The WINGS Program (Working with the Individual Needs of Gifted Students) is designed to identify academically gifted students. The purpose of the program is to provide academic challenge and rigor as well as address the social/emotional needs of the gifted student. Using this cognitive-affective interaction approach, the WINGS curriculum is divided into four categories: thinking skills, communication skills, major units of study and personal and group dynamics. Students attend one full instructional day per week.
Most parent and staff members know that WINGS students attend Phelps one day a week, but may not be aware of what those students do at WINGS. The instructional day at WINGS is divided into three sections. These sections are Thinking Skills, Personal and Group Dynamics, and Major Unit.
In Thinking Skills, students have four objectives: to develop critical thinking skills, to develop creative thinking skills, to develop analytic skills, and to develop organizational skills.
In Personal and Group Dynamics, students work to understand themselves and how they relate to others.
Major Units, the third portion of the day, are of great interest to the students. Unlike the first two classes, Major Units change over the course of the school year based on student interest. Each unit is written by the WINGS staff and includes the following components:
- the BIG IDEA, or issue, associated with the topic,
- the three or four skills/concepts the student is expected to master,
- the skills from the program goals and student expectations covered in the unit with special emphasis on critical thinking,
- a calendar of topics, activities, and events scheduled for the unit,
- a listing of student expectations or outcomes, and
- a letter to parents.
MINIMUM ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA:
Student must meet the minimum eligibility criteria as set by the Missouri State
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Eligibility criteria include
test data and information from the following:
— qualifying individual IQ score
— documented evidence of achievement and/or advanced thinking ability
— parent or teacher observation of behaviors
— parent consent to participate
WINGS receives state funds for instructional materials and teacher salaries.
The Missouri State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education recommends
that the number of students selected for placement in state assisted gifted programs be in
the range of 3-4% of the district’s student enrollment at the grade levels served.
However, districts are allowed placement of a maximum of 5% of student enrollment
at grade levels served without losing state assistance.
Once a student qualifies and is placed in WINGS, he or she may remain in the program
each year. In the event a student chooses not to participate, he or she may re-enter the
program as long as minimum eligibility criteria are still in compliance.
A student may be withdrawn from WINGS for any of the following reasons:
student, parent, or coordinator recommendation.