MEDINA — With a student population of more than 7,000 students, of which 1,500 are identified as gifted students, Medina Schools is looking to add to its teaching ranks to better serve those at the higher end of the academic spectrum.
Tina Cassidy, the district’s director of instruction, said Medina has one teacher for gifted students at each of the seven elementary schools.
A plan presented Tuesday during a school board meeting involves adding full-time gifted teachers at A.I. Root and Claggett middle schools in the fall, as well as a teacher that spends half time at the high school.
There are no gifted teachers at the high school, Cassidy said.
Gifted teachers are “absolutely” needed in the district, she said Tuesday.
“It’s part of our strategic plan,” she said.
These gifted teachers will work with advanced or high-ability students who perform academically, intellectually or creatively beyond their grade level.
Superintendent Aaron Sable said adding the gifted teachers is just one “big-picture item” on the agenda for next fall.
“We are dedicated to increasing our gifted services to students,” he said. “Tina Cassidy and Matt (Mattie, assistant director of instruction) are working to add teaching positions to both of our middle schools and the high school with teachers actually in those buildings.
“That plan extends beyond gifted services. It’s also going to impact all students. It’s going to be part of the new learning model, Exploratory Learning, which will be supported by gifted teachers.”
Sable said the board is proposing several course selections for the high school in the fall.
“The high school is still working together, the teachers, administrators and guidance counselors to formulate exactly what recommendations they want to make in terms of new courses for the high school,” he said.
The goal is to make more electives and classes available to students.
Sable said he hopes to make a recommendation on the matter at the next regular school board meeting Feb. 19.
Potential new courses in the fall could be:
- College algebra (it will be more challenging than what the district has offered in the past, Sable said);
- Advanced Placement U.S. history (this is normally a core AP class that students take as sophomores, Sable said);
- French 2 (the district added French 1 this year);
- Biomedical sciences (the district will partner with the Medina County Career Center, which will provide the teacher for this course).
Sable said another French teacher might have to be added.
“We’re hoping to get this squared away in the coming weeks,” he said.
Sable said more details will be coming in the near future.