Advanced Academic Services
708 Palm Blvd., Suite 209, Brownsville, Texas 78520
Phone (956)548-8291 Fax: (956) 548-8294
 
Mission Statement The Brownsville Independent School District is committed to providing and continuing to develop a GALAXY [Gifted Academic Learning-Achieving Excellence for Youth] (Gifted and Talented Program) which identifies all students who perform at or show the potential for performing at a remarkably high level of accomplishment when compared to others of the same age, experience, or environment. These students are those who exhibit high performance capability in an intellectual, creative, or artistic area; possess an unusual capacity for leadership; or excel in a specific academic field (TEC, Chapter 29, Subchapter D, Section 29.121). The GALAXY Program meets the needs of identified students in a way that:

•provides scheduled nominations, screening, and identification; •challenges students to develop academically, artistically, socially, and emotionally;
•provides instructional materials that focus on depth and complexity in an interdisciplinary environment; •requires on-going training for campus personnel; and
  •encourages family-community awareness and involvement.
   
STATE GOAL FOR SERVICES FOR GIFTED/TALENTED STUDENTS
Students who participate in services designed for gifted/talented students will demonstrate skills in self-directed learning, thinking, research, and communication as evidenced by the development of innovative products and performances that reflect individuality and creativity and are advanced in relation to students of similar age, experience, or environment. High school graduates who have participated in services for gifted/talented students will have produced products and performances of professional quality as part of their program services.

The GALAXY G/T Program provides services in the following areas as outlined in the Texas state plan: Student Assessment, Program Design, Curriculum and Instruction, Professional Development, and Family-Community Involvement. Each campus has a G/T program and serves its identified students in a way that best meets their needs. For additional information visit the Texas State Plan: http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=6420


Academic Assessment Students K-12 may be nominated for the GALAXY Program at any time; however, screening occurs once a year.

•Renzulli-Hartman Teacher checklist, K-12;
•Achievement Tests, 1-12;
•The Raven Progressive Matrices Test, K-12;
•Parent checklist, K-12; and
•Torrance Tests of Creativity, K.

Program Design The GALAXY Program is a flexible system of viable program options that provide a learning continuum throughout the district and reinforces the strengths, needs, and interests of G/T students. Campuses provide services through the following options: •Full-Time Classes (Homogeneous Grouping); • Heterogeneous Grouping (half the class is made up of regular students and half the class is made up of identified G/T students).

Curriculum and Instruction The K-12 curriculum meets the needs of gifted students by modifying the depth, complexity, and pacing of the general school program. This interdisciplinary curriculum is based on the key concepts, themes and generalizations from the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). These concepts are integrated across the disciplines to help students understand the relationship of independent parts of knowledge while making connections among and between all disciplines.

Professional Development for Gifted & Talented Teacher
Texas law requires that educators providing services to gifted/talented students have the following qualifications as stated in the Texas Administrative Code §89.2 (http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter089/ch089a.html):

Brownsville ISD shall ensure that:
1. prior to assignment in the program, teachers who provide instruction and services that are a part of the program for gifted students have a minimum of 30 hours of staff development that includes nature and needs of gifted/talented students, assessing student needs, and curriculum and instruction for gifted students;

2. teachers without required training who provide instruction and services that are part of the gifted/talented program must complete the 30-hour training requirement within one semester;

3.teachers who provide instruction and services that are a part of the program for gifted students receive a minimum of six hours annually of professional development in gifted education; and

4. administrators and counselors who have authority for program decisions have a minimum of six hours of professional development that includes nature and needs of gifted/talented students and program options.

Family and Community Involvement The district involves family and community members in services designed for gifted/talented students throughout the school year. District and campus level meeting are held to communicate the design of the GALAXY program and showcase students work.