As mandated by state guidelines and regulations, a student must meet certain criteria to be eligible for gifted education services at Odyssey. While the DOE has certain guidelines that all schools must follow, many decisions and procedures are left to the discretion of individual schools. Thanks to this flexibility, we have been able to create an amazing gifted program that suits the unique needs of our school and students.
Odyssey’s Gifted Program began during the 2011-2012 school year, and has continued to grow and expand over the past few years. The aim of the program is to provide advanced and enriched opportunities for learning that replace, supplement or extend learning beyond the standard curriculum. These opportunities encourage and develop creative and critical thinking, provide practice in problem solving, develop responsibility to self and others, and enhance an appreciation for life-long learning.
Students are referred automatically through ITBS scores. A student must score at the 90th percentile or higher in Total Math, Total Reading, or Composite (Core). Students may also be referred by teachers, parents, or administrators. If you would like your child to be screened for gifted services, please review and complete the Checklist and Referral Form listed below.
Students who have already qualified for gifted services in another Georgia school system before coming to Odyssey are automatically eligible for our program. If they are coming to Odyssey from a school system outside of the state of Georgia, they must be retested, according to the Georgia State Board of Education guidelines.
To qualify, students must meet the state requirements of Option A or B:
Gifted students are pulled out of regular classes for one day a week for enriching activities and lessons that extend the standard curriculum. On days when students are pulled out for gifted services, teachers in the regular classrooms do not introduce new material, so the gifted students are not missing lessons that would cause them to get behind in regular classrooms.
Gifted classes provide diverse instruction suitable for individual needs and abilities. Students often explore topics in greater depth than can be provided for in the normal learning environment. Instruction is delivered with increased pace and rigor, and often includes new ideas and topics not presented in regular classes. Emphasis is placed on problem-solving, creative and critical thinking, and leadership skills.
In order to continue in the Gifted Program, students are required to achieve satisfactory performance in both regular and gifted classes. Some of these guidelines are set forth by the Georgia Department of Education in the following document – STEP Continuation Guidelines.
For more information please visit Georgia Department of Education’s Gifted Education.