City of Falls Church

The following were among actions taken at the Dec. 18 meeting of the Falls Church School Board. For more information, call 241-7648.

GIFTED AND TALENTED PROGRAM -- Assistant to the Superintendent/Director of Instruction Mary Ellen Shaw presented a report to the board on a $8,000 proposed study of the city's Gifted and Talented Program. A consultant professor from the University of Virginia would conduct the study to determine if the program should be expanded, reduced or revised.

The city currently offers gifted and talented programs inside the classroom and after school at all grade levels. A classroom program for elementary students focuses on problem solving, with training in specific concepts such as brainstorming and imagery. Elementary students also may participate in small group discussions, including a literature discussion group for first graders.

After school, for example, fifth, sixth and seventh graders can take part in the "Odyssey of the Mind," a national, problem-solving competition. Students select problems to solve in subjects ranging from language to construction to literature.

At the high school level, students can participate in the International Baccalaureate Program, an advanced curriculum program with an international focus. Student exams and papers are evaluated outside of the school system and may even be sent internationally for grading, to Switzerland for example. Class credits from the program may also be accepted as college credits by some colleges and universities.