"I'm  not a genius.  I'm just passionately curious/"

Program Philosophy

We believe our students can demonstrate and develop exceptional abilities in a wide variety of areas valued by our culture.  Based on a "multiple  intelligences" model, we believe those areas may include, but are not limited to, reading, writing, math, music, art, science, even service to others. Our program seeks to develop the multiple intelligences in all students.  Moreover, it seeks to provide those students showing exceptional abilities with the learning experiences that will enhance their intellectual power, their creative expression, and their sense of self.

Program Goals
* Provide Opportunities for all students to discover and explore new areas of interest
* Provide all students with experiences and strategies that promote increased creativity and better problem solving
* Identify those students demonstrating exceptional ability in one or more areas and to provide them with a range of enriching experiences both within and beyond the classroom
* Provide those students demonstrating exceptional ability with periodic opportunities to learn like-minded peers

* Provide students demonstrating exceptional ability with social and emotional affirmation and support

The UFRSD believes that "gifted and talented students" means those students who possess or demonstrate high levels of ability, in one or more content areas, when compared to their chronological peers in the local school district and who require modifications of their educational program if they are to achieve in accordance with their capabilities. (NJ Definition).

UFRSD also accepts the Theory of Multiple Intelligences as advanced by Howard Gardner (1983) that recognizes multiple ways to "be smart," including intrapersonal, interpersonal ability, musical, and bodily kinesthetic abilities. The District is dedicated to providing a rich array of opportunities for students to explore leadership, music, performance, athletic and other beyond‐academic gifts and talents. Music, art, athletics, student government and many more classroom and extracurricular activities are considered worthwhile opportunities for gifted. and talented UFRSD students. However, specific GT programming is dedicated to academic/creative talents in the areas of verbal‐linguistic, math‐logical, naturalist and spatial "intelligences." (borrowed from WWP)


Our Program

Newell Elementary School
*Stone Bridge Middle School
Allentown High School

Our Process

What will determine placement (ES and MS)?
The following areas are considered to determine placement:

  • Academic ability

  • Creativity

  • Task motivation

  • Additional data may be submitted and included:

    • CogAT scores

    • SIGS score

    • Renzulli-Hartman score (task motivation only for "on the fence kids")

    • Product/performance presentation with G&T committee

  • GT identification committee at each school (5 members) - this committee would assess the informational data from each student and make a determination on whether they should be a part of our G&T program.

  • Use a rubric for identification - No gatekeepers

    • Reading Level

    • Aptitude Test - CogAT

    • Teacher Rating Scales

      • SIGS - General intellectual ability, language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, creativity, leadership

      • Use SBRCSS scale for task motivation (if needed)

    • Parent Rating Scales

      • SIGS - General intellectual ability, language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, creativity, leadership

    • Interviews / Products / Performance Review - GT

      • Depth of knowledge of topic

        • Synthesizing information

      • Ease to which they speak about their topic

      • Choice of presentation technique

      • Passion for topic

Student Presentation Rubric - GT Placement

1 2 3

Depth of Knowledge

Student demonstrates little or no knowledge of their topic

Student demonstrates some knowledge of their topic

Student demonstrates an in depth and extensive knowledge of their topic

Ease of which they speak about their topic

Student is reading from a script with little familiarity of the topic (i.e. mispronounced words; lack of ability to answer questions about the topic; etc...

Student is at ease discussing the topic; student is able to answer some questions about the topic, but not all

Student is at complete ease talking about the topic; they are able to talk about it off script; answer questions and ellaborate when needed

Passion demonstrated during presentation

Student shows little excitement and passion; the student doesn't articulate that they are interested in the topic

Student shows some excitement and passion; the student shares that they are interested in the topic

Student shows a genuine love of and passion for the topic they chose; the topic has been chosen by the student, because they have a desire to work on it


Student gives basic presentation with little support of their topic

Student presentation has something unique about it

The students presentation is unique and demonstrates a high level of understanding of the topic; original

District Identification Timeline:

Referral procedures published on district website and District/Campus and GT Meetings held

All year

Screenings, assessment and identification conducted after written parental permission obtained

Throughout the school year

Nominations accepted from parents, teachers, school officials

Throughout the school year

Gifted/Talented committee meets on grades 1-8 screenings

Throughout the school year

Written parental permission for services obtained for identified students in grades 1-8

Throughout the school year

Services begin for identified students


Staff e-Mail

Click on the name of the staff members below to open an email communication with them. Please e-mail the G&T facilitator to start the G&T Process.

Melissa DeSarno (Grades K-4) - Newell Elementary School

Shannon Manigrasso  Stone Bridge Middle School / Stone Bridge Middle School G&T Letter

Pam Koharchik - Allentown High School

Patrick Leary  Assistant Superintendent