Hello! We’d love to share some general information about our GT/Challenge Program at Park Hill. Our primary goal is to best meet individual learning needs and our program’s structure reflects that intent.
The challenge groups in grades 1-5 are fluid and change with each unit to support individual learning needs within each new concept. Mary Lauth pulls groups twice per week for grades 3-5, and Susie Seawell pulls students from grades 1-2 once a week.
All students take a pre-assessment before each math unit regarding the new concept(s). Results of this unit pre-test, along with classroom performance, are used to determine students who are then pulled out for math small groups. So from one unit to the next, groups may change as concepts change. Typically in groups we extend the math concept being taught in homerooms. We use critical thinking, ‘outside the box’ thinking and facilitate complex learning.
Within the classroom, book groups are formed by reading level or topic interest which promotes high level dialogs. For grades K-2, our librarian, Bev Baldwin, supports groups of high level readers 1-2 times weekly. For grades 1-3, paras are trained to facilitate inquiry based reading discussions using Jr. Great Books curriculum. Students meet weekly to analyze passages using high level questioning techniques. Grades 4-5 are supported by using Costa’s level of questioning in book clubs. In addition, based on assessment data along with teacher recommendation, groups are provided guidance for an independent at-home research project. These ‘Choice Projects’ are an in depth, long term project where students independently research a topic of their choosing while being supported at school by weekly meetings.
DPS offers a GT screening test to all kindergartners and 2nd graders. This will take place this fall at school, within the classroom. Stay tuned for information. For grades 1,3, 4, 5, the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) is offered through an application process. Deadline for applications is Oct. 15, 2021. To apply, go to https://studentequity.dpsk12.org/gifted-talented/.