Prospect Mill Gifted & Talented

Welcome to the 2021-2022 School Year!

What are Gifted and Talented Services at the Elementary Level?

Maryland has educational regulations for gifted and talented services, more commonly known as GT Comar. In Maryland, "A gifted and talented student is identified as “having outstanding talent and performing, or showing the potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared with other students” (Maryland Annotated Code § 8-201)

In Harford County Public Schools, students are identified for services in Reading and/or Math. These services begin in third grade.

At Prospect Mill Elementary School, gifted and talented services include a combination of co-teaching, consultative, and pull-out services. If pulled from a homeroom class, students do not need to make up work that they miss from their homeroom teachers. Work completed in gifted and talented small groups is graded and grades are given to homeroom teachers. These grades typically replace the general education assignments students miss when they are in small group. This is appropriate because the work in small groups is differentiated to meet the needs of advanced learners.

Consultative and co-teaching are services that require homeroom and the GT resource teacher to work closely together for planning and to maintain a continuum of services. In a consultative model, the homeroom teacher is providing the GT services to students, after planning and support from the GT specialist. Additionally, this is the case with co-teaching services as well, as our GT teacher position is half-time, and cannot co-teach in classes every day.

Who is the Gifted and Talented Specialist?

Good day! I'm Tara Recor, the gifted and talented resource teacher for the elementary level at Swan Creek School. I'm a Maryland Certified Gifted and Talented Specialist, having completed my certification requirements in 2013. This is my 13th year working in this position for HCPS. This year I am pursuing National Board Certification by completing and submitting a portfolio of work in the spring.

Becoming certified in gifted education changed my life. Through my coursework,I found that I suddenly had a better understanding of my childhood (see Play Partner or Sure Shelter) and also of many of my family members, including my own child. So, I know the work that I do this year for my National Board certification will also be life changing.

The best way to reach me is via email at because my position at Swan Creek School is a half-time one.

How are students identified for Gifted and Talented services?

All students are initially screened for Gifted and Talented Services during their second grade school year. This is known as universal screening, which is a gifted education best practice.

Students are identified for services in Reading, Math, or both, and these services begin in third grade. Multiple measures are used, which is another research-based best practice in gifted education. Some of the multiple measures for our universal screening include reading Lexiles and/or Fountas and Pinnell levels, Math Inventory, Primary Talent Development, and Cognitive Abilities Test Screener. Students who are identified demonstrate above average ability and thus the need for more challenging work, beyond the HCPS general curriculum.

Our fourth and fifth grade children at were screened and identified for services at their when they were in second grade. Students who transfer from other HCPS schools keep their identified services, although they may look a bit different here. If students have transferred from outside of HCPS, Ms. Recor may ask for permission to complete additional testing.

Our third grade children will be formally screened in November 2021 for Gifted and Talented Services. Until then, third grade services will be provided to children who have advance scores on the Reading and Math Inventories.