P-CCS TAG Program FAQ

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TAG FAQ's | Plymouth-Canton Community Schools

Frequently Asked Questions about the P-CCS Talented and Gifted (TAG) Program

What is the TAG Program?  

The P-CCS TAG Program provides highly motivated, academically gifted students with an opportunity to realize and develop their exceptional intellectual and creative abilities. The TAG Program provides acceleration in some areas while teaching grade level curricula in others.  The program emphases higher-order thinking, deep knowledge, substantive conversations and making connections to the world beyond the classroom. TAG students are provided with a qualitatively different school experience, which results from the gifted students’ interactions with each other in an engaging classroom. 
 
Currently, the TAG Program is in its 38th year at elementary level at Gallimore Elementary School beginning with grade three through five. There are approximately 360 students with class sizes of 27 to 30 students in each class. 
The middle school TAG program is housed at East Middle School and is in its 37th year.  Each classroom has approximately 32 students, for a total of 330 TAG students at the Middle School Level.  5th grade students will move on to the middle school in the fall after completing their elementary education.  
  

How is the TAG classroom different from a same-grade classroom at the home school?

This is a difficult question to answer because there are many fine classrooms in our district with teachers that care about and work hard to provide the right challenge for each student. In many ways, the TAG classroom is the same. Children work, play and socialize within four walls. There are celebrations, specials classes such as art and music and recesses. Students break rules and make new friends like all other kids. TAG children are also achieving at different levels and have diverse learning styles and needs, even though they all have performed at top levels on standardized tests. For some academically gifted students, the TAG Program may be the first time they encounter peers who share similar interests, their love of learning and motivation for high-level academic work. The pace and depth of lessons in the TAG classroom often requires students to improve their time management and organizational skills.
  
How are students transported to the center-based TAG Program?
This year, 2017-2018, the transportation department has dedicated twelve buses to transport elementary TAG students to and from school. The district map is sectioned off into twelve quadrants and TAG students are assigned a bus route number with times for pick-up and drop-off.  This information is entered into each student' profile on MIStar and can be viewed by parents when logging in with their assigned user name and password.

Middle school TAG students pick up a bus in their neighborhood and are transported to their home middle school where they will board another bus to transport them to East Middle School.  Likewise, students will be transported back to their home school to board a bus back to their neighborhood each afternoon.  Currently, the district is looking at other options for more efficient middle school transportation for the next school year.

 
Who supervises the TAG Program?
Mrs. Aimee Bell, Gallimore School principal, is in charge of the elementary magnet TAG Program and oversees the TAG screening process.  Mr. Scott Burek is the East Middle School principal and is in charge for the middle school magnet TAG program. Mrs. Maureen Molloy is the Director of Elementary Education and helps oversee the entire program.
  
Who is eligible for nomination to the TAG Program?
To be nominated for admission to the Plymouth-Canton TAG Program, a student must reside within the P-CCS district boundaries or attend through School of Choice program and currently be in grades 2-7. There are certain neighborhoods in Canton whose children attend either Wayne-Westland or VanBuren Schools but they are not eligible for the TAG program. 
 

How many seats are available in each grade level? 

Current third grade students will move up to fourth grade, fourth to fifth and so forth.  In general, there is between 90 and 120 seats available in 3rd grade each year. Openings in grades 4-8 vary each year based on grade level capacity. Placement into 4th through 8th grade are usually offered at the end of the school year when the TAG office receives word of a student leaving the program.

 
How are students nominated for the TAG Program?
 Below is an outline of the nomination and screening process for this year. The Talented and Gifted Program tests students one year in advance in grades 2 -7 for possible placement into the program. TAG is NOT a part of School of Choice or a lottery system. 

 

All P-CCS, 2nd grade students who scored in the eightieth percentile or higher on the fall or winter NWEA MAP in Reading and Math will take a nonverbal gifted aptitude test in February. A nomination form for these students is not required.  Students who do not meet the eightieth percentile threshold on the MAP test must be nominated by a parent to be eligible to take the gifted aptitude test in February.

  • All P-CCS, 3rd grade students who scored in the ninetieth percentile or higher on the fall or winter NWEA in Reading or Math will take the NWEA MAP Reading and Math assessments in January or February. They will also take a nonverbal gifted aptitude test in February. A Nomination form for these students is not required.
  • All P-CCS, 2nd– 7th grade students who are parent nominated, regardless of their fall NWEA scores, will take the NWEA MAP Reading and Math assessments in January or February. They will also take a nonverbal gifted aptitude test in February. A nomination form completed by a parent is required.
  • Any 2nd – 7th grade non-PCCS students currently living in the district  and nominated by a parent, will take the NWEA MAP Reading and Math assessments in February or March at the parent’s expense. They will also take a nonverbal gifted aptitude test in February or March at the parent’s expense. The total cost for both assessments is $35.00. Checks made payable to P-CCS should be mailed to the TAG office at Gallimore Elementary School BEFORE      testing begins.  Please write your student's name in the memo section of the check to receive proper credit. A nomination form completed by a parent is required.


 How To Nominate A Student
 

 1. Parents of P-CCS students and all private/charter school students requiring a nomination form as explained above must complete the online nomination form and submit it no later than 4:00 p.m. on Friday, December 15, 2017. The online form will be accessible from the TAG website when the nomination window opens. (Nominations are now closed)

Parents must provide an e-mail that is checked regularly as this will be the primary means of communication for scheduling as well as any updates during the screening process. If you do not have access to a computer for the completion of the online nomination form, please contact the TAG office at 734-455-7540 to make other arrangements prior to December 15, 2017.

2. Nominated P-CCS students are screened for program eligibility on the basis of current scores (no older than one year) on the NWEA MAP Math and Reading tests and the Naglieri Nonverbal Abilities Test (NNAT). All students will be scheduled to take these tests during the test window of January 15 through March 16, 2018.  The P-CCS TAG Program accepts no alternate test scores.

3. P-CCS second through fifth graders will take all tests in their home school. All other nominated students will take these tests at a time and location determined by the TAG department. This includes nominated P-CCS students in grades 6-7 and all students who live in the district but do not attend a Plymouth-Canton Community School. The tests take approximately four hours and will be administered over the course of two or three school days. It is the parent’s responsibility to provide transportation to and from the test location(s) for their child. The specific dates, times, and locations of testing for all students will be advised via e-mail and posted on the TAG website in January, 2018.

There is a $35.00 non-refundable testing fee for applicants who do not attend a P-CCS School but instead attend a private/charter school or who are home-schooled. Please make your check payable to P-CCS and send it to the attention of the TAG Office at Gallimore Elementary School, 8375 N. Sheldon Road, Canton, Michigan 48187 no later than 4:00 p.m. on Friday, December 15, 2017 to ensure a testing spot for your student. Please write the student's name in the memo section of the check.   

How are children screened for the TAG Program?
 
Guidelines for Selection Process
 
In identifying and selecting students for programs for the academically gifted, both the national standards for gifted education and current professional researchers agree on the following guidelines:
 
  1. Student assessment data should come from multiple sources.
  2. Both ability and achievement measures should be considered. 
  3. Although students may have the cognitive resources for outstanding achievement in school, not all of them use their resources effectively in the classroom. Students who show promise for outstanding academic achievement also differ from their typical age peers in a number of non-cognitive attributes, such as motivation, curiosity, persistence, independence, and the nature and depth of their interests.
  4. Admission criteria should provide for the best possible match between the students’ abilities and the demands of the program.  
 The P-CCS TAG selection process adheres to these guidelines. Students are selected based on three different standardized test scores. These quantitative measures assess both student ability (aptitude) and achievement. 
 
TAG Testing Procedures
 
NWEA MAP Math and Reading Assessments and  NNAT Gifted Aptitude Test
Screening for the TAG Program is now a single phase process. Students are screened on the basis of their scores on the NWEA MAP Math and Reading Assessments and a standardized non-verbal NNAT test. For more information about the NWEA Assessment please review the document titled “NWEA Letter”.   The TAG Program requires current scores (no older than one year) on these two tests from all applicants. (No other test scores will be accepted.)
 
Nominated P-CCS second through fifth graders usually take all three tests in their home school, however there may be an alternate location required if the students is absent on the day(s) testing is administered in their elementary building. All other nominated students will take these tests at a time and location determined by the TAG department. This includes nominated P-CCS students in grades 6-7 and all students who live in the district but do not attend a Plymouth-Canton Community school.   The tests take approximately four hours and will be administered over the course of two or three school days.   It is the parent’s responsibility to provide transportation to and from the test location(s) for their child. The exact dates, times, and locations for all students will be advised via e-mail in January and will be posted on the TAG website. There is a $35.00 non-refundable test fee for applicants who do not attend a P-CCS school but instead attend a private or charter school or are home schooled.  Checks made payable to "P-CCS" can be mailed to TAG Office, Gallimore Elementary School, 8375 N. Sheldon Road, Canton MI 48187.  Please make sure your student's name in written in the memo section of the check for proper credit.
  
How are children selected for the program?

The NWEA MAP Reading and Math tests are used as an initial screener of students testing for the program.  The results of the NNAT2 test are used to determine eligibility into the program.  This selection criteria is based on recommendations made by a TAG Study Group in 2016-2017.  The Plymouth-Canton Community School District works very hard to make selection of students as equitable and fair as possible. Students are compared on the basis of current scores on the same tests, and qualitative measures of current academic performance. (Scores on other tests are not accepted.) The selection process does NOT consider school of origin, ethnicity or gender when identifying students for the program.

What is the policy regarding students transferring into the district who were enrolled in a gifted program in the prior district?

When a student, actively involved in a Gifted and Talented Program in another district, moves to the PCCS District, the following process for entrance into the PCCS Gifted and Talented Program should apply:

  • Parents should request that student records, which indicate the qualifying test(s) administered from the previous district’s Talented and Gifted Office, be sent to the P-CCS TAG Office.
  • The PCCS TAG Office will compare the tests and scores with the specific tests and qualifying scores required for entrance into the P-CCS TAG Program. Note: Scores provided must be no older than one year.
  • If the scores qualify and classroom placements are available, the student will be invited into the P-CCS TAG Program.
  • Should there be a waiting list for the student’s specific grade level, the student takes the appropriate place on the list.
  • If the tests administered do not align with P-CCS tests or the scores do not qualify, parents are encouraged to nominate their student to take the qualifying tests during the following school year with the P-CCS student population.

How can we be sure the TAG Program is right for our child? 

A Parent Informational meeting is held each November for families whose children are interested in the TAG program.  Please watch the TAG website for updated information in late October/early November.
Families of elementary students who are offered placement are invited to an orientation meeting at Gallimore on an evening in late April or early May to learn more about the center-based elementary TAG program. Current TAG students and staff will be on hand to talk with parents and their students about the program. Parents must sign a one-year commitment form to finalize placement in the TAG Program. 

 

CHARACTERISTICS OF GIFTED CHILDREN

  
If I would like to know more, whom can I ask?
Call the TAG Office (734-455-7540) and speak to Mrs. Amy Spaulding, TAG Office Paraprofessional. You may leave a message or send an e-mail to:  amy.spaulding@pccsk12.com and Mrs. Spaulding will return your call or email.