What Does it Mean to be Gifted?
The current federal definition of "gifted", as stated in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, is:
Students, children, or youth who give evidence of high achievement capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity, or in specific academic fields, and who need services and activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop those capabilities. (U.S. DOE, 2004)
States do not have to use that definition. In Georgia, "a gifted education student is defined as one who demonstrates a high degree of intellectual and/or creative ability(ies), exhibits an exceptionally high degree of motivation, and/or excels in specific academic fields." (Georgia DOE). To be formally considered "Gifted" in
In Georgia a scholar must meet the Georgia definition:
Georgia does not include leadership or specific academic fields in its definition of "Gifted." Genesis does, along with other aspects of "giftedness' that truly make our children special, even if policymakers have no idea how to measure it, acknowledge it, or cultivate it.
Ultimately, a scholar is "gifted" in any area in which he/she learns and applies advanced concepts more quickly and easily than most other scholars. Genesis believes every scholar fits that description.
The Genesis Way
Maximize Scholar Gifts
Genesis understands that no individual is great at everything. But we believe that every individual is gifted to be great at something. Our process is designed to identify and cultivate those gifts.
Scholars who perform well academically but are not formally identified as TAG are considered "high-potential" and grouped with TAG scholars for instruction and recommended for academic teams in their area of strength.
Scholars with athletic gifts typically play sports. Genesis goes further. Those scholars are peer leaders in Health and PE courses. They have options to engage in project work that connects athletics to the study of history, science, literature, and math. Scholars who wish to pursue a career in athletics will be immersed in a comprehensive academic program that prepares them to be college-level scholar-athletes, communicators, leaders, and sports industry entrepreneurs.
Expression is a core component of our E5 framework. All of our younger scholars take an Art course to allow them to explore and express their artistic and design gifts. In addition, Genesis has launched a media production program, which includes a scholar-run newscast, and opportunities for scholars to produce movies, videos, plays, short stories, opinion articles, podcasts, songs, etc., as a regular part of project-work in their classes. What they produce can be displayed in our "Scholar Showcase" and, when of high-enough quality, submitted to mainstream competitions and public forums.
Entrepreneurship is a core E5 principle. It is not simply about starting a business but about having the "go-getter' entrepreneurial spirit. We believe it is a gift. Product-based projects are an integral part of the Genesis curriculum for all scholars. Genesis hosts a "Business Expo" for scholars to showcase and sell their business ideas. All 9th graders take courses on an Entrepeneurial track and must complete a business plan. Those who are passionate continue on that track to launching a business. Genesis has a Future Buisness Leaders of Amercia (FBLA) chapter for middle and high school scholars to further explore their interests.
Genesis has many opportunities for scholars to develop their leadership gifts, including leading project teams, academic teams, and athletic teams, and being a part of peer leadership groups and student government. The greatest opportunity to exemplify leadership in a growing school is for gifted scholars to create new organizations and truly leave a leadership legacy. We encourage and support our scholars in doing so. The primary goal is to reinforce the importance of ethical, servant-leadership.
Public Speaking (The "Gift of Gab")
Many parents have a "talkative" child and struggle to consider it a "gift." It is! It is another form of "Expression." But it has to be molded. Genesis incorporates discussion and debates into most of its courses. The media production program (see Creative Gifts), our Debate Club, and our Leadership focus, provide other opportunities for the spoken word to flourish.
Engineering (using math and science to create technology) is one of the components of our E5 framework. As such, all Genesis scholars from K-9 take a Engineering/Technology course with a heavy emphasis on coding, whether they are interested in gaming, web page creation, or animated storytelling. Those with this gifting can join robotics and science clubs. They can often choose to present project work in most classes using their coding skills. Older scholars can choose to pursue AP Computer Science.