GRO Program

About the GRO Program

The Parsippany-Troy Hills Township Schools gifted program is called Gifted Reach Out or GRO. It serves the identified population of gifted students in grades two through five. This enrichment pullout program offers students the chance to interact with peers of similar ability, while remaining a part of the regular classroom setting.

Students considered eligible for the GRO program are evaluated in May/June by formal assessments using multiple measures. Students who were previously in a gifted and talented program in another school district are granted admission to the GRO program based upon confirmation of prior enrollment in a gifted program from the student’s former school.

Once admitted into the program, the students meet with the GRO teacher for small group instruction. These groups provide the opportunity for the gifted child to interact with, stimulate and be stimulated by his/her peers, while enjoying individual or small group attention.

Students meet with the GRO teacher for ninety minutes per week. The interdisciplinary, differentiated curriculum for the students in GRO is intended to be high interest, while at the same time enhancing the present core curriculum. Issues arising from the units are relevant to our times, expose students to new subjects and broaden student interests. Activities are adjusted in pace and depth to meet the needs of the children in each group.

GRO encourages independent learning, research, and individual product development. Creative problem solving and critical thinking skills are stressed. Students are challenged to become consumers and producers of knowledge.

Progress reports are sent home after each of the core units. Literature from various organizations serving the gifted can be found on the Internet. Parents are encouraged to join Parents of Gifted and Talented, known as PGT. PGT is an organization dedicated to the special needs of children enrolled in GRO.

GRO is a special program dedicated to nurturing and supporting the unique gifts and talents of our highly capable students in the Parsippany-Troy Hills elementary schools.

Curriculum evaluation and revision are ongoing, as the team of GRO teachers make consistent efforts to deliver a quality program. Any questions concerning GRO should be directed to your school’s GRO teacher.

Qualities of a Potentially Gifted Child

Bright Child

Gifted Learner

Knows the answers

Asks the questions

Is interested

Is highly curious

Is attentive

Is mentally and physically involved

Has good ideas

Has wild, silly ideas

Works hard

Plays around, yet tests well

Answers the questions

Discusses in detail, elaborates

Top group

Beyond the group

Listens with interest

Shows strong feelings and opinions

Learns with ease

Already knows

6-8 repetitions for mastery

1-2 repetitions for mastery

Understands ideas

Constructs abstractions

Enjoys peers

Prefers adults

Grasps the meaning

Draws inferences

Completes assignments

Initiates projects

Is receptive

Is intense

Copies accurately

Creates a new design

Enjoys school

Enjoys learning

Absorbs information

Manipulates information



Good memorizer

Good guesser

Enjoys straightforward, sequential presentations

Thrives on complexity

Is alert

Is keenly observant

Is pleased with own learning

Is highly self-critical

GRO Curriculum Units 2017 - 2018



Unit Dates

Grade 2

Medieval Times

Sept - Dec

Grade 2

Math Challenges

Jan - May

Grade 3


Sept - Dec

Grade 3 Inventions Jan - May

Grade 4


Sep - Dec

Grade 4

Crime Scene Investigation

Jan - May

Grade 5

The Brain

Sep - Dec

Grade 5


Jan - May

GRO Teachers (2017 – 2018)




Janet Armstrong

Intervale School

Monday & Tuesday


Lake Parsippany School


  Lake Hiawatha School Thursday & Friday

Anna Cave

Eastlake School

Monday, Thursday Afternoon & Friday Morning


Northvail School

Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday Morning

  Lake Parsippany School Friday Afternoon

Stephanie Dasti

Mt. Tabor School

Monday,  Tuesday & Wednesday Morning


Littleton School

Wednesday Afternoon, Thursday, and Friday

Laura Long

Knollwood School

Monday & Tuesday


Rockaway Meadow School

Wednesday and Thursday Morning


Board of Education Policy regarding Gifted and Talented Pupils

Board Policy 2464

The Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to identify gifted and talented students within the school district and to provide these students with appropriate instructional adaptations and services. To that end, the Board directs each such student in the school district be identified and offered an appropriate educational program and services.


For purposes of this Policy, “gifted and talented students” means students who possess or demonstrate high levels of ability in one or more content areas when compared to their chronological peers in the district and who require modification of their educational program if they are to achieve in accordance with their capabilities.

The Superintendent will develop appropriate curricular and instructional modifications to be used for gifted and talented students indicating content, process, products, and learning environments.

The Superintendent will develop procedures for an ongoing Kindergarten through grade twelve identification process for gifted and talented students that includes multiple measures. Multiple measures may include, but are not limited to: achievement test scores; grades; student performance or products; intelligence testing; parent, student, and/or teacher recommendation; and other appropriate measures. The identification methodology will be developmentally appropriate, non-discriminatory, and related to the programs and services offered by the district. The identification procedures will be reviewed annually.

The Superintendent will take into consideration the Pre-Kindergarten through Grade Twelve Gifted Programming Standards of the National Association for Gifted Children in developing programs for gifted and talented students.  The educational program offered to gifted and talented students will encourage and challenge them in the specific areas of their abilities, but will not replace the basic instructional program of the various grades of this district.  The program offered to a gifted and talented students  may  include, but are not limited to: pull-out programs; classroom differentiated instruction; acceleration; flexible pacing; compacted curricula; distance learning; advanced classes; or individual programs infused into the student’s regular instructional program, provided that a written description of the infusion has been prepared and filed in the student’s record.

Programs for gifted and talented students will be periodically evaluated for their continuing efficacy and adjusted accordingly.

The parent of any student identified as gifted or talented shall be consulted regarding any program designed to address the student’s particular needs.

N.J.S.A. 18A:61A-2; 18A:35-4.16

N.J.A.C. 6A:8-1.3; 6A:8-3.1(a).

P.L. 108-382, Sec. 10201 et seq.

Adopted:     2 April 2009

Revised:     20 June 2017

Revised: 8 January 2018 

Frequently asked questions by Parents of Gifted Reach Out (GRO) students:

Q: Are GRO children in the program retested each year?
A: No, once a child is identified as a gifted and talented student, retesting is not necessary.

Q: What happens when the GRO student misses work in the classroom?
A: As per the district, there should be a protocol developed by the teacher called the Buddy System. A buddy can be a reliable student who will tell the GRO student what s/he missed while out of the the classroom. The teacher will also clarify what the GRO student missed in class while they were at GRO.

Q: Is there homework for GRO?
A: Most work and activities are done in school. Because of time constraints, there may be work that needs to be finished at home.

Q: How many students are in a GRO class?
A: GRO classes can go up to 14 students.

Q: Do you combine grade levels?
A: Yes, grade levels for GRO may be combined, skills and independent research are the primary activities in GRO. Topics may sometimes need to be segregated and/or combined.

Q: What kind of enrichment activities can we do at home and where can we get them?
A: Enrichment activities can include brain teasers, logic puzzles, thinking games, word games, etc. These are available at libraries, bookstores, online, and catalogues. Several colleges and gifted organizations offer Saturday and summer classes. These are usually advertised on the PGT website. Family trips to museums and cultural events are also beneficial.

Q: Are there Parent-Teacher conferences for GRO?
A: Yes, we are available to meet with parents. We will conference anytime during the year. Please make an appointment. We are just a phone call or email away.

Q: Are all GRO teachers teaching the units in the same way?
A: Not necessarily. Each school’s individual schedules vary which include many activities and assemblies that might disrupt the GRO schedule. Therefore, timelines will be different depending on many school related factors and scheduled days off from school. In addition, as talented and gifted as our GRO teachers are, their approach to teaching varies. Our journey can be somewhat different, but our destination remains the same.

Q: What is the policy regarding my child attending all GRO classes?

A: Our GRO Program offers unique opportunities for students to go beyond the curriculum and their skill set. Consistent attendance is necessary and highly recommended.

Q: How are GRO Field Trips handled regarding transportation and costs?
A: District busses are usually used to transport the children. If the field trip is at the PAL building on Baldwin Rd., parents may be requested to arrange transportation before the start of the school and end of school day. Additionally, parents may be asked to contribute money toward field trips to help defray costs.