State Advisory Council for Gifted and Talented Education graphic 2.1.23

The Kentucky Department of Education’s (KDE’s) State Advisory Council for Gifted and Talented Education discussed KDE’s equity playbook during their Feb. 1 meeting.

Nicole Fields, community engagement coordinator on KDE’s  Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) Team, discussed KDE’s new Equity Playbook, which provides district and school leaders with personalized coaching on evidence/research-based practices, content and resources to address opportunity gaps in one or more of the following areas:

  • Student achievement;
  • Utilization of funding and resources;
  • Disproportionality relative to student discipline;
  • Culture and climate; and
  • Highly effective staff and high-quality instructional resources.

Fields said the playbook is not a physical resource or a program, but an ongoing personalized system of support. There are currently 222 participants in the first cohort. Cohort two began in January 2023 and cohort three will begin in August.

Participants work with KDE through the Equity Playbook to examine the presence and strength of their current policies and practices related to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. When it comes to gifted and talented services, Fields said the focus is on disproportionality in representation, and walked SACGTE members through current state data on gifted and talented and advanced coursework and career and technical education.

“When I am talking to educators, I try to make sure that they are providing information, common language for parents on how to navigate gifted and talented,” she said. “The Equity Playbook has been really powerful to provide that individualized coaching to help teachers and educators to look at those gaps.”

The advisory council also discussed potential barriers for equally serving all students eligible for gifted and talented services.

“I am reminded over and over again that one of the things we must make sure people know about gifted education is that students’ needs come from their strengths. We normally think about needs as something behind or a deficit, but we must help those we work with know that the strength of a child makes the need,” said SACGTE Chair Julia Roberts, who represents parents of gifted and talented students on the council.

KDE Gifted Education Consultant Kathie Anderson said KDE already is implementing some of the council’s recommendations for identifying gifted and talented students, and may provide the council with an update before their next meeting.