“QUEST” is an acronym for Quality Utilization and Enrichment of Student Talents. Leander ISD’s QUEST and Gifted & Talented (G/T) Services are designed to meet the needs of identified gifted students who have demonstrated above-average ability in the following area of giftedness as defined by the Texas State Plan for the Gifted: high general-intellectual ability at the top 8-10% of the campus population.
QUEST-G/T enrichment services are developmental in scope, with the curriculum addressing core content areas through projects and units that cross multiple subject areas. QUEST-G/T students have the opportunity to investigate topics of interest to them in greater depth and complexity. Students expand their abilities to apply critical thinking, creative thinking, communication, and research skills through individual and group projects, studies and problem-solving units.
Identified QUEST-G/T students in grades K-5 participate weekly in various interdisciplinary, project-based units of study under the direction and facilitation of the campus QUEST-G/T teachers. They also have access to support from the QUEST-G/T teachers through QUEST Lab, as available.
Elementary QUEST-G/T Lab
QUEST-GT Lab is a support system and resource for QUEST-G/T students. QUEST-G/T Lab provides students extra time and space to work on QUEST G/T projects or to get help with classroom work. They can use available resources to help with classwork, work on QUEST-G/T units of study, or conference with the QUEST-G/T teacher.
The QUEST-G/T teacher is there to encourage, support and help students to meet their learning and social emotional needs. QUEST-G/T Lab may be during scheduled QUEST-G/T Lab times or any time during the school day, as approved by QUEST-G/T and classroom teachers. Students may also meet in QUESTG/T Lab before school or after school, as scheduled by the campus QUEST-G/T teacher.
Examples of Elementary School QUEST-G/T Lab include but are not limited to: mentoring, tutoring on specific skills, working on projects–researching, creating visuals and products, meeting with team members, extending class work (as agreed upon by QUEST-G/T and Classroom teachers), and providing modified G/T services to Twice Exceptional G/T students.
QUEST-GT students are cluster grouped in the regular classroom to ensure access to delivery of differentiated instruction and modifications of the curricula in the four core content areas based on individual student needs.
In grades 6-8, QUEST-G/T students may participate in the QUEST Studies class as available. The QUEST-G/T curriculum is designed to provide challenging learning opportunities through an interdisciplinary project-based curriculum, utilizing gifted teaching strategies.
- developmental in scope
- interdisciplinary in content
- focused on instruction in and application of critical and creative thinking skills, research and independent study skills, oral and written communication skills, affective skills and social skills
These skills are taught in a spiraling curriculum through individual and group projects, studies, and problem-solving units.
The classes provide a wide array of learning opportunities including:
- focus on depth of critical analysis and comparative analysis skills
- opportunity for independent work, group work, and self-directed learning experiences
- opportunity to explore issues and topics of choice in-depth
- access to a wider range of sources and organizational strategies in the research process
- access to a wider range of oral, visual, and written communication to authentic audiences
- development of voice, style, and sophisticated sentence structure in student writing
- opportunity to apply problem-solving and decision-making processes
- opportunity to read, analyze, and discuss above grade-level novels and synthesize learning into original projects
- opportunity for thought-provoking discussions and debate
- opportunity to expand creative and divergent thinking in projects and discussions
- opportunity for self-reflection and evaluation
Middle School QUEST-G/T Lab
QUEST-GT Lab is a support system and resource for QUEST-G/T students. QUEST-G/T Lab provides self-directed students extra time and space to work or study in order to keep up with the demands of their advanced classes and active lives. They can set learning goals for themselves, use available resources to help with classwork and homework, work on personal interest projects, conference with the QUEST-G/T teacher or have a quiet place to be themselves.
The QUEST-G/T teacher is a teacher-advocate for these students; encouraging, supporting and helping them to meet their learning and social-emotional needs.
QUEST-G/T Lab may be during a scheduled QUESTG/T Lab time, stacked into QUEST-G/T teachers’ classes, or before school, during lunch or after school with any of the QUEST-G/T teachers, by appointment.
All LISD learners have access to advanced courses in middle school, including language arts, math, fine arts, and STEM classes. GT learners are encourage to explore their unique strengths as well as stretch themselves academically by participating in the array of learning options available at each middle school.
In high school, G/T students are placed in QUEST Advanced English classes during ninth and 10th grades. The course acts as a bridge to support gifted learners transition to high school and to ensure learners have access to the QUEST-G/T teachers who are available for support throughout the high school years. QUEST students are encouraged to participate in an array of challenging high school courses including Advanced Programs (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), Career Tech, Fine Arts, AP Capstone, INCubator Program, and other specialized courses of interest to them, throughout their high school experience.
Note: This is an Advanced English curriculum, and it is NOT project-based as are middle and elementary QUEST-G/T classes. It does NOT include the QUEST-G/T independent study.
Secondary QUEST-G/T Lab
QUEST-GT Lab is a support system and resource for QUEST-G/T students. QUEST-G/T Lab provides self-directed students extra time and space to work or study in order to keep up with the demands of their advanced classes and active lives. Students can check grades to set learning goals for themselves, work on college or scholarship applications, use available resources to help with classwork and homework, work on personal interest projects, choose to complete an independent study mentorship project, conference with the QUEST-G/T teacher, etc.
The QUEST-G/T teacher is a teacher-advocate for these students; encouraging, supporting and helping them to meet their learning and affective needs.
QUEST-G/T Lab may be during a scheduled QUESTG/T Lab time, during a dedicated QUEST-Advisory time, stacked into QUEST-G/T teachers’ classes, or before school, during lunch or after school with any of the QUEST-G/T teachers, by appointment.
QUEST-G/T Independent Study Mentorship Class
This is an optional class that G/T in which students may choose to enroll. Students complete a year-long in-depth research study evaluated by a panel of educators and experts in the chosen field. This study may be done as an extension of students’ interests or class projects. Students earn one year of local credit for successful completion. A similar class that offers the potential for college credit is also available in the AP (AP Capstone) and IB programs.
The high school QUEST-G/T teacher acts as a resource and support for gifted students to …
- support their academic success
- help ease the transition into high school
- coordinate campus participation in the Destination Imagination Program
- facilitate students’ independent studies and projects.
- support the classroom teacher and QUEST-G/T students’ parents
High school G/T students are encouraged to participate in Advanced and Advanced Placement courses. Students should also consider special program offerings such as the AP Capstone Program, INCubator, International Baccalaureate program as well as specialized Career Tech and Fine Arts courses. An array of Advanced Programs courses are offered at each district high school.
GT District Advisory
This fall, Leander ISD’s new Gifted and Talented (GT) Advisory Committee will kick off. This committee will bring parent and student voices together with teachers, counselors and administrators to support and assist the district in gifted/talented service planning and improvement.
The LISD GT District advisory Committee will review district GT policies and procedures to make recommendations to district leadership that improve policies and procedures as related to the topics of the Texas State Plan: Service Design, Student Assessment, Curriculum and Instruction, Professional Learning, and Family and Community Involvement.
Members of the LISD GT Advisory will include representatives from each feeder pattern and will include teachers, administrators, counselors, students, and parents of GT identified students. At least one parent of each feeder pattern and at least one staff member of each feeder pattern will be included but not more than two parents and two staff members from each feeder pattern will be included.
A minimum number of 15 members will include representation from the following:
- One GT Parent from elementary or secondary for each feeder pattern.
- One GT trained teacher or administrator/counselor from elementary or secondary currently serving LISD GT learners for each feeder pattern.
- One GT Identified student from each level – Elementary, Middle, and High School.
A maximum number of 30 members will include representatives from the following:
- Two GT parents from elementary or secondary for each feeder pattern.
- Two GT trained teachers or administrator/counselors from elementary or secondary currently serving LISD GT learners for each feeder pattern.
- Two GT Identified students from each level and attending different schools – Elementary, Middle, and High School.
Selection of Members: Members are selected by application through a Google form – LISD GT District Advisory Interest Form. Interested parents, staff, and students will apply using an application that asks for campus affiliation and reason for serving. All members will acknowledge that they can attend all meetings scheduled for the school year. A committee of two or three members from the district will review applications and select members based on feeder pattern, level, GT program identification, rationale for application, and commitment to attend all meetings.
Meeting Dates: A minimum of three or four meetings will be held annually. Note: subcommittees may be needed to complete additional work depending on the annual topics of review. Dates for 22-23:
- October 17, 2022 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
- December 5, 2022 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
- February 20, 2023 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
- April 24, 2023 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.