Gifted and Talented Services

Gifted and talented in Closter is known as the Hillside Enrichment Program (HEP) and Tenakill Enrichment Program (TEP). Services are implemented in Closter beginning in kindergarten. Students receive problem-solving skill based programming. All Closter students may be receive differentiated, whole-class enrichment, curriculum compacting, and acceleration in kindergarten through grade 8. GT small group instruction begins in grade 3 and continues through grade 8. Whole-class enrichment and electives are implemented at the middle school for grades 5–8. Students are identified as twice exceptional through the child study team.

Policies and Procedures

Students are identified for small group HEP or TEP classes using the Northern Valley Identification Matrix. Students are considered eligible if they receive 10/12 available points. 

For HEP Eligibility:

Students in grade 2 are assessed:

  • CogAT (four points using SAS composite scores)
  • Renzulli Scale for Rating Behavioral Characteristics of Superior Students (four points for behavioral characteristics)
  • End of year scores in mathematics and reading (four points)
  • Classroom teacher observation
  • HEP teacher observation

Students who are new to the district in grades 3 and 4 will also be assessed for identification consideration. Students are also identified using the Northern Valley Identification Matrix.

For TEP Eligibility:

Students in grade 5 are reassessed:

  • CogAT (four points using SAS composite scores)
  • Renzulli Scale for Rating Behavioral Characteristics of Superior Students (four points for behavioral characteristics)
  • NJSLA scores in mathematics and language arts (four points)
  • Classroom teacher observation 
  • TEP teacher observation

Students new to the district in grade 6–8 will also be assessed for identification consideration.

Parent input in developing the criteria is welcomed.

An individual who believes that the school district has not complied with the gifted and talented provisions of N.J.S.A. 18A: 35-34 et seq. may file a complaint with the board of education by sending the complaint to the superintendent and business administrator/board secretary. The board shall issue a decision, in writing, to affirm, reject or modify the district's action in the matter. The individual may then file a petition of appeal of the board's written decision to the commissioner of education through the Office of Controversies and Disputes in accordance with N.J.S.A. 18A:6-9 and the procedures set forth in the state board of education regulations.