Program Model

About the Gifted Reach Out (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 one 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.

Once admitted into the program, the students meet with the GRO teacher for small group instruction for Grades 1-5. 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. Please note, starting in the 2022-2023 school year, grade 1 GRO students will begin in January to complete a half year of GRO. While grades 2-5 complete a full year of GRO. Additionally, students in grade K will be observed for gifted qualities that include multiple criteria described in our Identification tab. GRO teachers will share findings from these observations with the homeroom teacher and offer support as needed.

Students meet with the GRO teacher for ninety minutes per week for grades 2-5, while grade 1 has a modified schedule. 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 Updated 2018 - 2019



Unit Dates

Grade 2

Medieval Times

Sept - Dec

Grade 2

Math Challenges

Jan - May

Grade 3


Sept - Dec

Grade 3


Jan - May

Grade 4


Sep - Dec

Grade 4

Crime Scene Investigation

Jan - May

Grade 5


Sep - Dec

Grade 5

The Brain

Jan - May

GRO Teachers (2022-2023)



Madeline Brown

Lake Hiawatha School

Anna Cave

Eastlake School

Anna Cave

Northvail School

Intervale School

              Stephanie Dasti

Mt. Tabor School

Littleton School

Lake Parsippany

Dominique Keena

Knollwood School

Lake Hiawatha School

Rockaway Meadow School

Troy Hills


Modifications and Accommodations for Gifted and Talented students may include but are not limited to the following:


Gifted and Talented




Learning Environment

  • Curriculum compacting
  • Advanced problems to extend the critical thinking skills of advanced learners 
  • Supplemental reading material for independent study  
  • Enrichment activities within the curriculum
  • Audio texts 
  • Leveled text (Provide more challenging reading materials )
  • Tiered assignments 
  • Study problems that do not have a clear solution  
  • Topic selection by interest -  relevant to how the world works, complex and worthwhile
  • Flexible grouping of students: individual, pairs, small groups 
  • Differentiated learning centers for skill work
  • Elevated questioning techniques
  • Encourage creativity and reward risk-taking 
  • Provide opportunities for divergent (many answers) and convergent (best answer) thinking 
  • Explicitly teach skills needed to learn independently (research, organization, etc.)
  • Open-ended responses 
  • Exploration activities
  • Project-based learning
  • Offer leveled projects 
  • Allow a variety of acceptable products (using Multiple Intelligences,
  • Involve the student in creating the scoring guide
  • Assign tasks that are authentic and for a real audience

  • Physical space - moving freely across the room
  • Material Distribution - teachers and students have access to materials
  • Working Conditions: welcoming environment, flexibility, taking risks and discovering is encouraged, creativity is appreciated.
  • Differentiation by the teacher