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  February 24, 2010


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National Curriculum Network Conference - College of Willliam and Mary
March 10-12, 2010

Frequently Asked Questions

Teacher Preparation

Marshall University

Program requirements

West Virginia University

Program requirements

Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)
Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance

     Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance systematically take into consideration an individual's abilities and needs based on ongoing assessment of the individual's progress in the curriculum. Policy 2419 requires that the student's results on the state's standardized assessment, WESTEST 2, be reported. Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance narrative should be written in objective, measurable terms and easy-to-understand, non-technical language. It should establish the basis for the annual goals and special education and related services. For gifted students, a statement is required regarding the impact that giftedness has on making progress in the curriculum and growth in achievement. (See example below.)


Student’s Full Name - Jane Doe                                                                                                                 Date 3/15/09


Narrative Descriptions of Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (refer to IEP Instructions) Add pages as needed.

General Information

Jane, who will be in 7th grade in the 2009-2010 school year, scored at the Distinguished Level in Reading/Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies on the 6th grade 2008 WESTEST 2. Using the Acuity assessment tool, Jane demonstrated above mastery level skills in the 7th grade WV math curriculum using an above-grade level custom-made math test in Acuity. Using teacher-made rubrics and checklists, Jane demonstrated mastery and above level skills in the 6th grade Reading/Language Arts, Writing, Science and Social Studies curriculum. General education teachers report that she successfully completes all assignments and participates in class discussions.

Given a learning styles inventory, Jane is a logical/mathematic learner who learns best by using logic and patterns to solve problems. She will benefit from the provision of logical activities involving equations to solve a real-world problem. Jane would also benefit from activities that develop verbal/linguistic skills in order to better communicate math and logic skills.

Given an interest inventory, Jane shows an interest in math and computers and wishes to pursue a career that involves math.

Given the Learning Skills/Behavior Rubric, Jane scored in the Developing range overall. Her weakest area was “Gathering Data” – “uses all available sensory pathways to learn and transfers the information to improve overall learning; can distinguish fact from fiction.” Another area in which she showed limited skills was “Thinking Flexibly” – “considers new information and demonstrates ability to change direction or use different strategies when needed.” In addition, limited skills were demonstrated in “Persisting” – “sustains problem solving process over time” and “Questioning and Posing Problems” – “probes deeper into an issue or problem and sees alternate points of view.”


Jane has mastered 6th grade Writing CSOs at the distinguished level on the 6th grade WESTEST 2. To further develop her verbal/linguistic skills and to differentiate a writing product as a 7th grader, she will develop an informational brochure. Jane will also benefit from activities that develop effective communication of her research using spoken, written, and visual language for a variety of audiences and for different purposes.


As the assessment of above-grade level skills in math indicates, Jane has already mastered the 7th grade math curriculum. She also has a great interest in math and wishes to pursue a career that involves math. Therefore, Jane will be accelerated in the math curriculum to Algebra I.

Functional Skills

At this time, the data does not indicate the need for acceleration to the next grade level in reading/language arts, science and social studies. Jane continues to need the provision of extension activities and more in-depth study of topics focusing on higher-order thinking skills to enrich the grade-level curriculum.

Activities that develop critical thinking such as analysis of the text by distinguishing between fact and opinion, determining the credibility of the source, evaluating its relevance in present day living, and predicting any impact on future living; the application of the steps of a problem-solving model to complete a project; and planning, developing, organizing, and delivering a research project with documented sources, in-text citations to avoid plagiarism, and computer-generated graphic aids, will be provided.

    The IEP must address the unique needs of the student that result from his or her giftedness and plan the specialized instruction and related services to meet those needs. "Needs" in this sense does not necessarily mean "deficits." Research indicates that students identified as gifted need learning experiences that extend beyond the core curriculum in content, process and product.

* Content - advanced or accelerated; enriched/greater depth
* Process - address different learning styles; use different models/mind-maps/charts; problem-solving, critical thinking
* Product - complex; creative; performance-based

Learner characteristics and corresponding emphasis in the curriculum.

     If the student appears to be underachieving, by definition, this should be addressed in the present levels. The reason(s) for underachievement are complex. If the reason is a suspected disability, an evaluation and determination of the disability as defined in WV Policy 2419 is required. If not due to a disability, the IEP Team should try to determine the reason(s) and decide how to address those.

Working definition:

Underachievers are students who exhibit an observable discrepancy between expected achievement (as measured by a comprehensive test of cognitive or intellectual ability and and actual achievement (as measured by class grades, teacher evaluations or standardized achievement tests).

Must NOT be the result of a diagnosed learning disability and must persist over a one year period.


Additional Resources

National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC)

National Research Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development

West Virginia Department of Education
Office of Special Programs, Extended and Early Learning
Building 6, Room 304
1900 Kanawha Blvd. E.
Charleston, WV 25305
Gifted education teachers in West Virginia receive this newsletter bi-weekly from the West Virginia Department of Education. To change your e-mail address or update your information, please email Vickie Mohnacky at or call (304) 558-2696.