ERIC Number: EJ787953
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Reference Count: 3
Implementing Enrichment Clusters in a Multiage School: Perspectives from a Principal and Consultant
Reed, Sally E.; Westberg, Karen L.
Gifted Child Today, v26 n4 p26-29 Fall 2003
Harriet Bishop (HB) Elementary School opened in 1996 with an articulated educational model developed collaboratively by the teachers, parents, and the administration. The model includes a mission, set of beliefs, and rationale for the instructional design. While nearly every school district or school has a formal mission, the statements articulated for HB are taken seriously. To support the mission, the students learn through an integrated curriculum using strategies such as differentiated instruction, curriculum compacting, and multiage learning. Teachers at HB are expected to meet the unique needs, interests, abilities, and learning rates, styles, and patterns of all students, from the most challenged to the most capable learners. HB is an elementary school of 700 students assigned to grade K-2, K-4, 1-3, 1-4, 3-6, or 5-6 communities, which are each located around a shared team center. Students remain with their teacher and classmates for 2 years. Because of the multiage communities, the students and staff are comfortable working within disciplines across grade levels. HB adopted the Schoolwide Enrichment Model to help meet the individual needs of students and develop student talent. Enrichment clusters, one component of the model, provide challenging, self-selected, real-world learning for all students. Enrichment clusters allow multiage groups of students who share common interests to select courses of study from an extensive list of offerings, such as "The Society of Student Statisticians," "The Sports Medicine Institute," and "Young Artists Guild." Enrichment clusters have been used successfully at HB since the school opened. In this article, the authors describe the factors that have contributed to HB's success from the perspective of the principal and the consultant who provided the original training to the staff.
Descriptors: Integrated Curriculum, Instructional Design, Academically Gifted, Student Interests, School Personnel, Models, Cluster Grouping, Educational Strategies, Program Effectiveness, Teacher Improvement, Individualized Instruction, Parent Participation, Cooperation, Elementary Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A