Extended Learning Program (ELP) Overview
The Extended Learning Program (ELP) serves gifted and high ability students. The mission of the Extended Learning Program is to provide challenge, enrichment, and/or acceleration to meet gifted students' academic needs. Programming is designed to enable students in grades K-12 to participate in differentiated learning options that meet their diverse and unique needs. The goals for these students are to:
- become independent, life-long learners.
- develop their intellectual and academic abilities through challenging instructional activities and materials.
- work with others of similar abilities.
- receive appropriate academic guidance and counseling.
- receive career counseling and exploration opportunities.
- strengthen skills to develop social/emotional strategies.
ELP is staffed by specially certified teachers. The program is regularly evaluated as per the District's Curriculum Review process and is updated with regard to the ELP Curriculum Review Improvement Plan. The gifted education program has been established in accordance with Iowa Code.
Students in kindergarten through 2nd grade may receive enrichment focusing on students’ strength area(s) in language arts, math and visual spatial. ELP teachers go into the regular classroom and engage students in an activity focusing on one strength area in the fall, and another strength area in the winter. Students are identified through multiple criteria including: artifacts, feedback from teachers who work with the students, and observations. Students are pulled from the regular education classroom to meet with the ELP teacher once a week for 30 minutes. Enrichment cycles last 8-10 weeks.
At the junior high level (grades 7 and 8), programming for gifted students is available through a variety of options. Literacy 7 has an advanced strand (Literacy 7E) to provide challenges for students with exceptionally strong literacy skills. Seminar class is an elective class for eligible eighth graders. The format of the class provides the opportunity for advanced students to exchange ideas in research and discussion forms and to process ideas through creative thinking, problem solving, individual projects, and career development. Eligibility for these offerings is determined through the evaluation of multiple criteria including objective and subjective data. Students may also advance in the mathematics course sequence (overseen by the Math Department). Numerous extra and co-curricular activities provide opportunities to challenge gifted and high ability students.
The focus of ELP at the high school level is on guidance and counseling, particularly post-secondary preparation. ELP guidance and counseling is designed to supplement general education counseling for students with academic performance and needs beyond regular counseling and education services. Eligibility is determined through the evaluation of multiple criteria including objective and subjective data. The program involves a series of targeted, deliberate and proactive services within the Guidance Office that will be conducted during the school day by an Extended Learning Program counselor. Students may also participate in Advanced Placement and Honors level classes as well as exceptional extra-curricular options.