Vision for Enrichment
The Evesham Township School District (ETSD) believes that meeting the needs of all students is paramount to providing a thorough and efficient education. Our goal is to empower students to reach their highest potential; physically, academically, emotionally and socially. Students will find the challenge and support needed to help them function in a world that requires:
· Competence in academics and the arts;
· Excellence in communications;
· Adaptability, creativity, and critical thinking;
· Valuing of diversity; and
· Development of character.
The content standards initiatives, Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in ELA and Mathematics and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), are intended to promote higher levels of learning for all students emphasizing analytical thinking, reasoning, and problem-solving skills. These standards provide a rigorous framework for instruction at each grade level in terms of content and progression of skills. As gifted and talented students typically grasp curriculum concepts more quickly and deeply than their age peers, they also need additional learning experiences that extend and enrich the standards and requires students to apply complex, creative, and innovative thinking to authentic problems.
In order to identify and provide for the many diverse talents of our students, we have developed an enrichment triad model for grades K-8. This model 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). At the heart of the model is differentiation of instruction.
The Enrichment Triad Model is based upon the following four general goals:
· To improve the extent and quality of enrichment for all students and promote excellence throughout the school environment;
· 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 program within the classroom, with opportunities to enhance learning experiences in a collaborative pull-out setting;
· To minimize concerns about elitism and the negative attitudes that are often expressed toward students participating in only special programs for the gifted.
Overview of Enrichment Triad Model
While differentiation is a hallmark of good instruction and expected in every class for all disciplines, the Enrichment Triad Model provides additional opportunities to enhance student learning. Evesham Township’s Enrichment Triad Model provides for three tiers of enrichment:
· Tier I: Whole Group Curriculum Extensions
· Tier II: Individualized Curriculum Opportunities
· Tier III: Gifted and Talented Program
Tier I and II involve all students in enrichment opportunities. Tier III is designed for students identified as being gifted and talented in one or more academic areas.
In addition to differentiation through multi-dimensional curriculum offerings, opportunities for enrichment in related arts areas of talent are available through after-school clubs, enrichment courses, and electives. At the elementary and middle school level, a wide variety of clubs are offered after school and designed to address varying student needs and interests. Beginning in second grade, Saturday Enrichment clubs and activities are offered for part of the year. In grade five, half-year enrichment courses are included as part of the weekly schedule during the school day. In grades seven and eight, students self-select from a variety of elective courses offered each semester as part of their weekly schedule during the school day.
Tier I: Whole Group Curriculum Extensions
Tier I includes 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 into various planned activities throughout the school day. Enrichment is also built into multi-leveled tasks and projects within each discipline of our board-approved K-8 curriculum.
In addition to participation in open-ended, multi-leveled tasks within each of the disciplines, the following programs are also examples of Tier I enrichment:
· Classroom interest centers
· Field trips
· Guest speakers
· Interdisciplinary instruction
· Related arts units
· School-wide projects/activities
· Use of multimedia technology
Tier II: Individualized Curriculum Opportunities
Tier II enrichment enhances general classroom differentiation through individualized opportunities to explore curriculum concepts. It assists all students in refining and enriching their individual development of higher order thinking processes.
Tier II opportunities vary by grade level both in and out of the classroom. Some Tier II activities are embedded in the specific components of the daily schedule for all students (e.g., Reader’s Workshop, choice time). Other activities occur weekly or in quintiles for students, and are based on ability or interest (e.g., fifth grade enrichment courses, seventh and eighth grade elective courses). Additionally there are opportunities offered beyond the daily schedule (after school and Saturday Enrichment clubs). Tier II opportunities that are based on student ability, such as accelerated math classes, have separate entrance criteria.
In addition to participation in open-ended, problem-solving tasks within each of the disciplines, the following programs are also examples of Tier II enrichment:
· After school and Saturday enrichment clubs
· Level 1 math groups
· Eighth grade Spanish I and Geometry elective
· Fifth Grade Enrichment Program *
· Algebra I coursework
· Seventh and eighth grade elective courses (delineated by content area in corresponding curriculum document)
· State-wide math competitions
· Stock Market Game
Tier II Program Criteria
The following goals have been developed for Tier II enrichment activities and/or courses of study. These goals represent characteristics of intelligent behaviors adapted from the work of Arthur Costa and focus on the development and extension of these characteristics over time. These include:
· listening to others
· flexibility in thinking
· metacognition: awareness of own thinking
· checking for accuracy and precision
· ingenuity, originality, insightfulness: creativity
· depth of understanding/insight applying prior knowledge/making connections
These characteristics form the basis of course evaluation and student assessment in Tier II enrichment courses, clubs and activities.
Tier III: Gifted and Talented Program
Tier III enrichment involves students who have been identified as gifted and talented based on district criteria. This tier serves that small percentage of students (3-6%) who exhibit high levels of ability, creativity, and task commitment in school activities (Renzulli, 1978). The goal of this tier is to enable students to become more independent, self-directed learners, leaders, and contributors to local and global society. Individuals who participate in Tier III enrichment are offered individualized and/or small group opportunities to explore real world problems via self-identified tasks. Students may be offered individualized texts, resources, and/or curriculum compacting. This tier provides students with challenging and engaging instruction, materials, and collaboration to meet specific needs in varied academic curricula.
In addition to individualized topic explorations, students demonstrating an advanced level of proficiency will be considered for alternative grade level and subject area advanced placements, as appropriate to their needs.
All students who are identified as gifted and talented are also offered additional project-based learning opportunities through a Summer Enrichment Camp, which runs during the month of July.
Tier III Enrichment Criteria
The ETSD Enrichment Triad Model defines giftedness as being reflective of the integration of three behavioral traits:
· well-above average ability (typically two years above grade level);
· task commitment; and
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 show tendencies in all three areas will be offered services tailored to meet their individual needs through Tier III enrichment.
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 development differences in children. Initial screening for Tier 3 eligibility requires evidence of student classroom performance, mastery of designated assessments, exemplary work samples and performance benchmarks.