Extended Services Program Overview
Extended Services Program Philosophy:
We believe the purpose of the Extended Services Program is to support children with a unique profile of strengths, talents, and/or abilities whose needs exceed the core curriculum.
We support the needs of all students in the district with high aptitude or competence in academics and/or the visual arts who require specialized instruction when compared to peers of their age, experience, and environment. Through a continuum of services, varying levels of challenge are designed to match student needs by differentiated, accelerated, and/or enriched instruction. Program placement is fluid, with appropriate opportunities to move within the continuum to transform student potential into performance.
Operational Definition of Extended Services:
Students identified for Extended Services demonstrate exceptionality in cognitive ability and achievement, or talent in the academics and/or the visual arts. Student identification is based on multiple sources of locally normed achievement data (MAP), cognitive data (CogAT, WISC, Stanford-Binet) and qualitative data (SIGS) in grades 3-8. Identified students experience differentiated, accelerated, and/or enriched instruction. The curriculum is distinguished by the depth, breadth, and pace of instruction in the following subject areas: reading/language arts, mathematics, science, and the visual arts.
*High school students may pursue advanced curriculum through course selection.
Overview of Services:
Extended services (ES) in District 220 are considered an extension of the general education curriculum, delivering advanced content at an accelerated pace. Extended services are provided in various content areas and at various grade levels starting in 3rd grade. At the elementary level, 3rd-5th grade, pullout math and/or reading resource and self-contained services exist. The continuum of services expands to 8th grade in the form of extended courses in math, language arts, science, and the visual arts. The continuum of services expands into the high school with honors courses and/or advanced placement (AP) courses offered.
All students must meet eligibility criteria outlined in the Identification Process of this handbook. Placement is flexible. Services include the following:
- Early Entrance: District 220 supports early entrance into kindergarten and 1st grade for children who are capable of working in a classroom setting and qualify through the district screening process.
- Grades K-2: Students demonstrating a need for academic rigor in kindergarten through 2nd grade are accommodated through in-class, differentiation by the general education teacher assisted by the extended teacher at the home school.
- Grades 3-5: Students demonstrating a need for greater academic challenge in 3rd- 5th grade are accommodated with either pull-out reading and/or math, or in the self-contained program, and are taught by a gifted specialist.
- Grades 6-8: Students demonstrating a need for advanced academic challenge are accommodated with extended classes in language arts, math (Gr. 6-9), science, and/or the visual arts.
- (Grades 9-12: Students in the high school can qualify for a variety of honors and advanced placement classes.)
*Note: Eligibility criteria may change over time based on student needs, adjustments to the program, research, and best practices in education.
The Levels of Service (LoS) approach to instructional planning and programming allows educators to support students of advanced ability and talents at an early age when an instructional need arises (Treffinger & Selby, 2009; (Treffinger, Young, Nassab, & Wittig, 2004). The LoS Model recognizes that services begin by supporting all students, while becoming more nuanced to meet various needs, as students develop. Students needs are met through differentiated instruction, flexible grouping, enrichment, and acceleration.
The LoS Model is grounded in contemporary research regarding changes in human development, matching services to student abilities, and instruction aligned to learning standards. Program identification standards apply.
Extended Services Program Goals
Standard 1: Learning and Development
Goal: Educators will promote ongoing self-understanding, an awareness of their own needs, and the cognitive and affective growth of students.
Standard 2: Assessment
Goal: Assessments will provide data used to identify students, learning progress and outcomes, and programming for students who demonstrate exceptionality in cognitive ability, achievement, and/or talent in academics and/or the visual arts.
Standard 3: Curriculum Planning and Instruction
Goal: Educators will apply the theory and research-based models of curriculum and instruction related to students who demonstrate exceptionality in cognitive ability, achievement, or talent and respond to their needs by planning, selecting, adapting, and creating culturally relevant curriculum and by using a repertoire of evidence-based instructional strategies to ensure specific student outcomes.
Standard 4: Learning Environments
Goal: Learning environments will foster student growth, development, and inquiry in the areas of language arts, mathematics, science, and/or the visual arts aligned to learning standards. Instruction will further cultivate personal and social responsibility, multicultural awareness, interpersonal competencies, and leadership skills.
Standard 5: Programming
Goal: Educators will use their knowledge of student development systematically and collaboratively to develop, implement, and effectively provide a continuum of services for students who demonstrate exceptionality in cognitive ability, achievement, and/or talent to ensure specific student outcomes.
Standard 6: Professional Development
Goal: All educators (administrators, teachers, counselors, and other instructional support staff) will build their knowledge and skills to best support students who demonstrate exceptionality in cognitive ability, achievement, and/or talent. They will 1) determine professional development (PD) needs related to students who demonstrate exceptionalities, 2) engage in training to meet the identified PD needs, and 3) implement new strategies to support student learning. All educators (administrators, teachers, counselors, and other instructional support staff) will access resources to provide needed student support.