The school board gave tentative approval to an advisory committee's proposal to place less emphasis on separate instruction for gifted children and generally to mix them with students of average intelligence in the same classrooms. District administrators were asked to work out a detailed plan by April.

Under the committee's proposal, teachers would exchange students each day to form groups of varying abilities in math and reading, thus allowing the youngsters to progress in those subjects at their own speed.

That approach apparently would replace the district's current program of pulling gifted students out of their regular classes for half a day each week to receive accelerated instruction from specially trained teachers. The district will save money by leaving the instruction to regular teachers, the committee said.

An earlier committee that studied the district's Gifted and Talented Education program advocated extensive separation of academically talent children, contending that those youngsters are held back in mixed classrooms. The trustees, in effect, rejected that approach by setting up the new committee, which concluded that isolating talented children deprives them and average children of the daily contacts needed for academic and social growth.

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