Trumbull's Academically Gifted (TAG) Program
An information session on gifted identification and servicing in Trumbull was provided to all parents/guardians of incoming grade 4 students on June 16, 2020; the presentation may be accessed at this link. For all parents/guardians of incoming grade 5 students, a presentation was provided on October 6, 2020, and may be accessed at this link.
Beginning in the 2019-20 school year, and consistent with Connecticut General Statutes §10-76a, Trumbull's Academically Gifted (TAG) Program will service the top 10% of those fourth-grade and fifth-grade students in the District identified at the end of their third-grade year as having “extraordinary learning ability.”
To identify those children, the District employs the following steps in sequential order in the spring of the third-grade year. The steps balance standardized measurements of abstract thinking and reasoning ability (e.g., the OLSAT) with district measurements of learning achievement (e.g., the DRP, the mathematics assessments) and classroom teacher ratings based on published metrics for identifying gifted students.
Students who have received a 130 or higher as a subscore on either the Verbal or the Non-Verbal section of the OLSAT (Otis-Lennon School Ability Test) given in January of the third-grade year are selected for further analysis. (If this criterion does not generate at least 10% of the District’s third-grade population, a score of 125 or higher on either section will be used.)
For each student meeting the criterion of Step (1), the following verbal and non-verbal assessment data points are combined according to the percentages indicated below.
OLSAT Verbal total subscore: 35%
OLSAT Non-Verbal total subscore: 35%
Third-grade end-of-year DRP (Degrees of Reading Power) total score: 12.5%
Third-grade mathematics Trimester 1, 2, & 3 assessments total score average: 12.5%
Third-grade classroom teacher total rating on Scales for Rating the Behavioral Characteristics of Superior Students: 5%
Consistent with State regulations, a District team of "certified and/or licensed professionals, who represent each of the teaching, administrative and pupil personnel staffs," will review the data to certify the top ten per cent of students, who will then be those eligible to participate in Trumbull's Academically Gifted (TAG) Program. Parents of eligible students will be notified in July, prior to the beginning of the school year, of the planning and placement team process.
On occasion, a student enters the District in grade 3, 4, or 5 subsequent to the administration of the data points referenced above. If a parent of a student in such a situation believes that his/her child may be qualified for TAG, he/she should contact the Assistant Superintendent.
Advanced Course Placement in Mathematics
Courses in Trumbull's middle schools are grouped heterogeneously with the exception of mathematics. Within the heterogeneous context of each of the other subject areas, teachers are trained to differentiate appropriately for all students with special learning needs, including those with accelerated skills in the content area.
In mathematics, select students may begin a seven-year advanced mathematics course sequence beginning in grade 6. This course sequence begins with pre-algebra in grade 6 and leads to calculus in grade 11, and then additional advanced mathematics courses in grade 12. The selection criteria are designed to identify and support the students whose data suggest a clear cognitive readiness for mathematical rigor that can sustain over time. Students are identified based on meeting either or both of the following criteria:
exceptional performance (80+) on the District-created mathematics assessment given in April of the fifth-grade year; and/or
exceptional performance (130+ subscore) on the Non-Verbal section of the OLSAT (Otis-Lennon School Ability Test) given in January of the fifth-grade year, supported by standard or higher performance (60+) on the District-created mathematics assessment given in April of the fifth-grade year.
The fifth-grade District-created mathematics assessment asks students to use mathematical reasoning in order to solve computation and problem-solving questions based on these Connecticut Core Standards for Mathematics:
Understand ratio concepts and use ratio reasoning to solve problems;
Apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication and division;
Apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication to multiply and divide a fraction or whole number by a fraction;
Understand ordering and understanding the value of rational numbers;
Apply and extend previous understandings of arithmetic to algebraic expressions;
Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving volume; and
Understand the place value system.
Additional opportunities for mathematical advancement occur:
at the end of September of grade 6, for students who have demonstrated exceptional performance in mathematics (Late Grade 6 on the Numbers & Operations and Algebra Thinking sections of the September iReady assessment, or Late Grade 6 overall, plus high Level 4 on the May grade 5 Smarter Balanced Assessment in Mathematics);
at the end of grade 6, for students who have demonstrated exceptional performance in mathematics (Late Grade 6 on the Numbers & Operations and Algebra Thinking sections of the June iReady assessment, or Late Grade 6 overall, plus either high Level 4 on the May grade 6 Smarter Balanced Assessment in Mathematics or 125+ subscore on the Non-Verbal section of the OLSAT given in January of the fifth-grade year, in addition to mastery on an examination of the prerequisite skills for first-year algebra);
at the end of September of grade 7, for students who have demonstrated exceptional performance in mathematics (Late Grade 7 on any two subscores of the September iReady assessment with no subscore lower than Mid Grade 7, or Level 8 or higher on any subscore with no subscore lower than Mid Grade 7, plus high Level 4 on the May grade 6 Smarter Balanced Assessment in Mathematics).
Beginning with the Trumbull High School Class of 2023 (sixth-graders in 2016-17), students not in pre-algebra in grade 6 will take pre-algebra in grade 7, and will then begin algebra in grade 8, potentially leading to calculus in grade 12.
Course Placement in Grade 8 Algebra 1
Beginning with the Trumbull High School Class of 2023 (sixth-graders in 2016-17), students in grade 8 will be placed into either a one-year Algebra 1 course or a two-year Algebra 1 Extended course.
Placement in the grade 8 one-year Algebra 1 course is based on meeting any of the following criteria:
Approaching-above-grade-level performance (75% or higher) on the Grade 7 midyear Algebra Assessment, supported by grade-level performance (Mid Grade 7 or higher) on either the Numbers & Operations subscore or the Algebra & Algebraic Thinking subscore of the June iReady Assessment, with neither score lower than approaching-grade-level performance (Early Grade 7 or higher); or
All incoming Trumbull High grade 9 students and their parents were invited to a presentation on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, at 7:00 p.m. in the THS Auditorium. At that time, administrators presented information related to THS graduation requirements, course placement in subjects with multiple levels, information on electives across all subject areas, and the 2020-21 THS Program of Studies.
Information regarding all courses is available in the 2020-21 Trumbull High School Program of Studies.
On April 22, 2020, a letter detailing the process to view the courses currently selected by and for grade 9 students for the 2020-21 school year at Trumbull High School was eBlasted to all grade 8 parents/guardians. A copy of the letter, with active links, is available here.
Placement criteria for students in the THS Class of 2024 (entering grade 9 in 2020-21) are detailed below by Department.
General Information on Course Placement in Subjects with Multiple Levels:
In grade 9, courses in English, mathematics, science, social studies, and world languages are offered at multiple levels. A student’s placement in a level of one subject does not determine a student’s placement in a level of another subject; for example, a student may take an Honors course in one subject even though the student does not take an Honors course in another subject.
- Step 1: Quantitative Placement based on Assessment Data:
To help determine the appropriate initial placement for students, middle school and high school teacher-leaders, department chairs, and administrators use data from multiple assessments, so that the fullest portrait of a student’s current level of understanding, and his/her potential, can be determined. Those multiple assessments include: (a) assessments that are already embedded into the typical curriculum for a subject area; and (b) assessments that are non-embedded, meaning they are given outside of the typical curriculum for a subject area. Use of both types of assessments allows for a fuller portrait of the student in each subject area.
Both the embedded and the non-embedded assessments are scheduled by middle school administrators, working together across both Trumbull middle schools, to be spread out over the months of December, January, and February. All assessments must be completed by late February to allow sufficient time for the Trumbull High scheduling process.
- Step 2: Qualitative Conversations between Middle School and High School Teachers & Administrators:
Following the initial placement of students as described above, conversations occur between the middle school and high school teacher-leaders, department chairs, and administrators in each subject area. These qualitative conversations allow for additional students to be identified for Honors placement.
- Step 3: Specific Placement Information to Parents, and Feedback Process:
By mid-April, parents/guardians are informed via an eBlast to check the Infinite Campus portal for their child’s level placement for each subject area. Parents/guardians with questions, concerns, or feedback have approximately two weeks to request additional information or reconsideration. After that point, the Trumbull High School master schedule is built for 2020-21.
Below, by Department, are listed the assessments used in Step 1 of the placement process for students in the THS Class of 2024 (entering grade 9 in 2020-21).