Plano Academic and Creative Education (PACE)
Who is served by PACE?
PACE identifies and serves students who demonstrate giftedness in general intellectual ability. Identification of students is conducted not to label students but to determine which students require program alterations because of their unique educational needs. Gifted and talented students possess a combination of abilities enabling them to demonstrate high achievement and/or potential in general intellectual ability. Typically, gifted students differ from their age- peers in three important ways. First, they absorb information at a faster rate and process if very efficiently. Second, they are often able to comprehend information with greater depth than their classmates, showing surprising insight and understanding. Third, they often have interests that are more typical of older children or even adults. These three learning differences are frequently enhanced by other complementary characteristics: independence, persistence, nonconformity, and motivation.
How is a student referred?
Parents, teachers, professional school staff, and students may refer those who exhibit gifted characteristics. When making a nomination, the referring person should carefully consider the referral so that the student is not set up for disappointment. Persons making nominations must complete the Referral Form and submit it to the building’s gifted specialist.
How is a student selected for services?
Students are identified by both quantitative and qualitative measures. Selection decisions are based on multiple criteria: parent survey, aptitude tests and achievement test scores.
How are the tests administered?
All students who are referred for PACE must follow the screening/selection procedures which include additional testing. Referred students in grades K-5 are assessed at the home school in the fall semester. Parents are notified of testing results.
When and how is the decision about placement made?
After all data has been gathered, a building selection committee reviews the student profile sheet containing information from the screening/selection procedures and makes a recommendation. A letter is sent to the parents notifying them of the committee’s decision.
How would my child be served in the PACE program?
In the elementary school, kindergarten services begin the first week of March. In grades first through third graders are pulled two hours a week. Fourth and fifth graders are pulled three hours a week. Content presented in PACE classes focuses on critical thinking processes such as problem solving, decision making, researching, creative/productive thinking, and communicating. In middle school PACE is implemented through a specific subject area, such as history, English, reading, or social studies. In high school, a humanities course is offered to identified students, and at the senior high level students may enroll in Advanced Placement courses and/or the International Baccalaureate Program.