Advanced Learning Program
The purpose of Advanced Studies in Greenwich Public Schools is to provide appropriate learning experiences and intellectual challenge that result in continuous academic growth.
Meet our Advanced Learning Leadership Team
Contact us all: AdvancedLearning@greenwich.k12.ct.us
Emails with ALP placement recommendations and scores for the 2023-24 school year were sent out on Friday, May 5.
For answers to additional questions reach out here: Elementary ALP Placement Inquiry Google Form.
The purpose of the Placement Process is not to determine if a student is “gifted” or “not gifted.” Rather, the purpose of the placement process is to identify specific academic student needs and match learners with appropriate supplementary services. This three step process includes Tiered Referral, Evaluation, and Placement.
Step 1: The Referral Phase begins with screening. Screening is the process of reviewing current grade level data about each child to determine if a student should be referred for further assessment for possible placement in the Advanced Learning Program. The screening process includes: a review of current performance data, grade level standardized tests, and observational data using checklists based on gifted characteristics. Referrals (sometimes called Nominations) is the direct procedure that enters a student into the Evaluation Phase. In addition to referrals initiated by teachers, parents are able to provide input as well.
Step 2: In the Evaluation Phase GPS uses a multifaceted placement scheme to identify not only students who are already high achieving in the domain but also those with potential but underdeveloped achievement.
Multifaceted placement scheme includes:
Age Normed measures of aptitude for reasoning in each of the domains for which services will be provided (for example, verbal reasoning scores considered for placement into language arts services and quantitative reasoning scores for placement into mathematics). (Cognitive Ability Tests)
Grade Normed measures of achievement in each domain for which advanced services will be provided. (Achievement Assessments).
Criterion Normed measures that add descriptive information about students’ performance or potential in the domains for which services are provided. (Performance Tasks)
Step 3: In the Placement Phase the Building Advisory Committee (BAC), consisting of the ALP teacher(s), classroom teachers, a building administrator, and the ALP facilitator, conducts a comprehensive review of each child’s record and performance during the evaluation in order to make final placement decisions. All selection decisions reflect the best professional judgment of the committee to determine the best way to meet each child’s individual needs.
The Advanced Learning Program enriches and augments the regular curriculum in order to meet the educational needs of advanced students. Differentiation of instruction occurs routinely in the regular classroom, along with opportunities for pullout for identified students.
The Advanced Learning Program uses content replacement programming model for identified students in grade 3-5 language arts and math and a content enrichment programming model in grade 2 language arts and math and grade 3-5 science.
All levels of the program share the following overarching objectives:
- Provide for cognitive development in core curriculum areas at an appropriate pace and depth.
- Develop self-understanding that encourages and fosters independent and self-directed learning.
- Develop intellectual and scholarly skills and attitude.
- Promote critical, creative and divergent thinking skills.
- Develop research skills and methods.
- Foster intellectual inquiry at all levels.
- Develop aesthetic knowledge, skills and appreciation.
Advanced students require a mathematics curriculum that not only challenges their current abilities but also pushes them into new realms of understanding. This type of differentiation is best provided through an acceleration model that allows students to demonstrate mastery of grade level standards and move through the curriculum receiving instruction at their challenge levels. The math curriculum is enriched and generally accelerated by one year. In addition to demonstrating mastery of standards, students are provided with rich problems that require the use of analytical reasoning.
Language is not just the expression; it is the essence of understanding. The curriculum framework used is the Integrated Curriculum Model designed for gifted learners by Dr. Joyce Vantassel-Baska and the College of William and Mary. This model is organized for the integration of Big Ideas, Advanced Content, and Differentiated Process & Product. The use of this model allows students to extend their understanding of language beyond the literal and inferential into the realm of evaluative analysis. The goals of the Language Arts units are to develop students' skills in literary analysis and interpretation, persuasive writing, linguistic competency, and oral communication, as well as to strengthen students' reasoning skills and understanding of the concept of change. The units engage students in exploring carefully selected, challenging works of literature from various times, cultures, and genres and they encourage students to reflect on their readings through writing and discussion.
Middle School Seminar
The seminar program is a continuum that allows reasoning models and approaches to problem solving to be revisited, practiced and refined over a three-year period. Seminar students frame their own questions, engage in research, analyze and discuss ideas, and apply what they have learned to social problems. The overarching theme for all three grades is “What does it mean to be human?”In sixth grade the focus is on evolutionary change, seventh grade on the concept of systems, and in eighth grade on public health systems.
At the end of grade 5, teacher recommendation based on qualitative and quantitative data is used for placement into the Advanced Science Pathway for grade six. This is based on a standardized rubric of teacher “look-fors” for placement in the 2022-2023 school year. The rubric includes teacher assessment of student skills as evidenced by grade 5 science performance tasks, student science notebooks, and the ability to achieve within grade level end-band markers of the eight science and engineering practices.
Placement into the Advanced Science Pathway in grades 7 and 8 is based on student academic achievement on previous pathways, historical NGSS scores, and performance on short performance assessments completed throughout the curriculum. Administrative input, cumulative grade averages, teacher recommendations, school counselors’ recommendations, and parent recommendations are also considered.
- 2022-2023 Parent Referral and Input
- 2022-2023 Grade 2 Enrichment: Referral and Placement
- 2023-2024 Grades 2, 3 and 4: Referral and Placement
- 2021-2022 Grade 5: Referral and Placement for Middle School
- ALP 10/21 BOE Presentation
- Informational Slide Decks
- PTAC Members
- ALP Smores
- Additional Information
Parent input is a valuable component of the placement process. If you believe that your child should undergo the additional rigorous above grade level assessment(s) for potential placement in ALP Reading, Math and/or Science. Each assessment ranges from 45-75 minutes.
If you wish to have your child take the additional tests, complete the Parent Referral and Input Form between March 3 and 17th, 2023
Grade 2 ALP Placement Information
Please review the presentation about Grade 2 ALP Placement Video (slides only, spanish version). If you still have questions after the video, join the ALP Leadership Team for a Q&A sessions about the Grade 2 Placement process on Tuesday, November 15.
- Session 1: 9:30 AM recording of session 1
Session 2: 7:00 PM recording of session 2Spanish Translation was offered during Session 2
Grade 2 ALP Score Information
Please review the 10-minute Grade 2 ALP Placement Information Video (English transcript Spanish transcript) If you still have questions after the video, join the ALP Leadership Team for a Q&A sessions about the Grade 2 Placement process on Thursday, January 5.
Session 1: 9:30 AM recording of session 1
Session 2: 7:00 PM recording of session 2Spanish Translations was offered during Session 2
If you still have questions after the video, join the ALP Leadership Team for a Q&A session about the Elementary Placement process on Tuesday, May 9.
For answers to additional questions reach out here: Elementary ALP Placement Inquiry Google Form.
Grade 5: Middle School Advanced Studies Information Sessions
Supporting the Grade 5 to 6 Transition
In early January, we held a virtual meeting to discuss the Fifth to Sixth Grade Transition Process. Middle School Counselors, Curriculum Coordinators, and Middle School Principals talked about what goes on in the spring and summer to help prepare students for the next school level. During this session, coordinators presented information regarding the placement process for Advanced Studies in Grades 6-8.
If you could not join us, we have videos of both presentations, including question and answer segments, linked below
- Monday, January 3 at 9:00 am Youtube Link
- Monday, January 3 at 6:30 pm Youtube Link
- Tuesday, January 18 at 6:00 pm Youtube Link - Spanish Version
E001 Policy Programs Services Curriculum
E001.09 Purpose of Programs and Services
E001.13 Advanced Learning Programs K-12
Those requiring special accommodations to attend these meeting should contact Robyn Byron, either by phone at 203-625-7462, or by email at email@example.com or in person at the Havemeyer Building, 290 Greenwich Avenue, at least 72 hours prior to the meeting.
All new students to the district are screened using the Greenwich benchmark Reading and Math assessments in September. The information from the assessments is analyzed at the district level and students may be invited to take the above level assessments for potential ALP placement.
If students have taken above level course work or have been a part of a gifted program they may submit norm-referenced assessment scores to the ALP office for review.
Participation in a gifted program in another school district does not automatically qualify a student for placement in ALP courses in Greenwich. However, because another district’s placement process may give us enough information to make a placement decision, parents should submit the relevant documentation to the district ALP office
Welcome to Greenwich. It is the goal of Greenwich Public schools is to do our best to ensure each student is appropriately placed and has a schedule that meets his/her social, emotional and academic needs in middle school.
If students have taken above level course work or have been a part of a gifted program they may submit norm-referenced assessment scores to the ALP office for review. Participation in a gifted program in another school district does not automatically qualify a student for placement in advanced courses in Greenwich. However, because another district’s placement process may give us enough information to make a placement decision, parents should submit the relevant documentation to the district ALP office via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
For math Greenwich offers a Prove to Move option for students. The purpose is to provide students with an opportunity to prove they have the requisite knowledge to accelerate. Students need to PROVE they have adequate content knowledge to MOVE to the next level. Hence the phrase “Prove to Move”.
Prove to Move Math assessments are being given at the Board of Education Building on June 21, July 27, or August 23. Students must register to take the appropriate math tests via the Google Form at least 24 hours in advance of the test date.