Rockwood Gifted Evaluator states “curriculum in the general classroom is not sufficiently challenging and engaging for a significant number of students”.

Is the average student being challenged in Rockwood?

There has been a growing concern among Rockwood parents for several years now that our standard classes are “not sufficiently challenging and engaging for a significant number of students”.  Many in the Rockwood community believe the curriculum has been completely neglected and pushed to the side  for a several years now. However, now that their concerns have been validated by an independent source, no one is talking about it!

Hired by the Board of Education as a part of the Guiding Change: Gifted Education K-12 Program Evaluation, Dr. Carolyn M Callahan and co-facilitator, Karen Lelli Austin conducted an evaluation and review of Rockwood’s gifted education program in which they analyzed and compared it to the NAGC Standards

Amidst the 505 page report, of which the first 47 pages is a summary of Dr. Calahan’s findings and  recommendations, we find her opinion goes beyond the gifted program. Buried in the report that can be found on our district website, we believe most parents are not aware of its existence and therefore have not read it.

The current definition, philosophy, identification and services results in identification of ~16% of students as gifted and more than half of the middle school student population in Challenge classes at the Middle School. If the general intellectual ability of RSD is this high, then there should be serious efforts to ratchet up the general curriculum. The appeal of the gifted program for such a large population of students stems in part from a curriculum in the general classroom that is not sufficiently challenging and engaging for a significant number of students. (page 14)

“Curriculum is addressed first in the report because of the need to recognize that curriculum is the lynchpin of services to gifted students. All other components of a program can be perfectly conceptualized and implemented, but if the curriculum is inappropriate, then those efforts are wasted”.  (page 17)

RS for RS feels, whether gifted, above average, average or below; the lynchpin to services for all students IS the curriculum.

Curriculum is the foundation to education and should always be at the forefront of every discussion about student achievement, evaluation and expectation.

If the curriculum in the general classroom is not sufficiently challenging and engaging for a significant number of students; everything else is a complete waste of time and money.

Rockwood School District – Once again, more questions than answers

If you’re a Rockwood School District Taxpayer you might ask, where is the discussion, where is the debate?

Once again the Rockwood Board of Education’s actions in a public meeting raises more questions than answers.

As reported by the West News Magazine, Board of Education President Steve Smith was quoted as saying; “We’re not going to do away with the gifted program,” Smith said. “We’re not going to do away with the CCL (Center for Creative Learning).”

Really? One statement by the Board President and the decision is made.

No public input? Where was the open discussion?  Where was the motion for a vote?  What was the official public vote by the Board Directors?

OR is it like the now infamous quote from Assistant Superintendent of Finance Shirley Broz,  “That’s the way we’ve always done it”.

In the West News Magazine article, Rockwood’s Associate Superintendent for Learning Randy Smasal is quoted as saying the Rockwood community will have more chances to review the recommendations and give input before any decisions are made.

So which is it?

Once again, more questions than answers.

Callahan’s 511-page gifted education evaluation report can be viewed on the district web site here.

Rockwood School District – Is Education Real Anymore?

Coalition members:

This is an email thread we received from a Rockwood parent. Questions continue to mount about our school district. Is education real anymore?

A Rockwood Parent writes to RS for RS:

The original email came from GAM Legislative Consultant – based on the little I read on
their website, they are advocates for gifted education. This came to
my email and my son’s school email!! It was sent by Cindy Hefling -
gifted ‘coordinator’ at EHS – looks like she got it from Linda Smith,
RSD director of Gifted Education! Looks like she sent to to all
gifted related district employees!

I did forward this on to Michele Clark, DESE Communications
Coordinator – she said they are monitoring this and noticing canned
responses! Will be interesting to see outcome of survey since it
should be thrown out because of corrupted data!

They are TELLING you how to answer this survey!! This survey is
getting input on refining the state’s newest set of accountability

I don’t know if/how this relates to the current Gifted Review that RSD
is doing – but, it disturbs me that we, as gifted parents and
students, are being told how to answer!!!

I may send this to the state – I’m sure they would be interested in
knowing that their survey is corrupt!

——— Forwarded message ———-
From: Cindy Hefling
Date: Thu, Oct 27, 2011 at 7:26 AM
To: Cindy Hefling

From: Linda Smith
Sent: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 12:08 PM
To: Staff All CCL; Caroline Podgornik; Cindy Hefling; Katherine
Glaude-Bolte; Mary Parish; Paige Hereford; Vicki Kemp; Alison
Frederickson; Alison Smith; Caroline Podgornik; Cindy Hefling; Karen
Schulz; Katherine Glaude-Bolte; Kenneth Baremore; Laura Baker; Rebecca
Schweizer; Robin Lady; Terri Tauser; Theresa Stockman; Vicki Kemp

Here’s more information to share with families. This email comes from
the President of the Gifted Association of Missouri. Linda

From: kyna iman []
Sent: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 11:57 AM
To: Becky Smith

Please go to the following website at DESE and click on:

Online comment collector……..will get you to DESE’s survey page

Fill in your Name

Gifted Association of Missouri or your home school or business


City, State, Zip

and respond to what and where you are,

Click on “strongly disagree” with MSIP5 standards

Choose “K-12 performance standards”

Choose “achievement sub-group”

Write “Please restore MSIP Standards 7.2 regarding gifted education
programs to MSIP5.”

And hit send…..and it’s as easy as that!!!

Please forward this to your Parents, Students, and fellow teachers,
administrators, etc.

Thanks again!
Kyna Iman
GAM Legislative Consultant


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