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ALPHA Parent Orientation

Gifted & Talented Program has changed to A.L.P.H.A.

( Advanced Learning Program for High Achievers)


Welcome to Mrs. Montero's Webpage!

I am a graduate of Rutgers University in New Jersey with a Bachelor's degree in Education & Spanish Literature. The University of U.T.S.A. with a master's degree in ESL/Bilingual Education. I am also certified in Secondary Spanish Instruction. I am fully fluent in Spanish and I have also studied foreign languages at the university level; Italian, French & Portuguese. I received my early childhood education in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico where most of still  reside. I have currently reached my 30th year in teaching. My teaching experience ranges from elementary grade levels,  to Adult education,  and Early College Instruction. Gifted & Talented instruction is the highlight of my entire teaching career. It permits me to have the great opportunity to reach students in the different grade levels and be an active promoter of the gifted & talented education and help seek out hidden talents students may possess and also facilitate learning in a flexible and creative environment.

 Philosophy: All students must have the right to enjoy an atmosphere in the classroom environment that leads to the learning one hopes that all students behave in a way in which it is possible to enjoy a productive educative experience. Each student in the ALPHA program is exhorted to express his/her thoughts and feelings freely and be an active and enthusiastic partipant in the activities planned. His/her conduct must include courtesy and consideration to other peers and teacher facilitator, accept the responsibility for his/her education, and thus to guanrantee the best esperience to them of possible learning.

Serious disciplinary measures would be taken if the student's conduct interrupts the learning atmosphere constantly, in this case, a committee revision of the Campus will do the followwing:

  1. Place the student in a period of test, which is known as "furlough", under contract of reintegration plan.
  2. It will be decided if the student will have to be expelled completely from the program.
  3. In any case, the parents will be included in the decision process.



Gifted & Talented Program Components/Curriculum 2013-2014

Drigger's Campus Days of Service will be on Monday – Friday

Unit of Study ALPHA students will use Scholarly Behaviors and apply Depth & Complexity as with the over-arching theme of Relationships as they relate to Men and the World (cultures, environment & history). All students will be immersed in research & activities related to the Theme for the Year ---"Law & Justice".

Independent Research will be started during the second semester in January. ALPHA/GT Students are required to choose a topic related to this year's "theme" to present orally and in written form to class. Students will conference with ALPHA/GT Specialist throughout the process, and are expected to keep up with the dead- lines for the final presentation of their topic.



  Social and Emotional Needs of the Gifted:

An Affective Curriculum, is an  ongoing part of our curriculum. This part of the curriculum addresses the socio-emotional aspect of the gifted & talented students  in the classroom.

Besides the affective curriculum  ALPHA' s instructional component also focuses on Metacognition (Teaching Critical thinking Skills), and the content or academic year's  theme.   Lessons are executed weekly and/or when the need demands it, in order to help students maintain an emotional balanced and productive outlook.



NISD Goals for ALPHA Students:

Below are the main  goals for GT/ALPHA students is to help them become through hands-on practice along with the willingness of each individual student:

  •       Constructive Thinkers and Problem Solvers 
  •        Goal Setters
  • ·      Effective Communicators
  • ·      Cooperative Learners
  • ·      Leaders and Responsible Citizens
  • ·      Independent Learner



Student Scholarly Behaviors/Habits:

ALPHA students are expected to practice and exhibit these scholarly behaviors in the G/T Lab and in their homeroom consistenly. 

* Be persistent- stick to the task at hand

* Willingness to participate actively

* Ask meaningful questions

* Set goals

* Exercise curiosity and their intellect

* View information from different perspectives

* Thirst for Knowledge

* Save information and use multiple resources

* Come prepared


Depth & Complexity :

Another crucial area of instruction is the development of Critical & Independent thinking skills via Depth & Complexity applied to the topics in our  curriculum. Students are to become familiar with icons that represent the D & C skill. This is of outmost importance in the academic development of our students for their integration in higher education and their future careers. 



                      ALPHA/GT Enrichment


NISD  ALPHA/GT Guidelines

“Together We Are Building a Better Future

  ALPHA/GT Students

*       Must attend the G/T class each week if they are present at school 

*       Will attend G/T class from 2 – 3 1/2 hours on their designated days

*       Will not miss their rotations when attending G/T class

*       Do NOT have to make up work missed in the regular classroom on the day of
          their G/T class – PLEASE refer to district policy or see me for clarification.

*       Are still just kids.

*       Are not gifted in all areas.

*       Should not miss fun activities scheduled in your classrooms.

*       Need to be challenged.

*       Need to go beyond the basic curriculum expectations.

*       May comp-out of some areas of the curriculum.


Student’s Success in ALPHA Program

…depends on your child’s productivity, social development and positive contributions.

…working above grade level in the regular classroom and having satisfactory report card grades.


  • ØParents will be contacted if your child’s fails to maintain the expected level of performance.

The Benefits and Challlenges of Giftedness:

*Impatient w/others/ dislikes basic routines

*Asks embarrassing questions; excessive interests

*Strong-willed; resists direction

* Resists routine practice; questions teaching procedure

*Dislikes unclear/illogical areas (e.g. traditions or feelings)

*Worries about humanitarian concern

*Constructs complicated rules, often seen as boss

* May use words to manipulate; bored with school and age-peers

*Intolerant, perfectionist; may become depressed

*May be seen as disruptive and out of step

*Neglects duties or people during periods of focus; resists interruption; difficult to transition; stubbornness

* Sensitivity to criticism or peer rejection

*May be seen as hyperactive

*May reject parent or peer input; nonconformity

*May appear disorganized or scattered; frustrated over lack of time

Adapted from Clark (1992) and Seagoe (1974).  Taken from Eric Digest:


NISD Gifted & Talented Screening Process:

·  Students are tested in three areas: The CogAT (Ability), IOWA (Reading & Math), and Torrance (Creativity).

·  The teacher and parent Behavioral Characteristics’ Checklist is another means to assess GT nominees in the following:  Learning, Creativity, Motivation, Leadership, and Communication/Planning characteristics.

Our Campus cut-off score is 13 points to be identified for GT instruction.  Any GT nominee scoring 13 points is automatically considered to be in need of the GT services or instruction. Students showing gifted potential in specific tested areas, and with a score close to the cut off score of 13, will be given the opportunity to receive GT service through the means of  Alternate Path” or Conditional Status. These students will be receiving GT instruction under the condition that they show success in both, the regular classroom and the GT lab.      

Who can nominate a child for G/T testing?:

Generally,  the classroom teacher does the nomination after various observations in their classroom. However, a parent, a grandparent, peers, school counselor, or nurse can nominate a child who presents gifted potential afier personal and concrete observations .

What happens after the individual student is nominated for G/T testing?  

  1. GT nominees receive a letter to inform their parents of their nomination and a copy of the Behavioral Checklist to be filled out and returned to G/T Specialist within the time frame given in order for the child to be tested. ( Parent's signature will indicate permission to test.)
  2. Nominations are sent to GTTC for test scheduling.
  3. The parents will receive a notification of the testing date.
  4. Students do not have to study for this test, but it's recommended they get a good night rest and be prepared to test.
  5. There is a waiting period for test results to get back to the campus. However, the GTTC coordinator will provide us with the data/scores on a timely fashion.
  6. The Campus Committee, comprised of the sdministrator, counselor, and GT specialist, will make the final decision based on the student's scores.
  7. The District GT Coordinator will need to give the final approval for students given the opportunity through "Alternate Path".
  8. The parents then are notified of the tests results, whether the student met the criteria/requirements, or not.
  9. The GT Specialist will send a letter home for Parent Approval for participation.
  10. The student is then entered formally in the Computer with a GT Status.


Elementary Assessment Schedule 2013-2014

One Time Session for Intermediate:

         Grades 3rd through 5th  

Nominations due to GT Specialist: November 1, 2013

Testing window :   November 4-20, 2013

Results expected:  January, 2013


One Time Session for Primary :

            Grades  1st & Second  

 Nominations due to GT Specialist: January 11th, 2013

Testing window:     February 3-28th -February 28th, 2013

Results Expected: April, 2013


Kindergarten Testing:

Referral Due to GT Specialist:   December 3, 2012

Testing Dates:  January 8-22, 2013

Results Expected: April, 2013




Note: Due to our recent budget cuts in our district testers will not have outside testers, therefore the GT specialist will be administering all tests on Campus, and ALPHA/GT screening is going to be alloted to only one time in the academic year for all grade levels.







Title Filename Modified
How Exceptional Are You.pdf#2.pdf 10/3/2013
ALPHA PARENT Orientation 13-14.pdf 10/3/2013

Reference/Investigation links

Site Description
It provides support and guidance to the parents of students identified to participate in the Advanced Learning Program.
Essays which provide valuable understanding of how to help your gifted child.
The dos and don'ts; to put it in a simpler way.
Learn about the characteristics and behavior of gifted children, and get tips to help you challenge them.
This Council is a representation of all of the GT/Enrichment Programs in NISD. The GT/Enrichment Advisory Council meetings ARE held at Driggers Elementary School CAFETERIA. The Meetings are from 5:30 PM-7:00 PM, normally the 3rd Thursday of every month. The first meeting is set up for Sept. 19th.
Examples of giftedness as we view it in United States
Critical thinking acitvities
educational/ instructional videos
Parent help to keep kids safe/internet & activities
entomology for kids
Awareness for a greener world
A framework of articles, guidelines, and support for parents and teachers of children whom are exceptional. It helps to understand their emotional and social needs.Check out the website for other resources in the matter.