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Gifted and Talented

Embrace your giftedness

Welcome to Avondale Gifted and Talented!

Meet Teacher Ms. Kate Martin - click here

Meet Teacher Ms. Michelle Gierman - click here

Download our latest classroom newsletter here.
Student in Gifted Classroom
More students in Gifted classroom

Students sitting on the floor in a classroom
Gifted and Talented
Schools of Choice Option

Students living outside of the Avondale School District boundaries have the option to enroll in our
Gifted and Talented program through the State of Michigan Schools of Choice plan.

The window for accepting Schools of Choice application will open in the Spring.
The dates for the window will be determined in January, 2017 by the Avondale Board of Education.

If you would like to be notified of the dates for Schools of Choice enrollment, email
Avondale Gifted and Talented Program
Giftedness occurs in many different disciplines, in many different cultures, and in all socioeconomic levels. Identification should be based on multiple measures of success, including achievement and aptitude tests, teacher referrals and observations, parent referrals, and portfolio submissions.

Students identified as gifted, no matter what area of giftedness, deserve to be challenged and helped to reach their full potential. Gifted students should be offered the chance to expand their knowledge base and develop their special talents.

Differentiation of gifted learners should occur in the classroom, including offering different content, process, and products for these learners.

Gifted students' social and emotional needs should also be addressed as they may develop in different ways than their peers. 

Mission Statement
To meet the unique academic, social, and emotional needs or gifted students.

Guiding Principles
Educational experiences fit the needs for each student
Ability based and mixed age academic groupings
Support for the social and emotional needs of student population

Key Values
High academic standards
Individual learning paths unique to each student

Program Contacts
Avondale School District Superintendent
Dr. James V. Schwarz


Avondale Assistant Superintendent for Student Services
Martin Alwardt


Avondale Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction
Carmen Kennedy


Woodland Elementary Principal
Arryn Schneider


Gifted and Talented Program Coordinator
Hillary Olance

Woodland Elementary
Woodland Elementary
Woodland Elementary, located in Troy near the Rochester Hills border, will house the Avondale Gifted and Talented program. The unique design of the building and arrangement of classrooms connected by large-group learning spaces supports the type of non-traditional teaching and learning prevalent in a gifted and talented classroom.

State-of-the-art and safe facilities invite children to explore and learn and grow under the direction of the highly-qualified Woodland Elementary staff.

The Kindergarten through fifth-grade student population is representative of the rich diversity celebrated throughout the Avondale School District. As the Home of the Wildcats, the staff, students and parents share a proud sense of community and a solid commitment to student success.

Process for Nominating a Student

Parent Nomination:
Packets are available on the Avondale School District webpage, under the "Gifted and Talented" navigation button, as well as (for current District residents) in your child's school. Completed applications should be returned to Hillary Olance, GT Program Coordinator, by November 18th for Avondale School District residents.

Teacher Nomination:
Teachers will nominate students using a similar packet. Packets need to be completed by November 18th for Avondale School District residents.

Identification Components:
- iReady Data: Math and Reading
- Fountas and Pinnell: Reading Data
- Parent Nomination Form and Parent Evaluation of Academic Talent Traits
- Teacher Nomination Form and/or Language Arts Talent
   Indication, Math Talent Indication, Gifted and Talented Characteristics Indication      and Additional Information
- Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT)

For a Parent Nomination Packet click here.
For a Teacher Nomination Packet click here.

Parent Resources

Avondale School District Power Point: Gifted and Talented Program Parent Presentation - here.
Nancy Bailey blogs about Gifted and Talented - here.
Michigan Association for Gifted Children - here.
National Association for Gifted Children - here.
Gifted in Michigan - here.
Supporting Gifted Learners - here.
Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG) - here.

Joshua Raymond writes about the importance
of gifted education (click on the title)
The Gifted Student ... But ...