November 2021

Speaker: Dr. Michele Dowell - Director of Students Services

Contact Info:

Started as a special ed teacher, regular ed (reading program) went into administration coordinator of student services in Charlottesville, VA decided to move back to Pgh. Went back to school to get certified.

What are we doing well/what needs changed

Gifted monitoring (due by 12/9)

  • Review of 10 student files, with 2 additional file reviews for dual exception

  • Interview with teachers

  • Interview with parents

  • Interview with admin

Make sure we’re in compliance, but also areas to improve to make sure in compliance.

Program review 22-23

  • Review of screening

  • Review of the eval process - specifically looking at determination rates

  • Review of programming

  • Review of staffing

  • Review of available data like surveys, test scores

  • Interviews with focus groups consisting of parents, teachers, and students

  • Suggestions for improvement and implementation strategies/timelines

  • What type of environment exists for these students.

Changes to screening

  • No longer using IOwAS, using ExactPath

  • The screening process will be changed to reflect these changes but may be temporary as we eval the process.

  • If IOWA is available they will use it.

Strengths of the program

  • Number of students

  • Programming opportunities

  • Services are delivered during win for elementary

  • Provides times for students at all levels to interact with peers


I was asked why NA has these many gifted kids. Has district looked into the ratio if NA does have higher % of gifted kids than other districts or not really? Thanks

“In my experience, does have a higher percentage - is negative or positive, it’s something we need to look at. Look at the entire referral process. It is something they will look at during the review.

Can get a pass to go to the GOAL office at NAI lunchroom