Guidance » Gifted Support

Gifted Support

For students who show outstanding intellectual ability which requires more enrichment activities and opportunities in and out of the classroom. Students who meet the necessary eligibility requirements may be admitted to Norwin's gifted program at the elementary level, SEAL (Seminar for Early Advance Learning) or at the secondary level, SOAR (Secondary Options Are Realized). Our (2) gifted case managers enrich opportunities for elementary students. Gifted case managers (2) at both the middle school and high school, work with the instructional activities to challenge our gifted students to reach their full potential.

Gifted Support Secretary:
Tammie Lasswell
724-861-3000 x1129
[email protected]
Grades K-4 Gifted Program:

In the K-4 elementary schools SEAL (Seminar of Elementary Advanced Learners) students are pulled out of the regular education program for 90 minutes per week to attend enrichment experiences with the SEAL teacher. The SEAL students participate in hands-on extension activities which enrich the academic content provided at Norwin. This approach provides the children with opportunities to connect what they are learning in the two learning environments to make deeper connections. In addition, students typically focus on two annual goals each year. The eight areas of focus include: reading, comprehension, presenting, writing, mathematics, social studies, science, and technology. The goals are worked upon in the regular and SEAL classroom settings.

Gifted Case Manager:
Ms. Trisha R. Brunazzi, Elementary - Coordinator
Case Manager - Grades K-4
724-861-3000, x6338
[email protected]

Grades 5-6 Hillcrest Gifted Program:

Students attend SEAL during ER time, which is 4 days out of the 6 day cycle. The students are there by team working with kids from their grade level. During this time, students are taught a STEM curriculum which focuses on the Engineering Design Process and careers. Topics include forensics, biomedical engineering, and geotechnical engineering. Students also organize a STEM career fair for the school. The SEAL units take what is taught in the regular classes and show the students how those skills are applied in real life. One day out of each cycle is designated as “goal day.” This time is set aside for students to work on their individualized GIEP goals. Students can write, research, program, complete any other task that is part of their goal, which is based on students’ strengths and tied to the state standards.

Students also work in “interest” groups. These groups are multiage including both 5th and 6th grade students. Students are surveyed and organized according to their interests multiple times throughout the year, meeting with a group for six to nine weeks before moving to another interest group.

Gifted Case Manager:
Mrs. Paula Giran, grades 5-6
724-861-3015, x1504
[email protected]
Grades 7-8 Middle School Gifted Program:

Middle school students identified as “gifted” are invited to participate in the SOAR (Secondary Options are Realized) Program. SOAR students are encouraged to enroll in the gifted cohort classes: Ancient Studies and Science Exploration in seventh grade; and American Studies and English Studies in eighth grade. In these classes, teachers provide enrichment to students who engage at a deep level alongside their gifted peers. When appropriate as per students’ specific learning needs, gifted students are provided with acceleration in math so that students who require advanced instruction may enroll in the next grade level’s math course. Additionally, via individualized instruction during Activity Period and their study hall periods, all gifted students are mentored to accomplish their respective goals outlined in their GIEPs. Gifted students are supported by the Coordinator of Secondary Gifted Education, whose office is located at the Middle School. Finally, students are provided with information regarding contests and learning opportunities outside of school, and strongly encouraged to participate in various school-related activities and competitions.

Coordinator of Secondary Gifted Education and Case Manager grades 7, 8, and 9:
Dr. Connie DeMore Palmer
724-861-3000, x4122
[email protected]
Grades 9-12 High School Gifted Program:

High school students identified as gifted are provided with the opportunity to explore subjects of interest and challenge themselves intellectually by enrolling in enriched and/or accelerated classes (SOAR classes, honors classes, and advanced placement classes). A specific “SOAR Projects” class is available to seniors who want to engage in an independent study facilitated by their SOAR advisor. In all advanced classes, gifted high schoolers are expected to work toward personal goals they set as described within their individual GIEPs. Gifted students are also encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities (competitions, clubs, and organizations) according to their individual strengths and learning needs.
Ms. Ciminy St. Clair, High School - Coordinator
Case Manager - Grade 10, 11
724-861-3000, x3831
[email protected]
Gifted Case Managers:
Ms. Larissa Sturm - Grade 12
724-861-3000 - x3227
[email protected]