• School Work Make-Up Guidelines
     
     
    Elementary & Middle School Teacher Guidelines

    The gifted support program, as defined by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in Chapter 16: Special Education for Gifted Students, is a legally mandated component of an identified gifted child"s instructional program. North Allegheny School District's gifted support program (GOAL) is structured to include classes and/or individualized options for our gifted students. These activities are developed and planned to provide identified students with experiences that will enhance their areas of strength, allow students to make community and academic connections, explore career options, and participate in co-curricular programs that enrich their classroom experiences beyond the district's curriculum. When participating in these activities, students will miss some or all of the regular education instructional day. When this occurs, GOAL activities are to be in place of and not in addition to regular class work. Make-up work may be necessary under certain circumstances, but “requiring make-up work to be completed that inappropriately penalizes the student and detracts from a successful gifted education is an unintended consequence and should be avoided.” (Pennsylvania Department of Education, Gifted Guidelines, 2004).

    However, recognizing the sequential and incremental nature of instruction, the following procedures should be followed when working with your GOAL students:

    Work that may need to be completed by the student includes such things as:

    • introduction of new concepts
    • tests and quizzes
    • individual parts of group projects
    • reading assignments required for follow-up discussion
    • work in areas in which a student is experiencing difficulty or needs extra practice
    Work that would not need to be completed by the student includes such things as:
    • guided practice sheets/activities on skills already mastered
    • cut, paste, and coloring activities
    • journal writing
    • class work that is reinforced by homework
    • group activities/discussions which would be impossible to replicate independently
    Ways in which work can be completed include:
    • upon completion of other assigned class work
    • as a carry over into the next day's class
    • through the occasional use of recess, activity periods, or other free times as agreed to by the student, teacher, and parents
    • on-line or via e-mail
    • as homework when no other option is possible
    Suggestions for teachers:
    • It is illegal to limit absences from class for participation in GOAL activities to a set number or to discourage participation in GOAL activities.
    • Weigh carefully whether the completion of a specific missed assignment is essential to the child's mastery of a concept. It is appropriate to exempt students from certain assignments. (Reminder – the Gradebook program allows for individual students to have differing numbers of point totals when computing grades.)
    • Whenever possible, plan activities which do not need to be made up when it is known in advance that a large segment of the class will be gone.
    • Carry over work to the next day's class as GOAL students can often finish work quickly.
    • If a student is present in the building at some point on the day of a GOAL curriculum extension, it is reasonable to expect the prior day's homework to be turned in on that day at a time when the student is able to do so. If the student misses the entire day, accept homework due on the day of absence on the following day with no penalty.
    • Avoid the creation of substitute individual assignments to replace group activities, discussions, or experiments, if the skills and/or concepts involved can be evaluated verbally or through other regularly scheduled assignments/ assessments.
    • Use a teacher-directed system (i.e., assignment board, folder, website) to indicate to students missed assignments and which ones must be made up, rather than asking GOAL students to contact other students regarding make-up work.
    • Provide a proportional period of time for students to make up missed work. If students miss one class period, they should be given at least one day's time to make up the work prior to its being due. For longer absences, allow one day's time for each day of school missed.
    • A GOAL student's absence from class is the same as any other excused absence (for illness, family emergencies, etc.). Do not give make-up tests which are more difficult than the original test or establish policies which “punish” students for participation in GIEP-mandated activities, such as requiring students to come in prior to the start of the school day to complete work or moving up the deadline for completion of work/presentations.
    • Encourage GOAL students to share their related experiences with your class to enrich your curriculum and to allow the GOAL students a differentiated avenue of participation for the missed class.
    • Address concerns regarding student absences to the GOAL staff for resolution.
     

     
    Intermediate & High School Teacher Guidelines
     
    The gifted support program, as defined by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in Chapter 16: Special Education for Gifted Students, is a legally mandated component of an identified gifted child's instructional program. North Allegheny School District's gifted support program (GOAL) is structured to include classes and/or curriculum extensions for our gifted students. These activities are developed and planned to provide identified students with experiences that will enhance their areas of strength, allow students to make community and academic connections, explore career options, and participate in co-curricular programs that enrich their classroom experiences beyond the district's curriculum. When participating in these activities, students will miss some or all of the regular education instructional day. When this occurs, GOAL activities are to be in place of and not in addition to regular class work. Make-up work may be necessary under certain circumstances, but “requiring make-up work to be completed that inappropriately penalizes the student and detracts from a successful gifted education is an unintended consequence and should be avoided.” (Pennsylvania Department of Education, Gifted Guidelines, 2004).

    However, recognizing the sequential and incremental nature of instruction, the following procedures should be followed when working with your GOAL students:

    • It is illegal to limit absences from class for participation in GOAL activities to a set number or to discourage participation in GOAL activities.
    • A GOAL student's absence from class is the same as any other excused absence (for illness, family emergencies, college visitations, etc.). Do not give make-up tests which are more difficult than the original test or establish policies which “punish” students for participation in GIEP-mandated activities, such as requiring students to come in prior to the start of the school day to complete work or moving up the deadline for completion of work/presentations.
    • Whenever possible, plan activities which do not need to be made up when it is known in advance that a large segment of the class will be gone.
    • Avoid the creation of substitute individual assignments to replace group activities, discussions, or experiments, if the skills and/or concepts involved can be evaluated verbally or through other regularly scheduled assignments/assessments.
    • If a student is present in the building at some point on the day of a GOAL curriculum extension, it is reasonable to expect the prior day's homework to be turned in on that day at a time when the student is able to do so. If the student misses the entire day, accept homework due on the day of absence on the following day with no penalty.
    • Check information disseminated by the GOAL staff such as activities calendars, information on the daily/weekly bulletin, e-mails, and websites. The GOAL teachers give as much advance notice of enrichment activities as possible to allow you to make any possible accommodations.
    • Provide students with a teacher-directed, consistent means of obtaining missed work and/or class notes to assure accuracy and completeness rather than asking students to obtain missed information from other students
    • Provide a proportional period of time for students to make up missed work. If students miss one class period, they should be given at least one day's time to make up the work prior to its being due. For longer absences, allow one day's time for each day of school missed.
    • Allow students to attend another section of the missed class during arranged periods of other classes or study halls.
    • Weigh carefully whether the completion of a specific missed assignment is essential to the child's mastery of a concept. It is appropriate to exempt students from certain assignments. (Reminder – the Grade book program allows for individual students to have differing numbers of point totals when computing grades.)
    • Encourage GOAL students to share their related experiences with your class to enrich your curriculum and to allow the GOAL students a differentiated avenue of participation for the missed class.
    • Consider offering credit for participation in GOAL activities related to your class.
    • Consider developing and maintaining a web page on the District web site that includes class assignments and notes.
    • Address concerns regarding student absences to the GOAL staff for resolution.

    Additional Considerations:

    • Recognize students' abilities and interests in areas outside of your class. The students' GOAL activities may relate to their future college major or eventual vocation and thus be invaluable even though not directly pertinent to your class.
    • View student participation in GOAL activities as opportunities for both the GOAL students and the entire class to take advantage of resources and extensions to the North Allegheny curriculum.
     

    Middle, Intermediate, & High School Student Suggestions

    According to state law, GOAL activities are to be in place of and not in addition to regular class work. Make-up work may sometimes be necessary under certain circumstances; however, it should not be punitive, repetitive, or excessive. It is illegal for teachers to limit your absences from their classes for participation in GOAL activities to a set number or to discourage your participation in GOAL activities. Talk to your GOAL teacher if you feel your participation in GOAL is being restricted or discouraged by any classroom teacher.

    • Remind teachers the day before that you will be absent and check for class obligations. Your absence from class is an excused absence and should be handled like any other excused absence. Teachers cannot require you to come in prior to the beginning of the school day to make up work, and teachers must accept work due on a day of absence the following day with no penalties.
    • If you are present in the building at some point on the day of a GOAL curriculum extension, you are expected to turn in the prior day's homework on that day at a time when you are able to do so. If you miss the entire day, your homework from the day of absence is due the following day with no penalty.
    • Your teachers should provide a proportional period of time for you to make up missed work. If you miss one class period, you should be given at least one day's time to make up the work prior to its being due. For longer absences, there should be one day's time allowed for each day of school you miss.
    • Obtain and complete assignments as early as possible since you usually know well in advance about up-coming activities. If you need help with organizational strategies, talk to your GOAL teacher.
    • Ask your teacher if he/she would consider offering credit or extra credit for participation in GOAL activities related to your class
    • If possible, attend another section of the missed class during arranged class periods (with that teacher's permission) or during a study hall.
    • Ask teachers if they have prepared sets of notes for missed classes or if they have a website that includes class assignments and notes.
    • Offer to share any related experiences/materials with your teachers.