High Ability Learner Program
High Ability Program Mission Statement
Every Student, Every Day...Learning, Achieving, Growing...
*Students with outstanding academic ability who perform or show the potential for performing at high levels of accomplishment when compared with others of their age, experience, or environment are identified as high ability learners (HAL).
*The HAL program provides differentiated services to meet the needs of the individual learner within and beyond the classroom.
*HAL students need services or activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to realize personal achievement and maximize their potential to develop those capabilities.
...undeniable and unconditional acceptance of all students.
High Ability Program Goals
Through a continuum of cross-curricular, integrated and in-depth study, we strive to incorporate one or more of the following in every unit; 1) analysis; 2) synthesis; 3) evaluation; 4) critical and creative thinking; 5) reflective thinking; 6) open-ended thinking; 7) reasoning; 8) metacognition; 9) decision making skills; 10) efficacy.
The HAL program will support the social and emotional needs of students by incorporating the following: 1) The opportunity to learn with others of similar abilities, interests and drive; 2) An appropriate level of challenge in the classroom and flexible pacing in the classroom; 3) Realization and recognition of attributes, opportunities and challenges of being HAL; 4) Providing flexible grouping such as clustering, independent study, and interest-based learning.
High Ability Program Overview
Primary Enrichment Program
All students in kindergarten through third grade meet once a month for an enrichment class with the building HAL Facilitator. Our curriculum for these students consists of using Primary Education Thinking Skills (P.E.T.S.) and the Math Pentathlon Programs. First through third grade students who demonstrate exceptional strength during each whole-group P.E.T.S. lesson are identified and pulled at a later date to work on an enrichment activity in a small group setting to further enrich their learning.
Intermediate Pull-Out Program for Fourth and Fifth Grades
The fourth and fifth grade HAL students have classes scheduled twice weekly in their areas of strength, either math and/or language arts challenge. Specialized Challenge instruction classes incorporate a Gifted and Talented framework comprised of problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, and research. Students are also involved in multiple competitions: such as NewsBrain Challenge, Stock Market Club and Math Olympiad.
Middle School 6th Grade Program
Students are pulled from the classroom at least once a week, depending on the activity and the unit of study. Students participate in a pull-out program that provides high level thinking skills through questioning techniques, in-depth study on a topic from the classroom, activities that enhance problem solving, decision-making skills, and technology skills. Students are also involved in multiple competitions: such as Quiz Bowl, Geography Bee, Math Olympiad, and Math Counts.
Middle School 7th & 8th Grade Program
Students participate in interest based seminars and independent study to achieve program goals in the areas of: higher level thinking and problem solving skills, in-depth study of a classroom topic , activities that enhance problem solving and decision making skills. The HAL teacher, classroom teachers, and specialists strive to assess a students educational potential and design options to enhance student learning. Students have the option to participate in seminars and activities that focus on: technology, engineering, writing, reading, theater/drama, medicine, research, team problem solving and leadership. Students may try out for the GMS Quiz Bowl team, Math Counts team and Geography Bee. Students may qualify for the Duke TIP program which enables 7th grade students to take the ACT or SAT test during their seventh grade year.
High School Program
Students entering the high school from Gretna Middle School as an identified HAL student will continue in the program and participate without further requirements. Students entering from other districts must have participated in a Gifted and Talented or HAL program in the previous district. Consideration will be given to exceptional academic students where programs were not previously offered.
CP = College Prep sections of all core (math, science, English, social studies) are offered for grades 11 & 12.
DC = Dual Credit courses are offered in core subject areas with college credit offered through Metro Community College.
AP = Advanced Placement is offered for 11th grade English Literature only.
Integrated Studies: This course is offered for 9th through 12th graders by the HAL facilitator using the national Academic Decathlon curriculum as a first semester elective.
HAL Seminar: This elective course is offered for 9th through 12th graders by the HAL facilitator focusing on brain-based learning strategies, personal study, personal growth and development, college preparation and topics related to the interest of the students.
Extended Learning Opportunities: As available, workshops and seminars at local colleges and universities are offered to students who have indicated an interest in the topic or program of study.
Competition Teams: Quiz Bowl = At the high school level QB is a year-round activity open to all interested students. Practices are held before and after school two weeks prior to competition, which are mostly held on Saturdays. Students are eligible to earn an academic letter yearly in this activity. Academic Decathlon = Students taking Integrated Studies or studying the AcDec curriculum independently are eligible to qualify for a seat on the regional AcDec team to represent GHS. Students earning a medal at a competition are eligible to earn an academic letter yearly in this activity.
High Ability Program Qualification
Elementary identification begins during the end of the third grade school year. Pre-qualification is determined by multiple identifiers and specific identification relies upon screening assessments for talented and gifted learners. At the middle school level, sixth grade students have the opportunity to pre-qualify based on test scores and specific identification relies upon screening assessments for talented and gifted students. No additional identification is done at the high school level.