Elementary talent development program
There is a talent development teacher at each elementary school. Collaborating with classroom teachers, talent development teachers provide direct instruction to students who meet specific criteria. Some elementary talent development services are delivered by classroom teachers, by other district staff members or by volunteers.
Differentiated instruction is one of the district’s instructional strategies used to respond to the needs of all learners. Classroom teachers respond to students’ varied academic needs, interests, and learning styles by adjusting instructional levels and pacing and by providing choices. Talent development provides support to classroom teachers with differentiation, especially when students need advanced activities.
Primary thinking skills, grades one and two
In grades one and two, we use the Primary Education Thinking Skills (PETS) curriculum as a means of having students explore advanced skills such as logical, analytical, creative and inventive thinking. In grades one and two, talent development teachers work with all students in classrooms using whole-group instruction. Students who are very successful with these activities may receive additional small-group instruction from the talent development teacher.
Enrichment groups, grades three and four
Talent development services in grades three and four are based on the needs of each individual school and the students’ needs in those schools. A team of teachers at each school identifies students’ needs and determine which students indicate a need for advanced instruction and activities in English language arts and/or in math. These students typically receive occasional small-group instruction with the talent development teacher.
Cluster-grouping in English language arts/reading, grade five
Cluster-grouping is the practice in which very talented students in mixed-ability classrooms are identified as needing learning experiences that extend beyond the regular curriculum. Small groups of clustered students may receive differentiated instruction by the classroom teacher and as is the case for our fifth grade advanced English language arts students, they receive small-group instruction by another teacher. In our elementary schools, our talent development teachers collaborate with classroom teachers to design lessons that are significantly beyond the regular standards in academic rigor and complexity. The talent development teachers deliver these lessons during a portion of the students’ English language arts/reading time. Students qualify for this intervention based on achievement test scores that are significantly above grade level.
Transition math, grade five
Transition math is a highly rigorous accelerated mathematics course designed to meet the needs of our most talented fifth grade math students. Students who qualify for this very advanced level of instruction are in this course instead of our regular fifth grade math course. Students qualify for this course based on achievement test scores that are significantly above grade level. This mathematics intervention is for one year; there is a separate qualification procedure for our sixth grade accelerated math course.
Academic enrichment opportunities
A variety of co-curricular activities are available to our elementary students. Some of these activities are open to all students who are interested in them, and others require a recommendation. More information can be found in the navigation menu on the left.