Degrees and Certifications:
Mrs. Laura Thompson
I am thrilled to be back at Jacksonville Commons Elementary as the Gifted Specialist for the 2019-2020 school year.
I am a native of South Dakota. I received my B.S. from Southwest Minnesota State University and then moved to North Carolina. In 2002, I began teaching fourth grade at Swansboro Elementary. The following year I transferred to Clyde Erwin Elementary and continued teaching fourth grade for fourteen years. During that time I assisted in transitioning Clyde Erwin to a magnet school and worked as an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Teacher. I completed a Gifted add-on to my teaching license at Western Carolina University. This will be my third year as an AIG Specialist. I enjoy facilitating lessons which promote discovery and creativity with my students.
In my free time, I enjoy traveling with my family. My husband, Robert, and I have three sons. Liam is a freshman at Jacksonville High School. Finn is a fifth grader and Rhys is a first grader, both enrolled in the dual language immersion program at Stateside Elementary. This past Spring we traveled to the Bahamas. This summer we enjoyed the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota, and the Statue of Liberty in New York.
Please feel free to contact me to discuss AIG related services or chess.
What is AIG?
Academically or intellectually gifted (AIG) students perform or show the potential to perform at substantially high levels of accomplishment when compared with others of their age, experiences or environment. Academically or intellectually gifted students exhibit high performance capability in intellectual areas, specific academic fields, or in both the intellectual areas and specific academic fields. Academically or intellectually gifted students require differentiated educational services beyond those ordinarily provided by the regular educational program. Outstanding abilities are present in students from all cultural groups, across all economic strata, and in all areas of human endeavor.
Screening, Identification, and Placement
Onslow County Schools' commitment to providing an appropriately differentiated education for all academically and/or intellectually gifted students is evidenced by the school system's screening, assessment, identification, and AIG placement procedures. Students are referred to be screened by their teachers, parents, or self-referral. AIG Specialists also routinely go through the previous year's E.O.G. scores to look for potential AIG candidates.
Potential AIG candidates may be screened/tested in the fall or spring. Each AIG identification and placement decision is made on a case by case basis according to individual student assessment results. Students who are identified as AIG may remain eligible for AIG services throughout his/her OCS school career, with no reassessment necessary. If a student is identified in one area (Reading or Math) and EOG test scores and/or other evidence shows need for identification in the area in which the student is not yet identified, additional testing may occur in an attempt to add this additional area of AIG identification.
Pathways to AIG Identification and Placement
In order to accurately identify giftedness in students, clear, comprehensive, and equitable screening, referral, and identification processes must be in place. Onslow County Schools' currently employs two different pathways for entrance into the AIG Program.
The student's Standard Age Percentile is 97 or higher in Verbal, Quantitative, Nonverbal, and/or Composite on the CogAT (Cognitive Abilities Test) or other OCS approved standardized aptitude test - this will result in automatic placement in reading and/or math.
The student's Standard Age Percentile is 92 or higher on BOTH: 1- the CogAT or other OCS approved standardized aptitude test (the CogAT - or any other standardized aptitude test screens a child's potential) 2- ITBS (Iowa Test of Basic Skills) or other OCS approved achievement test (the ITBS or any other standardized achievement test screens a child's grade level performance in reading and math).
Student must meet 3 out of 4 criteria:
Criteria 1: Aptitude Test - 92 percentile or higher Criteria 2: Achievement test - 92 percentile or higher Criteria 3:Motivation - 2 out of 3 qualifying surveys/scores Criteria 4: Performance -2 out of 3 criteria (E.O.G./E.O.C. 95th percentile or above in either reading or mathematics, subject grades, work samples demonstrating gifted ability or potential that support the area of identification).
New Students to the Onslow County Schools System Identified as Academically Gifted
A student new to OCS, who was identified and served in a gifted program prior to his/her enrollment in the Onslow County School System, will be considered for immediate AIG placement and/or additional screening. The AIG Specialist will examine the transfer student's records and the documentation used to place the student in the gifted program in his/her previous school. If the documentation is such that the student would have also met the OCS AIG eligibility criteria at the time of placement, then the AIG Specialist will honor the student's AIG eligibility and determine the appropriate service option to best meet the student's needs according to his/her academic profile.