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Gifted & Talented Education

Northern Highlands Gifted and Talented Education 


Northern Highlands Regional High School recognizes its responsibility to identify gifted and talented students within the school district and to provide students with appropriate instructional adaptations and services. It is important to note that “gifted and talented students” means students who possess or demonstrate high levels of ability in one or more content areas, when compared to their chronological peers in the district and who require modification of their educational program if they are to achieve in accordance with their capabilities.


The programs offered to gifted and talented students may include, but are not limited to, classroom differentiated instruction (as indicated in units of study); acceleration; flexible pacing; compacted curriculum; distance learning; advanced classes; Advanced Placement (AP) courses; Career and Academic Pathways offerings, or individual programs infused into the student’s regular instructional program, as courses and programs are listed on the student’s transcript. Northern Highlands has robust Advanced Placement offerings, dual enrollment courses as well as programs for advancement. 

In order for students to engage in upper level, rigorous coursework, that is not dependent on grade-level peers, may include Advanced Placement (AP) courses such as: AP Art - History of Art, AP Biology, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Chemistry, AP Chinese Language and Culture, AP Comparative Government and Politics, AP Computer Science A, AP Computer Science Principles, AP English Language and Composition, AP Literature and Composition, AP Environmental Science, AP French Language and Culture, AP Human Geography, AP Macroeconomics, AP Microeconomics, AP Music Theory, AP Physics I, AP Physics C, AP Psychology, AP Studio Art (2D), AP Studio Art Drawing and Painting, AP Statistics, AP World Modern, and AP US Government.  By the variety of offerings at Northern HIghlands, students can enroll in a variety of courses that advance their learning and engage the gifted student. 

Access to Gifted and Talented Programs

Multiple measures shall be used to identify students as “gifted” either as they enter or continue through Northern Highlands Regional High School.  Multiple measures may include, but are not limited to: achievement test scores; grades; student performance or products; intelligence testing; parent, student, and/or teacher recommendation; and other appropriate measures. Some programs offer placement tests, matched with prerequisite course grades and teacher recommendations scored on single point rubrics.  The identification methods are developmentally appropriate, non-discriminatory, and related to the programs and services offered by the district.

The identification procedures will be reviewed annually. The process for access to programs for the subsequent year, begins in January preceding the school year.  Final determination for placements are made no later than June of a given year for the next school year. 

Course Placement

Students at Northern Highlands should continue to investigate their interests and engage in courses of study that are compelling and challenging.  Access to programming may be limited based on teacher recommendations and grades in prerequisite courses. Policies and procedures for specific courses can be found in the annually produced Curriculum Guide.   All prerequisite coursework and program descriptions are updated annually.  A student may go through the appeals process that begins the student indicating that they wish to appeal a placement with their guidance counselor.  Questions and concerns can be directed to the Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, Robin Knutelsky, who also serves as the program director for Gifted and Talented Education.  She can be reached at (201) 327-8700 x566 or by email at 


Complaints regarding gifted and talented should begin with the classroom teacher and copy the guidance counselor.  Then the parents or guardians may contact the department supervisor.  Then, if not satisfied, the complainant should contact the Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment.  Finally, a parent or guardian can contact the superintendent.

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