From Harford County Public Schools:
The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and the Maryland State Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education recently named Hall’s Cross Roads Elementary School a Maryland Excellence in Gifted and Talented Education (EGATE) school. EGATE is an awards program to recognize public schools with Gifted and Talented (G&T) education programs that are aligned with Maryland’s Criteria for Excellence: Gifted and Talented Program Guidelines. This year, the Maryland State Advisory Council for Gifted and Talented Education reviewed EGATE applications from across the state and identified Hall’s Cross Roads Elementary as one of just five schools that qualified as EGATE schools.
As a designated EGATE school, Hall’s Cross Roads Elementary received a Governor’s citation and a citation from MSDE, was recognized at a state reception in Annapolis on February 16, 2011, and appears on MSDE’s website. In addition, Hall’s Cross Roads Elementary will serve as a model and resource to other schools attempting to achieve EGATE status.
Hall’s Cross Roads Elementary has distinguished itself as a leader in providing services to G&T students and has a highly-qualified, full-time G&T teacher on staff. Ms. Marcia Cole holds a master’s degree in her field and has participated in a variety of professional development opportunities and received numerous awards. With the expertise of Ms. Cole and the reading and math specialists, teachers at Hall’s Cross Roads Elementary benefit from embedded professional development opportunities.
The school utilizes Harford County’s G&T Guidelines based on the Levels of Services Framework proposed by Donald Treffinger to provide meaningful curricular opportunities for students based on their level of need. The process of aligning curriculum to student needs begins with pre-assessment. Then, grade level teams utilize this information to establish small group and individual student goals. The school also provides opportunities for students to extend their learning beyond the regular curriculum.
Halls Cross Roads Elementary uses a variety of methods for accelerating students, beginning with early entrance opportunities in kindergarten and first grade. Gifted students are engaged with a wide variety of research and problem solving opportunities. The school was the first in the county to have a “FIRST Lego League” and was also the only Title I school from Maryland to compete in Destination Imagination at the state and global level. Students also apply their math and research skills in the Stock Market Game. In addition, the school is incorporating significant science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) curricular enhancement with the Engineering is Elementary program, which focuses on the engineering design process.
Hall’s Cross Roads Elementary School is a comprehensive elementary school educating a diverse population of 488 students from early intervention (ages 3-5) to grade 5. The school will submit an EGATE continuation application every fourth year to maintain its status.