Advanced Academics Mission Statement
The mission of the Alvin ISD Advanced Academics Program is to support each Gifted and Talented student and Advanced Learner in order to foster the academic and social/emotional needs of these students in the following ways:
- Cultivating relationships
- Strengthening critical thinking skills
- Providing greater depth and complexity
- Differentiating learning experiences to encourage life-long learning
The Alvin Independent School District recognizes that gifted students have special needs and abilities. The gifted program will provide identified students with opportunities beyond the regular curriculum to broaden their knowledge, skills, and experiences. Emphasis will be on developing, independent, self-directed learners by encouraging and supporting in-depth learning and divergent and creative thinking. Gifted students will be expected to and will be given opportunities to perform well beyond what would be expected of a child of similar age and experience.
A “Gifted and Talented” student is a child or youth who performs at or shows the potential for performing at a remarkably high level of accomplishment when compared to others of the same age, experience, or environment and one who exhibits high performance capability in intellectual ability and higher level thinking skills.
Elementary Level: Grades K-5
Identified students are served at their individual campus within a cluster setting by teachers who have the required GT training and who differentiate the curriculum by using depth and complexity in the four core content areas with learning components implemented by Advanced Academics Specialists on each campus.
The program is designed to develop students as life-long learners who apply, synthesize, and evaluate information, ideas, skills, and processes in a deep and complex manner. As a result, our GT students will obtain necessary knowledge and skills to become productive contributors to their community.
Acceleration of learning is encouraged, and students are provided an array of learning experiences participating in a wide choice of Texas Performance Standards Projects. Students are introduced to and use the district-adopted Independent Investigation Method or IIM, a research process which involves seven user-friendly steps to accomplish K-5 research tasks. Student products and performances are spotlighted and shared with the community.
Affective needs of GT students are met through a multitude of activities, such as understanding giftedness, perfectionism and emotional stress. Activities include integrating children’s literature with teacher directed lessons that address the individual student’s needs.
The WINGS Academy is a school within a school model designed to provide highly gifted students an advanced educational opportunity matched to their individual abilities, strengths and interests. The academy will open at Pomona Elementary in the fall of 2017 for highly gifted students in first and second grade. After the initial opening, the WINGS Academy will follow with the addition of a grade level each subsequent year until it reaches fifth grade.
Students must be enrolled in Alvin ISD and qualify through an evaluation process that includes qualitative and quantitative measures.
The school features:
- Multi-age group classes that allow learning with intellectual peers
- Curriculum specifically designed for highly gifted learners
- An Individual Learning Plan (ILP) that appropriately challenges each student's abilities allowing her/him to engage in the curriculum at a pace and depth consistent with the student's knowledge, skills and personal motivations
- A learning environment that recognizes their social emotional needs and fosters leadership, integrity, personal responsibility, and an appreciation of individual differences, along with respect for others
- The opportunity to identify and develop student's unique talents and skills at an advanced level and be supported by teachers, professors and other experts in their fields of interest
- Engagement of parents in the learning process and provide opportunities for understanding and nurturing their children.
Junior High Level: Grades 6 - 8
GT students receive differentiated services with specially trained teachers in each of the four core content areas through Alvin ISD's Pathway to Advancement (APA). The Gifted and Talented curriculum is integrated with the TEKS and the district APA curriculum. An Advanced Academic Specialist offers individual and group support for teachers and students in order to implement and produce advanced coursework and products. High quality, specialized professional development is offered to teachers of GT identified students through the district as well as through outside sources. The wide range of learning experiences at this level may include out-of-school competition options as well as in-school individualized learning opportunities in the different content areas. The Advanced Academics Specialist on campus communicates progress of gifted learners to parents.
The Alvin ISD STEM Academy is a school within a school model meeting the needs of the district’s highly gifted population. Students must qualify through a series of qualitative and quantitative measures. The STEM Academy focuses on problem solving, discovery, creativity, exploratory learning, teamwork, leadership skills, and communication skills while providing the depth and complexity needed to meet the cognitive needs of the highly gifted student.
Magnet Academic Program (MAP)
The AISD Magnet Academic Program (MAP) offers an accelerated (math/science) or integrated (reading/social studies) curriculum that meets the cognitive needs of advanced learners who qualify for the program. All fifth grade students in Alvin ISD are screened during the second semester. Students who move on to testing will be administered a battery of mathematics, reading, and writing assessments, both timed and untimed. Qualifying students are placed on a matrix that is completed with information garnered from the assessments as well as other qualitative data such as, but not limited to, STAAR simulations, NWEA assessment results, and class grade averages. MAP is currently offered on every Alvin ISD junior high campus. Students are only eligible for the screening and/or testing process one time.
High School Level: Grades 9 – 12
GT students at the high school level are served in three course areas: Alvin ISD's Pathway to Advancement (APA), Advanced Placement, and Dual Credit. Highly trained teachers integrate collegiate level curriculum with the TEKS in order to prepare students for the rigor of Advanced Placement and Dual Credit courses. The Advanced Placement and Dual Credit programs represent vertical and horizontal acceleration, allowing students to earn college credit while they are in high school. In addition, the Dual Degree program from Alvin Community College enables participating high school students the opportunity to earn an Associate of Arts degree.