normal, think about the following: What are...

  • 3 things you’ve learned (about life, about yourself, something new, etc) during this time?

  • 2 practices you will carry forward from this time into the new normal?

  • 1 thing you are most eager to get back to?

  • + biggest blessing to come from all of this? (bonus item)

What my children shared was astounding….proof that what matters most to us still remains. :)

We are all living through this historic event...we will share stories with future generations that will look at 2020 with a sense of wonder and disbelief. (Who could blame them...we do that NOW!) But if we can say we learned about ourselves, we grew from our experiences, and life was sweeter on the other side….it might make our current reality a little more worth it. :)

Happy summer to you and yours. Stay safe...and we hope to “see you soon” this fall! :)

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.