Exploration and Discovery Programming

Meeting the Needs of High Ability Learners


Exploration and Discovery Programming encompass the continuum of services that the district provides for all high ability learners.  These services will include the curricular adaptations and modifications provided in the regular classroom as well as the small group programs offered to identified students.  Kindergarten students are monitored and enriched within their classrooms. Identified students in grades 1 and 2 meet for an hour each week in a multi-age group for exploratory activities with our gifted and talented specialist.


The Discovery program is a weekly pullout program for identified students.  Students must meet rigorous criteria which include CogAT and other standardized test scores, independent reading levels, teacher rating scales, and assessment for critical and creative thinking.  Selection is made on a yearly basis. Students must maintain high levels of motivation and achievement to remain in the program and new students are welcomed each year. Several Eisenhower Middle School teachers will continue to offer a Wyckoff Extended Learning course for identified students in grades 6-8.


An appeal process can be found at this link:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B59bdx6A2BMUSWVkVnJhUTU4S0E/view?usp=sharing


Discovery Programming for high ability students is based on research and curriculum development by leading experts in the field of gifted education. It provides opportunities for students to explore their intellectual, creative and artistic gifts and talents within the classroom and with beyond-the-classroom experiences. It is our responsibility to provide students with educational alternatives that teach, challenge, and expand their knowledge, while stressing the development of independent and self-directed learners who continuously generate questions, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information and ideas.

 

The Wyckoff Discovery Programming fosters a love of learning through which a student's passion can be explored. Students are not labeled as gifted or not gifted, but their academic abilities, needs, and interests are identified in order to provide appropriate opportunities to help them develop into lifelong learners. Wyckoff Discovery Programming is committed to a model that values differentiated instruction where classroom teachers work to modify instruction, content, and assessment to match student ability level. To that end, the gifted specialist works with classroom teachers to provide additional support for students with high-abilities. In addition, Exploration and Discovery Programming provides enrichment opportunities that go beyond the classroom for all students to explore their interests. 


Discovery Programming also addresses the unique social and emotional needs of gifted children by promoting self-understanding, awareness of needs and cognitive and affective growth. Students may work in groups outside of class to further this growth as determined by their interests, abilities and needs. The intent of all Exploration and Discovery programming is to honor the "whole child, every child" in developing student competencies that forge lifelong learners. 



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