Gifted Education
Gifted Identification: All public schools in Ohio identify gifted students per the Ohio Revised Code and the Operating Standards for Identifying and Serving Gifted Children. Reading Community School District identifies children in grades kindergarten through twelve, who may be gifted in one or more of the following areas: exceptionally high IQ; exceptionally high academic ability in math, science, reading, writing, and/or social studies; exceptional creative thinking ability; and/or exceptional artistic and musical talent.
For identification purposes, we use instruments approved by the State for screening, assessment, and identification of children who are gifted. Our written plan for the screening, assessment, and identification of children who are gifted includes the following:
  • The criteria and methods the district uses to screen and select children for further assessment;
  • The sources of assessment data the district uses to select children for further testing;
  • An explanation of the methods the district uses to ensure equal access to screening and further assessment of all district children;
  • An opportunity for parents to appeal decisions about the results of any screening procedure or assessment, the scheduling of children for assessment, or the placement of a student in any program;
  • Two opportunities a year for assessment of children recommended by teachers or parents (fall and spring).
The district ensures-as with all programs-equal opportunity for all children identified as gifted to receive any or all services offered by the district. Procedures are also in place for withdrawing students from gifted services and for resolving disputes with regard to identification and placement decisions.
Anyone wishing to refer a student may complete a Gifted Referral Form and return it to the building counselor.
Gifted Services: At the elementary level, we use a model called “cluster grouping” in the regular classroom. Several gifted students are placed with one teacher for instruction and receive a differentiated curriculum for much of the day. One day a week, a Gifted Instructional Specialist works with these students during their Intervention or Brain Boost time. The special curricular focus is on critical thinking, problem-solving, creative thinking and affective needs. The Middle School offers a Language Arts/Reading class; targeted for gifted and above-average learners. The Gifted Instructional Specialist works collaboratively with the classroom teacher designing lessons/units differentiating instruction for high ability students. The Gifted Instructional Specialist works directly in the classroom one day a week with the students and the teacher. The High School offers several options designed for accelerated and advanced students. A sample of offerings is Advanced Placement classes, Honors level classes, Dual Credit, and Post-Secondary Enrollment Options. For specific information, please contact the high school directly. Other options for Gifted Learners include, but are not limited to:
Early Entrance to kindergarten may be requested when a child turns age five after a district’s kindergarten entrance date (August 1/Sept. 30) but during the school year for which admittance is requested. The Ohio Department of Education recommends that districts follow their Academic Acceleration Policy for Advanced Learners in making decisions about early admission. For more information, see the Ohio Gifted Education Early Entrance Guide
Grade Acceleration -- Sometimes referred to as "grade-skipping," grade acceleration involves moving a student into a higher-grade classroom. The accelerated student then participates in all the same activities and studies all the same subjects as his or her classmates, even though there is an age difference. This option works well for students who are advanced over their age-peers across all subjects.
Subject-Matter Acceleration -- Students also can be accelerated in one or more subjects to provide an intellectual challenge in areas where they are particularly advanced. This option is particularly useful for children who have advanced abilities in specific areas, as might be the case with a math prodigy who is slightly above average in verbal skills.
Gifted Education Links
Title I
Title I is a federal program that provides funding to enhance student achievement and growth. Funding is based on the number of enrolled students that are considered economically disadvantaged. Students who qualify for Title I services have not been identified with a learning disability. They are receiving intervention to master the state’s standards for reading/language arts and mathematics.
Secondary Transition
Secondary Transition is an educational planning process for students with a disability. The student’s education team meets on a regular basis to develop a plan to guide the students’ high school years to help prepare the student for adult life. Reading Community City Schools is committed to preparing our students with disabilities for life after graduating from Reading High School. While the student is the focus of the planning process, parents are an integral part of the team.
Secondary Transition planning begins at the age of 14, or earlier, depending on students’ individualized goals and what needs to happen for that student to prepare for life after high school. This process continues through the high school years as students begin to narrow their choices for next steps and hone in on a career choice.
Other agencies are included in the planning process as needed. Below are links to many agencies that provide information and support in Secondary Transition.
Reading High School Intervention Specialist, Candy Colangelo, developed a website for Secondary Transition planning. The website includes a wealth of information for intervention specialists, assessment tools for gathering information, and resources for families. The webpage can be accessed from this link: Secondary Transition Planning for Students with Disabilities.
Reading also contracts with HCESC for a Transition/Work Study Coordinator. Maggie Tapia consults with the staff, provides community work experiences for our students, and supports the Secondary Transition process as early as 14 years of age.
Contact Information:
Rebecca Johnson - Director of Student Services
Candy Colangelo - RHS Intervention Specialist
Maggie Tapia - Transition/Work Study Coordinator
English Learners
English Language services are designed to help English Learners attain English language proficiency as quickly as possible so that he or she can participate effectively in classrooms in which English is the language of instruction. English Learners will also learn to navigate the cultural and social expectations of the educational system in the United States.
The goals of the ESL program are:
  • To identify all students in the district whose home or native language is not English
  • To assess any potential English Learner in listening, speaking, reading, and writing to determine the need for services to effectively participate in the district’s educational program
  • To provide effective instruction through services so that the student is able to fully participate in the district’s educational program
The goals for each student receiving services as put forth in the State ELP Standard (English Language Proficiency Standards – ELPA):
  • To use English to communicate in social settings
  • To use English to achieve academically in all content areas
  • To use English in socially and culturally appropriate ways Awareness and acceptance of culturally diverse students will be encouraged in the program.
Students from other countries are screened upon enrollment in the Reading Community City Schools. Students eligible for language services are provided support from a tutor. Services are provided in a small group or individually, based on the student’s needs. The tutor also collaborates with the regular education teacher, provides resources to the teaching staff, and services as a liaison between the parents and the school.
Below are the EL tutors:
For more information refer to the link below:
Special Education
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Public Law No. 94-142 (IDEA), is legislation that ensures students with a disability are provided a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) that is tailored to their individual needs. The goal of IDEA is to provide children with disabilities the same opportunity for education as those students who do not have a disability.
Reading Community City Schools offers a continuum of services to students with a disability. Students are instructed in the educational setting that best meets their needs and in the least restrictive environment. Special education supports and services are implemented based on the needs identified in the Evaluation Team Report (ETR) and the goals, objectives, and specially designed instruction outlined in the student's Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
For preschoolers with special needs Reading offers a continuum of services. Reading has a regular education full-day preschool and a half-day integrated preschool program. The integrated preschool program has 50% regular education students and 50% preschoolers with a disability. The integrated preschool classroom is taught by a teacher that has dual certification (regular education teaching license and a PreK-3 intervention specialist license). Preschool students can also receive itinerant services if already enrolled in a community preschool or daycare. Preschoolers with significant needs that cannot be met in the integrated preschool classroom students are placed in the HCESC developmental classroom housed in Deer Park. 
Section 504
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act is a federal anti-discrimination law intended to create a level playing field in regular education. Section 504 covers qualified students with disabilities who attend schools receiving Federal financial assistance. To be protected under Section 504, a student must be determined to:
  1. Have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; or
  2. Have a record of such an impairment; or
  3. Be regarded as having such an impairment
Section 504 requires that school districts provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to qualified students in their jurisdictions who have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities (Office of Civil Rights). Section 504 was not created to give an unfair advantage. Accommodations must apply only to the named impairment.
What is a “Major Life Activity?” Major life activities include caring for one’s self, performing a manual task, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, working, and learning.
What is a “Record” of Impairment? A record of impairment may include a history of an impairment and/or a diagnosis of assessment of an impairment.
When is an Individual “Regarded” as having such an Impairment? When the district’s perception of, response to, reaction or attitude toward the student results in treating the student as having an impairment, then the student will be considered disabled and protected under Section 504.