Gifted and Talented News

Ronda Budd, Visual and Performing Arts Gifted Specialist

Introduction to GT

In order to provide you with updates and resources, this newsletter includes information about upcoming events, enrichment opportunities, and resources you can use within your classroom. You can also access information about GT testing, identification, program information, and teaching and learning resources at our website: CCS Gifted and Talented Department. Scroll to the bottom for information about free online CEU opportunities related to gifted education.


Each year the Caldecott Medal, named in honor of 19th century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott, is awarded to an artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children published by an American publisher in the United States in English. Only books that are truly distinguished are nominated for this prestigious award. The challenge for your school involves having students evaluate chosen contenders.

Here's how it works: Have all students read (or read-aloud), discuss, and evaluate each of the contending books based on the American Library Association's selection committee's criteria: ALA Caldecott criteria. Each week, students will have the opportunity to rate two books using a criteria-based rubric to choose the more distinguished one of the pair. In early January, based on their weekly selections, students will vote to determine which book they feel is the most distinguished of all books that were evaluated. The culminating activity involves streaming the ALA Caldecott Awards ceremony LIVE! into your school so students can see how their favorite books fared. The Caldecott Challenge is truly an engaging and exhilarating activity that promotes student excitement about reading and art appreciation!

**Please let me know if you want more information.**

Academic Enrichment Options

Gifted and Talented specialists offer many resources to integrate enrichment opportunities within the classroom and daily teaching. Please let me know via email at if you would like to offer these opportunities to your students. We have information, guidelines, and resources for your use.



Invention Convention is a statewide program designed to inspire, encourage, reward, and recognize students in grades K-8 for using their creativity and imagination in developing new solutions to everyday problems. All lessons are taught within the classroom by the classroom teacher. Classroom and school-wide Invention Conventions are held to determine winners to represent each school at the district Invention Convention, usually held in March. Resources to guide the organizing of a class or school Invention Convention are available from GT Resource Specialists. More information can be found at
POLICY DEBATE for 5th - 8th Graders

Debate is an option available for 5th through 8th grade students. Our district holds two debate competitions. The winter debate competition is scheduled for December 11, 2015 at Capital University, and the second debate is usually held in May. All debate lessons are taught within the classroom. A teacher or community volunteer can also lead a debate team. In addition, debate resources are available to teach within the classroom if you are not ready to send students to a competition.


Academic Referrals

Do you have a student you would like to recommend for gifted testing? Students who are referred now will be tested between October 1, 2015 and February 28, 2016. We are only accepting referrals for superior cognitive testing, creative thinking and science and/or social studies. MAP testing will be used for identification in reading and math at all grade levels K-8. Visit the CCS Gifted and Talented website for more information and to download testing referral forms. Also, email me for help with the submission of testing referrals.
Visual and Performing Arts Referrals and Identification

Columbus City Schools follows the state of Ohio mandate for identification in the visual and performing arts. Students are identified in five arts areas: vocal music, instrumental music, theater, dance and visual art. To be identified, students must demonstrate ability and obtain an acceptable score on an Ohio Department of Education rubric in combination with a qualifying score on a state approved checklist of behaviors related to the specific arts area. In addition to the whole grade screening at grades 4, 7, and 10, any educator, parent, or student may refer any K-12 student for assessment during the visual and performing arts identification process. Please let me know if you need an individual referral form for any student who is currently in another grade. More information is available at:


The district is providing you with 6 hours of access to the GT Ignite online library of courses for professional development. There are 1-hour, 3-hour, and 6-hour courses available, so please review the library before making any selections.

  • Select topics that you feel are most relevant for you
  • Courses can be taken online at your convenience
  • You’ll receive CEU credits for every course you take

To begin, you will need to acquire a username and password. To do this, click the link below and use the registration code to complete the form.

Registration Code: 3809ccsd16002023



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