The EXCEL Gifted and Talented Program provides services for students in grades one through eight at Rockford Elementary Arts Magnet School and Rockford Middle School - Center for Environmental Studies. 

    Many students will benefit from EXCEL services, but to differing degrees.  Our levels of service model provide opportunities to meet the unique needs of individual students.

    Our process to determine appropriate levels of service will consider multiple criteria including: Cognitive Abilities screener and test (CogAT-7), Scales for Rating the Behavior of Superior Students (teacher observation tool), "Things My Child Likes to Do" (parent observation tool), student survey, and academic performance indicators such as NWEA-MAP and MCA scores.

    Program Model

    The EXCEL program model is based on Treffinger’s “Levels of Service;” which is a model built around four levels of service.  In this model, services are leveled; not students.  Through the identification process, we will strive to provide the appropriate service or services that individual students need to be engaged and challenged.  Level I and II services do not necessitate formal identification. Level I services will be available to all students and Level II services to most students.  Identification for Level III and IV services will be more specific, using the subjective and objective criteria listed.  EXCEL services are grounded in research-supported best practices in gifted and talented education.  Programming will include a combination of send-out services, collaborative teaching, varied grouping strategies, acceleration, differentiation of curriculum and instruction, enrichment and talent development opportunities, and individualized educational plans.

    Level I services are available to all students and may be provided by the classroom teacher, a guest speaker or volunteer, media specialist, arts specialist, environment/STEM specialist, or any person with knowledge or expertise that could enrich the general education curricular environment.  Services may be offered in the form of presentations, lessons differentiated by level and choice, Arts Magnet programming, site-based learning, and extracurricular opportunities.  The EXCEL educator will also be available to collaborate with classroom teachers and provide support.  

    Level II services are available to many students and may be accessed by student choice or teacher referral.  Examples include participation in Battle of the Books, Book Club, History Day, Arts Magnet opportunities beyond the curriculum, STEM opportunities beyond the curriculum, Destination ImagiNation, Young Scientist Roundtable, or additional curricular or extracurricular opportunities deemed appropriate. 

    Level III services are available to identified students (approximately 10-15% of students per grade level) who meet specific criteria.  Students will be clustered in mathematics and language arts classrooms with students who have similar abilities.  Identified students may also be sent-out of the classroom to participate in extra curricular opportunities.  Examples of Level III services provided within the classroom may include Fermi Math, Stock Market Game, Envirothon, and Word Masters.  The curriculum is modified and accelerated in ways determined by the classroom teacher or resource teacher to be necessary for students to be challenged and engaged.   

    Level IV services extend to approximately 5-10% of the student population who are selected based on specific criteria and who demonstrate abilities far beyond those of their grade-level peers (generally at least two grade-level deviations).  Level IV services may be offered in the classroom setting, but more likely will occur through send-out programs, grade acceleration, subject-level acceleration, mentorship, or individualized academic programs.  Send-out services will be designed as needed to include extension opportunities in the areas in which a student demonstrates exceptional abilities, as well as providing social and emotional education. EXCEL educators will work directly with individual students to meet their specific needs. Though the process will include many data-driven factors, it will be imperative that strong collaboration exists between parents/guardians, general education teachers, students, and EXCEL educators.