Evesham Township Schools
Three Tier Enrichment Program
Gifted and Talented Programs and Services
Evesham Township Schools believes that meeting the needs of all students is paramount to providing a thorough and efficient education. In order to identify and provide for the many diverse talents of our students, we have developed a three tier enrichment program for implementation in grades K-8. This program has been adapted from Joseph Renzulli’s School-wide Enrichment Program and is based upon the Enrichment Triad Model, which was developed and field tested over a ten year period throughout the United States and Canada (Renzulli, 1990).
The Enrichment Triad Model is based upon the following four general goals:
· to provide various types and levels of enrichment to a broader spectrum of the school population than usually served in traditional gifted programs;
· to integrate the special program with the regular classroom;
· to minimize concerns about elitism and the negative attitudes that are often expressed toward students participating in special programs for the gifted;
· to improve the extent and quality of enrichment for all students and promote excellence throughout the school environment.
Evesham Township’s Enrichment Triad Model provides for three tiers of enrichment. Tier I and II involve all students in enrichment opportunities. Tier III is designed for students identified as being gifted.
This Enrichment Triad Model defines giftedness as being reflective of the integration of three behavioral traits:
· well-above average ability;
· task commitment;
Research on creative/productive people has consistently shown that although no single criterion can be used to determine giftedness, persons who have achieved recognition because of their unique accomplishments and creative contributions possess this relatively well-defined set of three interlocking clusters of traits. It is the interaction among these three clusters that research has shown to be the necessary ingredient for creative/productive accomplishment.
This three ring conception of giftedness suggests an identification process that uses multiple criteria for selection. Students who show tendencies or interest in one or more of these areas will be given opportunities for enrichment through Tier I and Tier II enrichment. Students who demonstrate talent and traits representative of all three areas will be offered services tailored to meet their individual needs through Tier III enrichment.
Each tier is described below:
Tier I Enrichment
Tier I enrichment will include general exploratory experiences for all students designed to provide exposure to critical thinking and problem-solving opportunities within a variety of novel topics, ideas, and fields of knowledge. This type of enrichment is implemented through a variety of planned activities throughout the school day, such as field trips, demonstrations, assemblies, guest speakers, classroom interest centers, projects, school-wide projects and programs in the arts and sciences. Enrichment is also built into multi-leveled tasks and projects within each discipline of our board-approved K-8 curriculum.
Tier II Enrichment
Tier II enrichment is designed to assist all students in refining and enriching their individual development of higher order thinking processes: critical thinking, problem-solving, inquiry training, divergent thinking, research skills, and creative thinking. Tier II activities are embedded in the specific components of the daily schedule for all students beginning in Kindergarten ( e.g. during the language arts/literacy block, math games, choice/project time, fifth grade enrichment program, eighth grade electives). A menu of course offerings with focus on specific topics and areas of interest across the curriculum are also offered to all students beginning in third grade.
Venues for specific courses vary by grade level with some being offered during the school day and others being offered after school and on Saturdays. Some Tier II activities occur daily (e.g. enrichment and accelerated math courses, eighth elective courses, choice time) and some occur weekly (fifth grade enrichment courses, after school and Saturday enrichment clubs). Individual student choice, parent consultation and teacher guidance are all given consideration in student placement within Tier II activities.
Tier III Enrichment
Tier III enrichment activities involve qualifying students in individual and small group investigations of real problems. Students demonstrating a particular talent in specific subject areas will be identified for an enrichment option designed to accommodate their individual needs. These students will be given the opportunity to use the skills that they developed in their involvement with Tier I and Tier II enrichment activities in the execution of self-identified tasks. The goal will be to help these students more fully develop their potential through first-hand investigative activities using authentic research skills. This tier would serve that small percentage of students (1-3%) who exhibit high levels of ability, creativity, and task commitment in school activities.
Opportunities for Tier III Enrichment will be provided within the structure of the instructional day at every grade level through curriculum compacting in core academic subjects, fifth grade enrichment courses and eighth grade electives, as well as through choice/project time activities. Tier III students will collaborate with teachers to develop and implement quarterly goals and tasks that challenge their potential and enrich their understanding of grade level curriculum topics.
In addition to individualized topic explorations, students demonstrating an advanced level of proficiency may be considered for alternative grade level and subject area advanced placements, as appropriate to their needs.
Annually, individual goals will be evaluated and modified to meet on-going needs. An updated program plan is shared with parents at the conclusion of each school year and forwarded to the next year’s teacher.
TIER II AND TIER III IDENTIFICATION CRITERIA
Evesham Township believes that all students exhibit varying levels of talents in a variety of areas. Acknowledgment of multiple intelligences (Gardner, 1995), approaches to task (Johnston, 1996) and interests as qualifiers of individual levels of giftedness, have therefore been included in the Three Tier Enrichment program described. We are committed to providing opportunities for all students to extend their understanding of concepts and to achieve their highest potential as learners. Our identification process includes use of multiple measures for determining individual areas of strength and need. It also includes frequent opportunities to flexibly regroup for purposes of challenging and strengthening students’ individual paths as learners. The belief that characteristics of intelligent behaviors can be observed and developed in all students (Costa, 1995) drives the structure and inclusions of the identification process described here.
Students are eligible for Tier II enrichment on an on-going basis, through teacher observation and recommendation. Selected activities like enrichment courses, electives and accelerated math courses also involve parent consultation.
Students are identified for individual Tier III enrichment opportunities using a variety of multiple measures which vary from grade level to grade level, in correlation with age-appropriate developmental differences in children. Initial screening for Tier III requires evidence of student classroom performance at a minimum of two grade levels above current grade-level placement. Additional assessments, work samples and performance are utilized to determine eligibility.
Students participating in Tier II and Tier III enrichment activities are frequently reassessed so as to acknowledge and address individual strengths and needs on an on-going basis.
Last Modified on February 11, 2009