A Gifted and Talented position has been added in the Weyauwega-Fremont School District.
The staffing reconfiguration to accomplish this was recognized and approved during the School Board’s July 22 meeting.
Aleah Friemark will be the district’s Gifted and Talented teacher.
She was a teacher at Weyauwega Elementary School, and the district will fill that position.
Friemark is a licensed Gifted and Talented instructor who recently received a Master’s degree in that area of instruction, District Administrator Scott Bleck said.
She will work with students in kindergarten through twelfth grade in Weyauwega and Fremont.
Bleck said Friemark will be recognized as a GT instructor for 5/8 of the day and as a middle school English instructor for 3/8 of the day. Her classroom will be in the middle school.
It has been more than a decade since the district had someone on staff formally identified for GT instruction.
Last spring, the School Board discussed bringing the position back.
A Gifted and Talented needs assessment was done through Cooperative Educational Services Agency 6 to determine programming needs.
Bleck and Kandi Martin, the district’s director of pupil services and curriculum, visited the Hortonville and Kimberly school districts. Both of those districts have full-time GT staffing.
The district’s GT program will recognize gifted quality traits may be demonstrated in five different areas: academic, creativity, leadership, visual arts and performing arts.
A tiered system will be used to address the needs and abilities of students.
It will include Friemark supporting classroom teachers, developing small groups for students with similar strengths and interest needs and also working with students on an individual basis.
Bleck said a screening process will be estbalished to nominate and review potential students. Parents and teachers will be involved in that process.
Martin said assessment scores will be part of the screening.
Bleck noted another part of the GT program will be extracurricular activities such as Destination Imagination and Odyssey of the Mind.
An annual presentation to the School Board about GT programming will also take place.
“This program will continually be evaluated. We will use that to enhance the program as we move forward,” Bleck said.
Martin said if the need exists, it could become a full-time position.
Bleck said, “We are excited to offer additional support to students identifed as gifted.”
Martin said Friemark is evaluating and crafting what the district’s program will look like.
“I think this is a chance for our students to recognize their true academic potential,” Martin said.
Bleck said, “It’s the opportunity to build upon our current program which challenges students to further promote academic achievement.”