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PAL Program
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Manara Academy’s Program for Advanced Learners (PAL) program functions as our gifted program. PAL is not a traditional academically gifted program in which students are pulled out of their regular classrooms for a specific period each week or placed in academically gifted classes from one year to the next. PAL will provide teachers, students and families with the resources, rationale, and support to serve the special academic needs of students who are especially motivated, intelligent, and high performing. These services will be provided in the regular classroom through differentiation or through student/adult partnerships with the PAL coordinator, another teacher, or a community member. The goal is to match PAL to individual students rather than the students to PAL.
The identification process at Manara consists of three steps:
1. Nomination
2. Assessment/Testing
3. Selection
Nomination
Students may be nominated by:
Parent(s),
Teacher(s),
Peers,
Other Professional Personnel,
And/or themselves
Nomination forms must be completed by the individual who nominates the child; however parents must give consent that the student be tested and evaluated. Parent Nomination Forms and Teacher/Professional Nomination Forms, available in the front office, are filled out by parents, teachers, peers, etc. and submitted to PAL Identification committee.
Nominations can be made at any time during the school year, however, any testing and identification will be completed according to the Manara assessment and identification schedule held at the beginning and end of the school year.
Written parental permission is required before screening/testing begins. No student may be denied access to PAL on the basis of race, creed, or handicapping conditions.
Assessment/Testing
Students seeking admission to Manara Academy’s PAL Program are assessed as described below:
I. Ability Tests consist of two parts:
a. Part I: To measure cognitive abilities through verbal and quantitative skills
b. Part II: To measure non-verbal abilities in reasoning and problem solving using spatial symbols
II. Achievement Tests are used to determine student academic level in the academic core areas of English/Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies.
Testing may take place during the school hours, after-school, and/or weekend.
Selection
Selection is based on the following:
The student’s ability and achievement test scores
Nomination forms
Report card grades
MAP Scores
Teacher observations
Previous enrollment in PAL Program our outside Gifted and Talented Program
The PAL Committee convenes and uses both Quantitative and Qualitative data when making selection decisions.
Notification
Parents are notified in writing of the PAL Committee’s decision.
Appeals
Appeals to the decisions of Manara’s PAL Committee may be made within 7 days of the notification of placement or non-placement in the PAL program. Appeals must be made in writing by presenting additional information to the committee not previously seen by the committee. The Manara PAL Committee decisions are final.
Exiting the PAL Program
Occasionally, there may be students who are identified for the PAL Program who do not perform at expected standards in the program. Before a student is exited from the program, the student’s teacher(s), and/or school administrator will talk with the student’s parent and explain the procedural safeguards to request a review of the decision to exit the student.
The following guidelines specify when a student may be exited from the PAL program:
Repeated failure to complete work assigned.
Substantial difficulty in understanding work that other students do independently (without parental or tutorial assistance).
Consistent pattern of low grades (70 percent and below) over 9 weeks.
Behavioral concerns, distractions, etc.
If a teacher or parent requests a student be exited, the student may not re-enter the PAL program during that school year. The student may not return to the program the following school year without re-testing.
Gifted or Honors: What’s the Difference?
J. Szabo. ( 1989) Profiles of the Gifted, Challenge Magazine
This list of characteristics may be helpful in distinguishing and understanding the differences between honors students and gifted students.
BRIGHT CHILD GIFTED CHILD
Knows the answers. Asks the questions.
Is interested. Is highly curious.
Is attentive. Is mentally and physically involved.
Has good ideas. Has wild, silly ideas.
Works hard. Plays around, yet tests well.
Answers the questions. Discusses in detail, elaborates.
Top group. Beyond the group.
Listens with interest. Shows strong feelings and opinions.
Learns with ease. Already knows.
6-8 repetitions for mastery. 1-2 repetitions for mastery.
Understands ideas. Constructs abstractions.
Enjoys peers. Prefers adults.
Grasps the meaning. Draws inferences.
Completes assignments. Initiates projects.
Is receptive. Is intense.
Copies accurately. Creates a new design.
Enjoys school. Enjoys learning.
Absorbs information. Manipulates information.
Technician. Inventor.
Good memorizer. Good guesser.
Enjoys straight forward sequential presentation. Thrives on complexity.
Is alert. Is keenly observant.
Is pleased with own learning. Is highly self-critical.

Last Updated on Monday, 28 January 2013 13:49