Mentally Gifted

MTLSD Mentally Gifted Philosophy

The Mt. Lebanon School District provides for mentally gifted students using the conceptual framework of continuous progress through the district mainstream curriculum. This extensive curriculum includes options and alternatives which have been created and refined to provide opportunities of differing groups of children.

Through the challenging, comprehensive curriculum, education of mentally gifted students in Mt. Lebanon supports the district mission of providing the best education possible for each and every student.

The central consideration for education of mentally gifted students is to provide them with appropriate educational opportunities commensurate with their capabilities as learners. It is with this basic philosophy that the Mt. Lebanon School District is committed to the education of its mentally gifted students primarily within the regular classroom setting. It is it the firm belief of this district that a high level of challenge can and is provided in the regular classroom environment. This system of delivery not only meets the needs of gifted learners, but addresses the learning needs of the many high achieving students who attend our schools.

In order to support this philosophy, the Mt. Lebanon School District employs a gifted coordinator at the elementary, middle school and high school levels to provide supportive interventions in the regular class through consultation with staff members regarding the design and monitoring of appropriate high-level educational opportunities for students.

In addition, it is the responsibility of each gifted coordinator to help make available differentiated learning materials and resources, professional development opportunities and research/evidenced based teaching recommendations. Through this approach, opportunities are provided to enable students to explore identified areas of focus and to develop high levels of thinking through:

  • Enrichment activities designed to increase the depth and/or breadth of the student's learning experiences through differentiated assignments, independent study, alternative learning projects, and higher-level instructional materials
  • Acceleration to enable a student to complete the program in less time or at an earlier age than usual
  • Special groupings which involve placing a student in instructional groups and classes according to significant factors such as ability, interest, achievement, or instructional purpose
  • Specialized study opportunities which extend the curriculum by providing offerings that appeal to individual student interest and capabilities

A staff development program, provided for teachers K-12, focuses upon characteristics and needs of gifted students, best practices, current literature and research in the field. The regular education staff is also kept informed through this staff development process of the Pennsylvania state mandates and procedures pertaining to gifted education.


Dr. Jennifer Shuman
Director of Special Education and Student Services


Christa Smith
Elementary Gifted Coordinator


Kathryn Duchin
Middle School
Gifted Coordinator
Mellon - 412-325-8254
Jefferson 412-344-2140


Nicole Glover
High School Gifted Coordinator