Learning Beyond Grade Level

Learning Beyond Grade Level (frequently called Gifted and Talented Education) is the identification of students who show evidence of high achievement capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity; as well as in specific academic fields, and who need services or activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop those capabilities. 

State Law and Regulations

Rhode Island General Laws, Chapter 16-42 – Education of Gifted Children

  • Provides guidance and guidelines for the identification and placement of gifted and talented students;
  • Allows gifted programming;
  • Establishes a State Advisory Committee; and
  • Sets criteria and requires regulations, which were last revised in 1982. The regulations apply to portions of school programs that select only certain students to participate. Regulations were originally required for RI school districts to obtain state funding; however, dedicated funding is not currently available.

State Advisory Committee on Gifted Education

About the Committee

The Rhode Island Advisory Committee on Gifted Education was established by the legislature for the primary purpose of providing advice to the Commissioner of Education. It has about thirty members, working gratis, representing a wide variety of constituencies.

Objectives of the Committee

  • Ensure that all schools provide curriculum and instruction that continuously challenge each student to increase his/her knowledge, understanding and skills. Schools ensure that every student will be challenged appropriately by:
    • Recognizing those students who differ within and among them and will continue to grow and learn only if provided with experiences and materials at individually appropriate levels;
    • Responding to this recognition by differentiating curriculum and instruction;
    • Providing flexible teacher-student working arrangements that vary in size, age range, time frame and purpose and keeping class size small;
    • Offering all students the opportunity to explore potential abilities and interests through exposure to a wide variety of experiences and topics; and
    • Ensuring that teachers and staff have the knowledge and capacity to recognize and respond to indications of student abilities and interests.
  • Establishing high expectations that every student will exceed beyond their current grade level curriculum.
  • Professional, legislative, community, family and financial support at the state and local level ensures that teachers are supported in recognizing and responding to talents, interests, and abilities.
  • All teachers and other staff in schools are confident, knowledgeable, and supported in recognizing and responding to talents, interests, and abilities.  Pre-service and ongoing professional development convey the expectation and provide the opportunities for all staff to increase their knowledge of the learning process, strategies to differentiate curriculum and instruction, and their own abilities and interests.  Specialists in these are also present in each school.
  • All schools have the capacity to recognize potential abilities and interests in any student, and the systematic means available to analyze and respond to the students need for support. Staff actively observes K-12 students for individual indications of abilities and interests. The school and district response system is personalized and provides support in a variety of ways in response to specific student need, including student performance at levels far beyond age level. Data management that tracks specific responses provided and their effectiveness supports the system.
  • Every student in every school learns continuously, has the opportunity and capacity to participate in planning his/her educational activities, and has recognition and individualized support for his/her abilities and interests.

What does the Committee do?

  • Assesses statewide trends and needs;
  • Seeks wide public and professional input;
  • Disseminates information; 
  • Advises and makes recommendations regarding legislation and program guidelines; and
  • Provides other policy, process and programmatic recommendations.