Gifted & Talented Instruction Program

  • The purpose of the Gifted and Talented Instruction Program is to provide educational services to students who have the potential for exceptional academic and artistic achievement in grades Pre-Kindergarten - 12. Gifted children and youth are those who demonstrate abilities that give evidence of high performance in academic and intellectual aptitude. The Gifted and Talented Instruction Program recognizes students who have been identified through a state evaluation as being academically gifted and/or talented in the areas of theatre, music, and visual arts. The goal of the Gifted and Talented Instruction Program is to challenge, support, and inspire gifted and talented students through differentiated, accelerated, and enrichment learning opportunities designed to meet their unique academic, social, and emotional needs.

    Several studies have been conducted on the importance of gifted identification.

    1. Gifted students are more likely to take advanced courses. Brody and Mills (2005) 
    2. Gifted students have higher educational attainment. Brody and Mills (2005) 
    3. Gifted students experience social benefits. Brody and Mills (2005) 
    4. Gifted programs have a positive effect on post-secondary plans. Hebert (1993)
    5. Students who participate in gifted programs, maintain interests and career aspirations in college. Delcourt (1993)
    6. Students’ involvement in gifted programs in high school enabled them to explore potential career interests and allow students to see themselves in the role of practicing professionals and visualize a different sense of self. Taylor (1992)

    Contact the Child Search Department at 504-349-8677, if your child is between two (2) and five (5) years old to schedule an appointment for a potentially gifted screening.

Characteristics of Gifted Children


    • High rate of success in subjects of interest
    • Pursues certain areas with vigor
    • Good memory
    • Comprehends well
    • Acquires knowledge quickly
    • Widely read in special areas


    • Observant
    • Gets excited about new ideas
    • Inquisitive
    • Learns rapidly
    • Independent learner
    • Has a large vocabulary compared to others his age
    • Thinks abstractly
    • Enjoys hypothesizing
    • Intense


    • Likes structure
    • Self-confident
    • Well-accepted by peers
    • Shows good judgement, common sense
    • Responsible
    • Articulate, verbally fluent
    • Foresees the consequences of things


    • Independent thinker
    • Expressive (oral or written)
    • Keen sense of humor
    • Resourceful
    • Doesn’t mind being different
    • Is original, unconventional, imaginative


    • Expresses feelings, thoughts and moods through art
    • Good coordination
    • Exhibits creativity, imagination
    • Observant
    • Likes to produce original products
    • Flexible

An artistically talented student...

    • Likes to participate in art activities any time anywhere
    • Incorporates a large number of elements into art work
    • Arrives at unique solutions to artistic problems
    • Concentrates for long periods of time on art projects
    • Likes to experiment with a variety of materials
    • Tends to select an art activity during free time
    • Is a keen observer - -- sees the unusual
    • Produces balance and order in art work
    • Is critical of his or her own work; sets high standards for self
    • Shows an interest in other students’ art work and wants to discuss the work
    • Elaborates on ideas from other people
      –using them as a “jumping off point”

A theatrically talented student...

    • Volunteers to participate in classroom plays or skits
    • Easily tells a story or gives an account of some experience
    • Effectively uses gestures and facial expressions to communicate feelings
    • Is adept at role-playing, improvising, acting out situations
    • Can readily identify himself or herself with moods of others
    • Handles body with ease and poise for his or her particular age
    • Creates original plays or makes up plays from stories
    • Commands and holds the attention of a group when speaking
    • Is able to make people laugh, frown, feel tense, etc.
    • Can imitate others—mimic the way people speak, walk, gesture

A musically talented student...

    • Shows a sustained interest in music
    • Seeks out opportunities to hear & create music
    • Perceives fine differences in musical tone (pitch, loudness, timbre, duration)
    • Easily remembers melodies and can reproduce them accurately
    • Eagerly participates in musical activities
    • Plays a musical instrument or indicates a strong desire to become a musician
    • Is sensitive to the rhythm of music
    • Responds to changes in the tempo of music through body movements
    • Is aware of and can identify a variety of sounds heard at a given moment

What is taught in Talented Visual Arts?

  • Aesthetic Development
    Essential art elements, principles of design, respect for commonalities and differences in art; art as expressions of ideas, feelings, and culture

    Art History

    Styles, periods, movements, simplified chronology, outstanding artists

    Analysis and Criticism

    Observe, describe, analyze, interpret, and make critical judgments of artwork

    Creative Expression

    Develop creative problem solving skills in “art making;” experience a variety of media---drawing, painting, graphic design, printmaking, mixed media, sculpture, photography, and architecture

    Art Business

    Career opportunities, finding funding, marketing and publicity

What is taught in Talented Theatre?

  • Performance Skills
    Improvisation, characterization, vocal development, stage movement, acting styles and methods

    Theatre History
    Greek and Roman theatre, medieval theatrical forms, Renaissance theatre and Shakespeare, modern forms, and absurdist theatre

    Analysis and Criticism
    Play analysis, dramatic theory, interpretive reading, and dramatic forms

    Theatre Production
    Directing, scene design, stagecraft, and stage management

    Theatre Business
    Current professional theatre practices, organization and management funding, and marketing and publicity.

What is taught in Talented Music?

  • Theory and Analysis
    Sight singing, rhythm, melodic dictation, harmonic dictation, stylistic form and analysis

    Music History
    Major musical periods, composers, styles and forms
    Creative Activities: Improvisation, arranging, composition

    Aesthetic Perception and Performance
    Technical facility, varied music styles, musical expression, evaluation of performances

    Music business
    Current music occupations, funding, marketing, publicity, recording and publishing, and computer music.