ELEMENTARY ADVANCED ACADEMICS:
In Wylie ISD, we intentionally cluster our highest achievers so that we can challenge them to reach their full potential.
Outcomes of the Elementary Advanced Academics Program
We lay the foundation for…
- Advanced students to be appropriately prepared for success in Advanced Placement (AP) classes in high school.
- Increased participation and scores in the National Merit and AP Exams.
- Increased opportunities for academic scholarships.
- Preparing advanced students to pursue rewarding careers.
Curriculum and Instruction in the Advanced Academics Classroom
Elementary classrooms that have advanced clusters will teach the same base curriculum, take the same district and state assessments, and utilize the same best practices as other grade-level classrooms. What makes the Advanced Academics different is the inclusion of intentionally designed rigorous lessons and academic activities for advanced students. Characteristics of these lessons and activities, which promote deeper thinking, include:
- Making learning relevant by incorporating cross-curricular connections.
- Engaging students through lesson extensions designed to deepen their understanding of the content.
- Providing opportunities to problem solve through investigation and/or inquiry based learning.
- Compacting curriculum through assessing what the students already know and what they need to master in order to eliminate time spent on content that is already known. The time is then spent on enriched study of the content.
- Using questioning strategies to process content at a deeper level.
- Setting high expectations regarding each student’s academic achievement and work ethic.
- Encouraging students to apply their knowledge to real-life situations.
- Empowering students to work collaboratively with peers.
Math – Students will be pulled into differentiated groups to work on higher level problem solving and explorations in math.
Reading – Students will be pulled into leveled reading groups. Advanced students will work on comprehension and reading at their level. Students may also participate in literature circles and advanced reading activities within their classrooms.
Writing – Students will work on writing at an advanced level according to the Wylie ISD Writing Continuum. Advanced writers will receive conferencing and challenges to improve their writing.
Science – In the advanced cluster, students will experience inquiry based activities in each unit to deepen their understanding of science.
Social Studies – Students in advanced clusters will have the opportunity to participate in two Social Studies projects each semester to extend their learning.
Academic Expectations for Advanced Students
In advanced clusters, we set high expectations regarding each student’s academic achievement and work ethic. Our goal is for 100% of our students to score in the advanced ranges (typically 90% and above) on district and state assessments. Daily graded work may fluctuate due to the complexity and high rigor of assignments. We will work with advanced students to challenge them to meet their potential and to give their best effort academically. We request parental support of high expectations for your child upon qualifying for this classroom.
Qualification criteria will be based on student performance on various district and state assessments. Once a student has been identified as advanced, they will continue to be enrolled in advanced clusters each year unless student performance begins to decline. If that were to occur, the teacher, parents, and a campus administrator would hold a conference to determine if the student should continue in advanced clusters.
Wylie ISD will use multiple data sources to determine student placement. Examples of data sources include unit assessment scores, universal screener data, DRA data, and writing samples.
SECONDARY ADVANCED ACADEMICS:
Wylie ISD maintains a strong tradition of advanced academics in grades 7-12. Wylie ISD offers Advanced courses beginning in junior high school, which continue through the secondary vertical alignment until the appropriate AP tests. Our district belief mirrors that of College Board and its focus on excellence and equity, which is why Wylie ISD offers an open enrollment approach to advanced academic courses.
Advanced academics also includes a gifted and talented strand for grades 5-12. Students who have been screened and identified as needing gifted and talented services are served in parallel advanced academic courses.
For more information, please contact Stephen Davis, Executive Director of Secondary Curriculum at (972) 429-3013 or firstname.lastname@example.org.