By Shari Bishop, Guest columnist
Royalton Public Schools and I have a mission to build a caring and creative learning community where students can flourish. The foundation has been built, the frame is up and artwork adorns its walls. Now we are remodeling.
One hobby of my family is do-it-yourself construction. It was easy to see the parallel in the mission at Royalton. The labor is intense, the workers are many and the vision is within reach. As all do-it yourself laborers know, the work makes the end result all the more grand and appreciated.
The remodel, you ask? Gifted Talented and Enrichment. Royalton is expanding its gifted, talented and enrichment, and I am proud to say I will be a part of the creation.
Our vision is to create a program that guides students to reach their full potential. This program will benefit students in kindergarten through grade 8. We are looking to inspire the gifted, enhance the talents and enrich the curriculum. Students have different gifts and talents, so we aim to address this by offering opportunities in a variety of subject areas.
Students who are gifted need a challenge and an opportunity to expand their knowledge. We will be working together to create an individualized program to meet the needs of those students who have been recommended, evaluated and assessed to receive these services.
Those students who have a specific talent, which is an outstanding learned capability, will be aided in developing their skills and abilities through training, learning and practice.
There are many opportunities with student conferences, classes and competitions to serve students in this way.
The enrichment portion will focus on providing higher ability learning activities and guidance within the classroom environment. The enrichment will be done in collaboration with the classroom teacher through differentiation. Differentiation is when modifications are made to existing curriculum based on academic needs, interests and learning styles of students.
The future of gifted education is bright, and strides are being made here in Royalton to effectively teach students at this level.
Although it is tempting to immediately implement all that we can, we know that in order for the program to be successful it will need to be done in phases. The encouraging part is we have commitment and support from staff and community to make this happen. Thank you for your patience as we continue to strive in serving students to recognize their gifts and talents, engage them in higher ability learning, and create a vision of continued success.
I am excited to coach and serve staff and students in the schools, and look forward to following the students as they advance from year to year.
You can look forward to Phase 1 of our remodel in fall 2014, and communications via the school website and district newsletter.
I encourage you to stop by and check out the blueprints and success of our remodel at our annual open house, Aug. 27, 2014.
Shari Bishop is the Gifted, Talented, and Enrichment coach at the Royalton Public Schools.