Smith County School District
A Program for Intellectually Gifted Students
Handbook for Students and Parents
Dear Parents and Students,
Welcome to the SCOPE program! This handbook provides information about the gifted program
of Smith County School District. Should you have any questions that are not addressed in this
booklet, please feel free to telephone the SCOPE teacher at your child’s school.
Philosophy of Gifted Education
It is the belief of the Smith County School District that gifted students, because of their unusual
capabilities, require uniquely qualitatively different educational programs not routinely found in
the regular educational setting. The district believes that gifted students have an exceptional
potential for academic achievement, which must be encouraged and enhanced. Through
identification of the gifted student’s strengths, weaknesses, and interests, it is possible to develop
strategies of instruction that will serve as motivational factors for the gifted students to develop an
intense love of learning that will make him/her a lifelong learner. These strategies are based on
process skills rather than a set curriculum. This allows flexibility with direction, but also allows
for investigations of newly discovered interests of the student. The Smith County School District
is committed to the motivation and guidance of gifted students through enriched, quality programs
designed to enable the gifted student to achieve their potential contributions to self and society.
SCOPE meets a regular schedule following the school calendar in the Smith County Student
Handbook. SCOPE classes do not meet on 60% days, standardized test weeks, and nine weeks test
weeks. Mississippi State law mandates that students qualifying for gifted studies services attend
classes for a minimum of five (5) hours per week. Students are generally pulled from regular class
twice a week, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. However, some teachers may require
students to attend SCOPE 3 or more times per week in order to provide five hours of gifted
As a participant in SCOPE, your child should be in attendance each scheduled class to build the
continuity of the designed curriculum. When several absences occur, parents will be contacted. If
non-attendance continues, a conference will be scheduled.
SCOPE students should remain in early morning classes for special activities, roll call, lunch
Rules of Good Conduct
1. Respect yourself and others.
2. Listen to and obey teacher at all times.
3. Be quiet and orderly in the hallways and restrooms.
4. Be prompt for class.
5. Use equipment with proper care.
6. Keep hands, feet, and other objects to yourself. Fighting will not be tolerated.
7. Use appropriate language. Do not use profanity, obscenities, or verbal abuse.
1. The student is warned.
2. The student or teacher writes a note explaining offenses. This is to be taken home and
signed by the parent(s) and returned the following class meeting.
3. The student is sent to the principal’s office.
4. The student is possibly suspended from S.C.O.P.E. for one to three meeting days,
including field trips.
5. A conference is held with the parents, student, teacher, and principal.
6. Possible restrictions from future field trips.
Serious offenses such as fighting, stealing, and showing disrespect, will be immediately advanced
to step 3. If a child is suspended from school, he/she will not attend S.C.O.P.E. class or activities
during this time.
Upon arrival at the school from a field trip, the parent will be notified of any behavior problem. A
conference will be scheduled immediately.
Throughout the school year various field trips will occur. Several weeks before the date of the trip,
your child should bring home a letter describing the trip, including educational objectives,
itinerary, cost, and permission form. Please read the information carefully. The top part of the
letter will be yours to keep. Please sign the permission form indicating your intentions and return
to school by date requested. The form and the required money must be received by the date
requested in the letter. This procedure is necessary to confirm reservations and schedule
transportation. Your child will not be allowed to go on the field trip unless the particular form is
signed and returned along with the money requested, prior to the trip. No note or oral
communication will substitute for this form. Students who do not participate in the field trip are to
remain in their home school that day. Some trips may start earlier or end later than a regular school
day. Parents will be responsible for transportation to and from the departure site. It is essential
that you be prompt. Students will be well supervised by teachers and capable adult chaperones.
Student Evaluations /Report Cards
A report will be sent home either at the end of each nine week period or after each semester, at the
teacher’s discretion. These evaluations are based on the student’s accomplishments.
Parents will be asked to finance field trips from time to time. If supplemental student publications
are utilized in the class, parents will be asked to pay for their child’s subscription. The teacher may
ask for a S.C.O.P.E. fee, usually $10.00, at the beginning of the school year to cover the
subscription and other needed class supplies. From time to time, the students will have the
opportunity to purchase a S.C.O.P.E. T-shirt.
Students will sometimes be given the opportunity to raise money to finance field trips. You will be
notified of these activities and have the option of not participating, if you prefer to pay the cost
incurred by the field trip.
Reference books and materials are needed for classroom use. If you have items such as, but not
limited to, dictionaries, encyclopedias, atlases, magazines, aquariums, please check with your
child’s teacher. These items are often needed for special projects.
Speakers and visitors enhance our curriculum and help make learning meaningful. If you know
anyone who would be willing to present a program for S.C.O.P.E. classes, please give that
information to your child’s teacher. Speakers my share a hobby or special interest, or may share
some aspect of the profession.
Guidelines for interaction between the S.C.O.P.E. Program and
the regular classroom
Our goal is for the S.C.O.P.E. program and the regular education program in Smith County to be
complementary and cooperative. The students who have been identified as intellectually gifted
should have the opportunity to attend the program that is especially designed for them. Therefore,
the following guidelines for interaction between the gifted program and the regular program have
1. The S.C.O.P.E. student is expected to be responsible for material covered in class on the day
that he/she is away from the regular classroom for test purposes. This includes notes, study guide,
etc. The student is expected to complete homework assignments. However, the student should not
be asked to complete all work done in the class during the day he/she missed as well as homework.
The intent is that the student not be penalized for participating in S.C.O.P.E.
2. The teacher is asked to arrange testing on days other than those the student is gone to S.C.O.P.E.
If a test is to be given the day after, the student should have knowledge of the fact he/she will be
3. It is desirable that S.C.O.P.E. students be present in class during the introduction of new
information and material.
4. S.C.O.P.E. students are to be evaluated by S.C.O.P.E. teachers only for their performance in the
program. The student cannot be prohibited from the program due to poor performance in the
regular classroom. However, a conference may be requested by either the teacher or a parent.
5. There should be no loss of credit or reduction of grade when students participate in properly
scheduled S.C.O.P.E. activities.
Note: Remediation is NOT the role of the S.C.O.P.E program.
SMITH COUNTY OPTIMUM PERFORMANCE IN EDUCATION - S.C.O.P.E.
According to Einstein, “Imagination is more important than knowledge, for knowledge is limited,
while imagination encompasses the universe.” Einstein frequently said that the ability to think was
far more important than the mere ability to recall facts.
Studies in the S.C.O.P.E. program include six categories to foster students’ awareness of their own
thinking processes and to have skill in using the processes more effectively. These categories
include: Thinking Skills, Creativity, Group Dynamics, Communications, Research and
Self-Directed Learning. Mini-units, simulations, logic problems, group discussions, and
competitions are examples of methods of teaching these process skills and promoting life-long