Klein ISD sees improvement after restructuring gifted and talented program, streamlining referral process

 Klein ISD was among five large school districts statewide to be recognized by H-E-B's Excellence in Education Awards program.

Klein ISD was among five large school districts statewide to be recognized by H-E-B's Excellence in Education Awards program.

In spring 2017, the Texas Curriculum Management Audit Center found that Klein ISD’s gifted and talented program needed improvements in two areas: quality of services provided to GT students and low numbers of students in the program.

These findings led the district to take action to target deficiencies in the program’s design and the process for identification, according to KISD Instructional Officer Kathleen Plott.

“We are very excited about the work that has been done,” Plott said at the Aug. 13 KISD Board of Trustees meeting.

To increase the number of students in the program, KISD modified the identification process from strictly parent-student referrals to an online process that allows parents and teachers to refer students, as well as implemented a universal screening on all second graders.

After applying the digital process, the number of referrals for the fall of 2018 jumped to 2,400, compared to the average yearly referrals of 1,700 from prior to 2016, she said. It also shortened the identification process from one school year to one semester.

“We streamlined the referral process to a digital, online submission instead of having parents do in-person talks,” Plott said. “This widened the pool of talent.”

Consequently, the percentage of identified gifted students increased from an average of 3 percent prior to 2016 to 5 percent in 2018.

In the August audit, auditors also observed no differentiation in instructional content and product in 39 of 45, or 86.7 percent, of classrooms with GT students.

To better meet GT learners needs, KISD launched several pilot programs, including the AP Exam College Board Pilot Program and the Official SAT Practice Ambassador Program. They also pushed for more involvement from GT students at Klein’s GT Research Expo by inviting all GT students, not just grades 4-7, as in previous years, she said.

Improvements to the GT program are ongoing, with projects like designing a process for lesson reviews, generating a community event calendar and providing alternative assessments slated for the 2018-19 school year.
By Eva Vigh
Eva Vigh joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2018 as a reporter for Spring and Klein. Prior to this position, she covered upstream oil and gas news for a drilling contractors' association.


Bel Furniture has purchased the former location of Star Furniture. (Courtesy Baker Katz)
Bel Furniture buys former Star Furniture property in Willowbrook area

The 60,935-square-foot store sits on 2.38 acres near Willowbrook Mall.

The new concept will offer fresh, locally-roasted coffee; a full breakfast menu featuring pancakes, waffles, eggs benedicts and sandwiches; gelato; desserts and bubble tea. (Courtesy Noe's Cafe)
Noe's Cafe opening soon in The Market at Springwoods Village

This is the third eatery for the couple who also own Noe's Crepes Coffee & Tea in Conroe and Charm Thai Bistro in Spring.

(Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Texas Medical Center coronavirus updates: Average testing positivity rate nears 10% after sharp increase

Over 97% of people nationwide who are being hospitalized because of the disease are unvaccinated.

Spring ISD officials are hosting a Back to School Expo to prepare students for the upcoming school year from 8 a.m.-noon July 31 at the district’s Planet Ford Stadium, 23802 Cypresswood Drive, Spring. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Spring ISD Back to School Expo offers backpacks, supplies distribution

Officials with Spring ISD are hosting a Back to School Expo from 8 a.m.-noon July 31. The event will feature free backpacks, school supplies and food distribution.

Six Friendswood citizens were honored in Hope Village's fundraiser. (Haley Morrison/Community Impact Newspaper)
Hope Village honors residents from 12 Houston-area cities in 'Faces of Hope' fundraiser

Nominees received yard signs that were out on lawns for approximately two weeks in July.

A new brewery will soon be opening on Cypress Rosehill Road at the former location of The Shack Burger Resort. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Misfit Outpost by Fortress BeerWorks coming soon to The Shack in Cypress

The owners of Fortress BeerWorks and Misfit BeerWorks are partnering on a new craft beer venture. The 5-acre site will be family-friendly, dog-friendly and host live music on the weekends.

As variants are isolated and identified, Houston Methodist's Dr. Ian Glass believes the vaccines available can handle identified variants (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
'The vaccines we have are effective against all the variants out there': Houston Methodist's Dr. Ian Glass discusses variants, vaccinations

As Houston Methodist identified its first case of the lambda variant July 19, Dr. Glass believes vaccines can handle known variants.

Ivy Point Klein is a luxury apartment complex geared for active adults age 55 and older, featuring one- and two-bedroom floor plan options as well as a slate of resort-style amenities, regular group activities and special resident events. (Courtesy Ivy Point Klein)
Ivy Point Klein residences to host grand opening celebration, ribbon-cutting July 30

The grand opening celebration will include complimentary food and drinks, live music and door prizes.

From left: Luis and MJ Aguilar are set to celebrate the one-year anniversary of LA Home Solutions and Remodeling in Spring on Aug. 8. (Courtesy LA Home Solutions and Remodeling)
LA Home Solutions and Remodeling to celebrate 1-year anniversary in Spring

Located at 6635 Spring Cypress Drive, Spring, LA Home Solutions and Remodeling is a home remodeling company that specializes in design-build complete home remodels, home improvements and custom carpentry.

Peter Lake (left), chair of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and Brad Jones, interim president and CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, provided an update on state regulators' electric grid redesign efforts in Austin on July 22. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Regulators: Texas electric grid prepared for potentially record-breaking demand next week; 'once-in-a-generation reforms' underway

The heads of the agencies in charge of the Texas electric grid met in Austin on July 22 to provide updates on their grid reform efforts.