• Gifted Overview - The goal of the Clayton gifted program is to support the development of a student’s critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills. In addition, the program works closely with families to support the unique social and emotional needs of this particular population.  Academic acceleration is not part of the gifted program. If a child requires academic acceleration, you can find the District’s acceleration policy here.


    Identification Process - All students enrolled in Clayton schools are administered a universal screener in grades 1, 3, and 5. For students who meet the District criteria, additional assessments are administered, and those who demonstrate a learning need are eligible to begin gifted services at the start of the following semester. 


    Fall testing and qualification = Gifted services begin in January

    Spring testing and qualification = Gifted services begin in August

    Curriculum - The curriculum for Clayton’s gifted classes is focused on developing a student’s demonstrated talent for metacognition (thinking about one’s thinking), mainly focusing on critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving. Students also explore social-emotional learning skills like anxiety, intensities, perfectionism, procrastination, imposter syndrome, identity, social skills, and more. This work aligns with the District’s Profile of the Graduate, and the Gifted curriculum map can be found here.


    As a part of the gifted program, we believe:


    1. Giftedness is more than just being “smart”; there are common characteristics encompassing giftedness. When students have a deeper understanding of all facets of their abilities, they can more easily extend grace and compassion, both inward and outward.

    2. Gifted students can experience profound frustration due to their neurodivergence and/or asynchronicity which can cause them to experience the world more intensely than their neurotypical peers.

    3. While affective challenges are not unique to gifted individuals, they tend to appear more pronounced in gifted learners and require targeted interventions for support. 

    Listed below are the Enduring Understandings of the Gifted curriculum.  These are statements that summarize important ideas and core processes that are central to a discipline and have lasting value beyond the classroom.


    • Students identified as gifted are continually focusing on increasing their self-actualization.

    • Students identified as gifted engage in a free and open exchange of ideas with their gifted-identified peers who may experience the world similarly.

    • Students identified as gifted bravely face failure and proactively welcome challenges in order to grow and stretch their abilities.

    • Students identified as gifted embrace their learning needs and advocate for themselves when warranted so they can feel confident and capable in almost any situation.

    • Students identified as gifted employ strategies that support their specific learning or affective challenges to capitalize on available opportunities for learning and growth.

    • Students identified as gifted elevate their problem-solving abilities through critical and creative thinking experiences that will help them uncover the best solutions to a given problem.