Brunswick School Department Talent Development Program
An Overview for 2013-2014
With the addition of a third Talent Development Program teacher, we can now provide programming for students in Kindergarten through Grade Eight. The program plan for 2013-2014 is as follows:
Kindergarten through Grade Two
LEAP PROGRAM (Learning and Enrichment in the Arts and Academics Program)
The LEAP Program offers enrichment and academic opportunities for students in Kindergarten through Grade 2. The talent development teacher will “leap” into classrooms to provide whole-class learning activities that focus on creative thinking and problem-solving. In addition, to support individual students’ unique academic, social and emotional needs, there may be individual sessions or small learning groups.
The Talent Development Program will offer a more inclusive model than in years past. We will offer a series of “pull-out” enrichment clusters that will each last two to three weeks. This acts as a bridge between the whole-class enrichment of the Primary Grades and the daily classes for students formally identified as academically gifted starting in grade 4. Third grade students who demonstrate high ability in literacy and mathematics will work with the talent development teacher in small groups. These talent development units align with the third grade curriculum, and students will have the chance to deepen and increase their knowledge.
Grades Four and Five
The Program’s focus shifts beginning in Grades Four and Five, as students’ needs change. At this age there is a need for a year-long daily class to meet the students’ academic and social needs. Therefore, students who have been identified by a screening committee of teachers and administrators as meeting Maine’s definition of gifted have language arts and math classes with Talent Development Program teachers instead of in their classroom. These offerings are built around a strict interpretation of Chapter 104, the portion of education law which governs Gifted and Talented programming in the State of Maine. Unlike the offerings in the earlier grades, these classes have enrollments of 5% – 10% of the students in each grade, which is in keeping with the State’s guidelines.
In addition to these direct services, the Talent Development Program is partnering with Bowdoin College to provide after school math enrichment for all interested students in grades 3-5. We are also actively working toward similar literacy enrichment opportunities and restoring chess club with the help of community volunteers. If you have an interest in helping with these after (or before) school activities, please contact us.
JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL GRADES
Services for grade six follows the same plan as grades four and five.
Grades Seven and Eight
Starting with grade seven, math and language arts services diverge. This is made necessary by the difference in grouping students in math and other subjects at the Junior High School. Beginning with 7th grade, the math department offers courses designed to meet students at their level of readiness. Students who have been identified as gifted in math may find themselves in one of these math department courses but with students one or more years older.This year, a number of seventh grade students are taking Algebra I with a Talent Development Program teacher because it was the best fit for their academic needs and schedules.
Students identified as gifted in Language Arts are clustered together in regular language arts department classes beginning in grade seven when possible. Their curriculum is differentiated through collaboration between the language arts and the Talent Development Program teachers and team teaching. Throughout the year, these students will participate in pull out units for advanced novel studies as well as regular classroom work that is more complex.
In addition to these curriculum-based services, the Talent Development Program provides enrichment opportunities to a larger pool of Junior High students who are cleared by the administration to participate. These learning activities happen during period 8, which is also when 7th and 8th grade students may have chorus or foreign language, so not all are able to take advantage of the offerings.
HIGH SCHOOL GRADES
At present the Talent Development Program does not serve students at the High School.
We will evaluate this model’s effectiveness and make appropriate adjustments to best serve students’ needs.