Gifted and talented Evesham students showcase their studies

Gifted and talented Evesham students showcase their studies

Gifted

Students in the Evesham Township School District will someday grow up to enter all manner of careers fields, from finance to law to science.

Now, as a result of a new summer program for gifted and talented students in the district, those students will have the chance to better experience the academic disciplines behind those fields during summer break.

Thanks to the district’s new gifted and talented summer enrichment program, about 25 students from grades two through eight have spent a few weeks of their summer back at school participating in a free program to expand their knowledge.

Courses offered in the program include titles such as “So You Think You Can Argue — Public Speaking and Debate,” “You Be the Judge,” “Computer Science — Hands On,” “Be the Boss,” “Environmental Engineering Adventures” and “Simple Machines — Making Our Lives… Simpler.”

From building simple machines, to learning how to code simple programs, to holding mock trials helping improve the environment, the students in these programs have the chance to gain additional enrichment opportunities they otherwise would not have had during the normal school year.

Danielle Magulick, director of curriculum and instruction for the district, said the summer provides the district a good opportunity to invite all gifted- and talented-identified students to further their education.

“Summer is a great time to bring them together across all nine schools, and they can see each other and then kind of extend and take their learning beyond what they’ve done throughout the school year,” Magulick said.

Students in the program can choose to participate in two courses daily for two weeks, with each class having morning and afternoon sessions and class sizes between five and 15 students at a time.

To highlight the success of the program, the district gave parents and members of the public a chance to attend an open house on July 16 where the students could share their experiences and those in attendance could view the students’ work.

“We’re really focusing on that 21st century standards brand, really within it there is a lot of STEM (science technology, engineering and mathematics) but also career and just those general practices,” Magulick said.

Magulick said the idea to expand the district’s gifted and talented offerings comes from the district’s Enrichment Triad Model, where it tries to expand enrichment opportunities for all students, Tiers I and II, but then also having opportunities set aside for gifted and talented students, Tier III.

Specifically expanding enrichment opportunities for gifted and talented students is listed in GOALS 2017, the district’s multi-year strategic alignment plan of broad guidelines.

The district also outlined other upcoming gifted and talented expansions earlier this year in the district’s 2015–2016 school year budget, including the creation of a pullout program and the hiring of two new teachers to serve in that role.