Gifted Services



Carissa Spitzer
Teaching & Learning Coordinator, Gifted Services
(216)529-4087 I email

Gifted Services Overview Brochure



 A. We believe that the unique characteristics of gifted children may include:

  • High Cognitive Ability
  • High Academic Performance
  • High Creativity
  • Sensitivity
  • Leadership Ability
  • High Self-motivation
  • Visual and Performing Arts Ability

B.    We believe that these abilities must be nurtured through and advanced and/or enriched affective and cognitive curriculum.

C.    We believe in the uniqueness of individuals and in our responsibility to help others (parents, teachers, and students) to be more accepting of unique human differences and abilities.

D.    We believe in the importance of support and encouragement from the total learning community for programs and strategies designed to meet the specific needs of the high ability learner.


Children, emerging adolescents, and young adults who are academically talented are a unique population. They differ from their age peers in abilities, interests, and sensitivities. In order to excel and achieve their potential, academically talented youth require different and diverse experiences to meet their educational needs.

The aim is to provide advanced and enriched opportunities that replace, supplement, or extend learning beyond the standard curriculum and that incorporate different modes of instruction. These opportunities will encourage and develop creative and critical thinking, provide practice in problem formation and solution, develop responsibility to self and others, and enhance the appreciation of life-long learning.



Self-Contained Classes
Students who qualify for the self-contained elementary Gifted & Talented Program will attend Grant Elementary   

The program, administered through an all day self-contained class, is committed to offering an organized differentiated program for academically able youngsters. Teachers compact (teach in a shorter period of time) Lakewood's regular curricula for all students and then provide diverse instruction suitable for individual student needs and abilities. Students often explore topics in greater depth than can be provided for in the normal learning environment. Youngsters may proceed through concepts at a faster rate than their chronological peers, or even pursue new ideas and topics not presented in other classes.

Emphasis is placed on problem finding and problem solving, logic, creative and critical thinking, cooperative as well as independent study, and time management and study habits. The educational setting allows students a full range of expression, which results, in continued academic competence, creative production, independence and resourcefulness, increased social awareness and responsibility to self and to others. 

Mainstreaming students into music and physical education classes made up of students with varying academic abilities fosters social awareness and responsibility. Students frequently develop and carry out projects designed to help other students in the school community. 

Cluster Grouping in Traditional Classrooms
This model of our service has the students remaining in their home schools while receiving gifted instruction. Students are purposefully placed together with other students identified as gifted. Teachers are provided with training and ongoing support from the Coordinator of Gifted Services to provide differentiated instruction in the content area(s) that match the student’s area of identification. These students have a Written Education Plan (WEP) that is collaboratively written by the classroom teacher and the Coordinator of Gifted Services.



Advanced Classes
Grades 6-8

Advanced courses are offered for English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies.  These classes are composed of gifted and high-ability students who are challenged through differentiated instruction, critical and creative thinking lessons, and/or project-based learning.  Students receive a Written Education Plan (WEP) when their area(s) of identification align with the advanced course they are taking.



AP and Advanced Classes
Grades 9-12

Gifted students at LHS have the opportunity, along with any student who meets the prerequisites, to take advanced and Advanced Placement classes. LHS provides many of these rigorous courses, and with the consent of parents and teachers, students may pursue this advanced level sequence throughout high school.  


Our mission, through the support of the total learning community, is to serve and meet the needs of academically talented students by nurturing their affective and cognitive development. In doing so, we hope to enhance their potential for life-long learning and maximize their productive contributions to the communities in which they will live.