High Ability Program Description
Richmond Community Schools recognizes that “one size does not fit all” in planning for the instruction of its students. High ability students in our schools are provided with a range of services to meet their learning needs.
Elementary students begin with an individual learning plan (ILP) when they are identified. Teachers plan instructional modifications and maintain a record of the services provided for each student throughout elementary school.
Elementary Language Arts
K-6 students who are performing significantly above grade level are identified through reading benchmarks, writing assessments, and NWEA RIT scores. Individual buildings cluster group students or provide flexible groupings during language arts so that high ability readers and writers can be challenged by their peers in literature discussions and authors’ circles and receive guided reading instruction to match their levels of performance. Depending on student need, some buildings offer pullout classes one to three times per week with a high ability instructor. Buildings are also encouraged to develop Writer’s Clubs with local authors to mentor students who are exceptional writers.
Student math performance is carefully monitored through three annual NWEA benchmarks as well as through daily class assignments. Teachers provide advanced or enriching instruction for small high ability groups during daily LEAP time. In addition, some students participate in twice weekly small group lessons using the M3 curriculum or other advanced materials with a high ability instructor.
Intermediate School Language Arts
Intermediate school high ability language arts students who are not part of the LOGOS program may take Honors English classes at Test or Dennis. Teachers continue the rigorous model of instruction students experienced in their elementary schools as they differentiate for students based on triennial NWEA scores. Daily SUCCESS classes provide advanced content and enrichment for high ability language arts students.
Intermediate School Math and Science
High ability math students have a menu of options, depending on their aptitude and performance on NWEA benchmarks and pre-algebra and post-algebra assessments. Students are placed in the math level that is an appropriate match.
High Ability LOGOS Program at Hibberd Program Building
RCS has a unique history in gifted programming with our Logos program, which is a full-time program for 3rd-8th grade students identified with high general intelligence. This rigorous, self-contained program requires high task commitment and creativity,in addition to exceptional intellectual ability.
Second graders identified as general intellectual may qualify for services in Logos beginning in third grade. An elementary team of trained high ability instructors guides students through an advanced paced curriculum of math, reading, writing, science, and social studies. Research skills are also emphasized; students choose a topic to study and present their learning through a variety of products reflecting Bloom's levels of thinking. The students learn research and thinking strategies to equip them for Project Group in the fifth grade.
An intermediate team of qualified instructors teaches the self-contained English, social studies, science, and foreign language blocks in fifth through eighth grade. Students also complete rigorous CPM math courses (College Preparatory Math), anticipating the completion of algebra by 8th grade. Each student also is assigned to a Project group, where he or she explores a topic of personal interest and develops an exhibition of learning to present to peers and family three to four times per year.
High School Course Options
Students identified with high ability in language arts or math may take Honors or AP courses in high school. These classes are self-selected, so other students may elect to take these courses, also. Their are numerous AP and Hpnors course options available in English, math, science, and social studies. Please consult the Richmond Senior High School curriculum guide for a comprehensive and current list of options.
Students may also enroll at Earlham, Ivy Tech, Purdue Polytechnic or IU East and receive college credit for course work completed there.
Addressing Social and Emotional Needs
Students with significant intellectual or creative strengths often have a range of emotional needs as a result of feeling “different”. They may also have perfectionistic tendencies or heightened sensitivities that may require counseling support.
RCS staff members receive training using resource materials provided by the DOE, including Guiding Students with High Abilities: Social and Emotional Considerations and Activities and Resources for Affective Education of High Ability Students, K-12. Many of the activities provided can easily be woven into reading and English classes by language arts teachers.
In addition, each elementary building has a High Ability Professional Development Consultant, who is paid a small stipend to attend professional development activities and share information with his/her staff. He or she also advocates for the high ability students in his/her building and is trained with the social and emotional resources mentioned above.
At the intermediate school, the self-contained LOGOS program staff is highly qualified to recognize and support the social and emotional needs of adolescent high ability students. Helpful activities are built into the curriculum, and students are also supported by the connections that develop among students and staff. The LOGOS staff provides invaluable guidance during this critical time as adolescents approach adulthood.
A trained, high ability instructor at the high school maintains a zero hour to provide counseling services for students there. She assists students with college applications, scholarship information, and emotional support.
Hibberd Program Building Principal
900 South L Street
Richmond, Indiana 47374
School: (765) 973-3488
Fax: (765) 973-3788