ES Gifted Support

Kelly Pascarella, M.Ed.
Elementary Gifted Services Coordinator

Elementary Tier Levels of Enrichment

Following a Universal Design for Learning approach, Gifted Support Services have long been inclusive in the Mt. Lebanon School District. We know that our students vary on so many levels- ability, interest, engagement, readiness, executive functioning, communication and collaboration skills, technology, and more. Because learner variability exists, we can plan it. Today's classrooms are elastic for all students to learn, and as we plan for learning we consider the needs of the broadest range of learners.

Teaching in today's classroom focuses on both what is taught and how. The primary focus is on finding many ways to teach the material to the many types of learners in a classroom. Teachers plan lessons to address a wide range of needs and strengths. There is no "typical" student. We know that all students benefit from multiple formats and accommodations in their learning. In today's classroom, teaching is flexible depending on the lesson and student needs. The teacher works with the student to decide how the student will learn the material. Our overarching goal is to develop purposeful, motivated, resourceful, goal oriented learners. Expert learners. To do so, instruction is intentional and purposefully planned to meet the needs of all levels of learners.

When designing a lesson or unit, Tiers of Enrichment are considered based on the learner's profile and demonstrated need:

Tier 1 Enrichment


ALL: Core Classroom Instruction and School-Wide Enrichment

Tier 2 Enrichment


SOME: Evidence-based, strategic targeted supplemental skill building intervention

Tier 3 Enrichment


FEW: Evidence-based, intensive targeted instruction for academic needs not met by Tier 1 or Tier 2

Differentiated Instruction in the core curriculum guided by respectful tasks, flexible grouping, and ongoing assessment and adjustment.


Teachers can differentiate content, process, and product according to student’s readiness, interests, and learning profile.

Assignments of increased task complexity - Depth of Knowledge 3, 4

Advanced level follow up with topics related to student interest that are presented in the regular curriculum


choice opportunities: choice boards, menus, tic-tac-toe boards, products

Acceleration in mathematics (grades 3 and 5)

Flms studies, observed demonstrations

Cluster grouping with intellectual peers based on readiness, interests, and/or learning profile.

curriculum compacting

Grade level field trips

cooperative grouping

Independent Studies

Guest speakers, lectures

curriculum based extensions

Investigative Projects

Inquiry-based learning

Learning through abstraction and conceptual/interpretive discussions

Individual conferencing

Lunchtime clubs

Performance tasks, real world problems

Learning Contracts

Plays, assemblies

Use of supplemental resources

Task-persistence; Structured risk activities

school based competitions, clubs, and events

Skill based programs

Academic Events

Library Research


Adapted from: The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of All Learners, Carol Ann Tomlinson

Specifically Designed Instruction

A Gifted Individualized Education Plan (G.I.E.P) is developed for a student who qualifies for gifted support services and demonstrates a need for specially designed instruction as determined by the Gifted Multidisciplinary Team (G.M.D.T).

The G.I.E.P. is an academic, strengths-based document. Specially designed instruction is provided through a student's G.I.E.P. to accomodate advanced learning challenges in the student's outstanding strength area(s). Specially designed instruction requires the teacher to modify the content, process, and/or product for a gifted learner.

Summer Programs/Opportunities

The following learning opportunities are available for your child outside of the classroom:






The District does not endorse any program. It is not possible to list all options.