Gifted & Talented

Grades K-6 Quest: The Tri-District School-wide Elementary Enrichment, Exploration, and EXCELLENCE Programming

Quest is a multi-layered approach to enrichment and gifted education that includes enrichment and accelerated instruction opportunities for all students. It is an inquiry and interest-based approach to education. The three core components of Quest are Enrichment & Innovation, Explorations, and EXCELerate. Enrichment & Innovation as well as Explorations will be implemented during the 2021-2022 school year. Screening will begin at the end of the 2021-2022 school year for EXCELerate. Prior to this program transition, identified students in grades 3-6 will receive pull-out instruction under our present gifted and talented model, which is referenced below: 

Atlantic Highlands Elementary School for Grades 3-5: Identified students have the opportunity for modifications to core curriculum as well as periodic pull-out consultations with the assigned teacher. Students who are pulled out for these enhanced learning opportunities are expected to maintain their core classroom performance.

Atlantic Highlands Elementary School for Grade 6: Identified students have the opportunity to be placed in Challenge ELA/Math courses. These courses are designed based on grouping, curriculum compacting, and acceleration.

Highlands Elementary School for Grades 3-6: Identified students have the opportunity for modifications to core curriculum as well as periodic pull-out consultations with the assigned teacher. Students who are pulled out for these enhanced learning opportunities are expected to maintain their core classroom performance.

Students are identified via multiple measures:

Grades
District benchmark assessment scores
Teacher recommendation
There are two primary windows for the identification of students:

September and October
February and March

Additional identification will occur on a case-by-case basis as needed.  

Enrichment & Innovation
Grades K-6 Enrichment & Innovation programming will include weekly interest-based and problem-based learning opportunities for all students. This replaces technology or i-Lab with additional push-in enrichment opportunities during center time or social studies/science. This curriculum focuses on critical thinking, problem solving, inquiry and research, strengthening communication, and collaboration. 
Explorations

Explorations is a voluntary self-paced program open to all students in grades 2-6. Students identify what they want to learn about, how to research, discover the topic of interest, create a hypothesis, and generate new knowledge, ideas, products, or solutions. These can be individual or small group passion or capstone projects. Students will engage in self-paced full-year or half-year projects with support from teachers and experts that they choose. Culminating presentations will occur at the end of the school year. 
EXCELerate

EXCELerate includes more intensive accelerated learning opportunities for identified grades K-6 students. Core content will be presented in a way that promotes critical thinking, collaboration, problem solving, and more authentic application. 

Students will be identified via these multiple measures for the 2022-2023 school year: 
EXCELerate Program Letter
Round 1:
English Language Arts Placement Matrices
Mathematics Placement Matrices
Round 2:
English Language Arts/Mathematics Placement Matrices

Pull-out programming for identified students will occur at least bi-weekly. Programming will not be subject-specific. Instead, programming will be multidisciplinary with cross-content standards. The focus is on accelerated application of higher academic standards, exploration, research, communication, problem solving, and critical thinking. Students will set individual S.M.A.R.T. goals for learning and work with teachers to customize individual learning plans during instruction. Students must maintain certain benchmarks and criteria to remain in the program based on prescribed rubrics. 

Grades 7-12 Gifted and Talented 


Identified students in grades 7-8 are eligible for Pre-Algebra/Algebra/Geometry Honors and Accelerated English Language Arts courses at Henry Hudson Regional School.
Students in grades 9-12 are afforded the opportunity to participate in Honors and Advanced Placement (AP) courses and to receive differentiated instruction in the regular classroom setting. We also offer a STEAM Academy sequence of courses for eligible students, which follows an accelerated and enriched pace and curriculum. Specific to electives, what we offer serves as a vehicle for enrichment in various areas of student strength and interest. 
Additionally, the Monmouth County Arts Middle School and High School is a program designed for artistically gifted and talented students. The High School program is affiliated with Brookdale Community College as are our dual enrollment and Fast Start program.
Of importance, enrollment in similar grades K-6 programming does not guarantee continued enrollment in courses at Henry Hudson Regional School, nor is a student required to have participated in this type of programming in order to access these courses.
A matrix of multiple measures and academic criteria based on grade level expectations is utilized to identify students. This includes: 

Grade 7: Pre-Algebra and Accelerated English Language Arts

i-Ready midyear (winter 2022) benchmark assessment score for applicable content area
LinkIt! readiness assessment score for applicable content area
Average of first two trimester grades (AHES)/average of first three marking period grades (HES) for applicable content area
Teacher recommendation

Grade 8: Algebra, Geometry Honors, and Accelerated English Language Arts
Prior year LinkIt! score for applicable content area
Prior year final grade for applicable content area
Teacher recommendation


Grades 9-12: Honors Courses
Prior year LinkIt! score for applicable content area
Prior year final grade for applicable content area
Teacher recommendation

Grades 9-12: Advanced Placement Courses
Prior year LinkIt! score for applicable content area
Prior year final grade for applicable content area
Teacher recommendation

Grades 9-12: STEAM Academy
Prior academic records
Prior honors and awards
Participation in extracurricular activities
Application essay
Interview
Teacher recommendation including a scale of 1-5 and commentary
More information can be found on the STEAM Academy website.

Monmouth County Arts

Giftedness in one or more areas of artistic expression as evidenced via portfolio assessment and/or audition

If a student meets the academic criteria, the teacher completes an evaluation that measures learning behaviors and areas of exceptional student strength. These areas include core academic areas as well as critical thinking, creativity, leadership, intrinsic motivation, task commitment, and curiosity.
In grades 7-12, gifted and talented students will be guided by their grade level guidance counselor and their classroom teachers. Initial placement occurs in March and April of the preceding school year and on a case-by-case basis as needed. More information regarding gifted and talented can be found in the Program of Study.