PLAINFIELD – The Troy Community School District 30-C school board recently approved new accelerated programs for students in third through eighth grades at its seven schools.
Superintendent Todd Koehl said the changes ensure the district is committed to inspiring and empowering talented learners to achieve excellence and maintain passion in their learning, according to a news release from the district.
The changes to the district’s accelerated programs are three-tiered – for elementary students, for intermediate and middle school students and for additional professional development for teachers, said Anne Gmazel, Troy executive director of teaching and learning.
“The goal of the changes is to be able to provide direct and explicit instruction in math and English language arts to all of our high-achieving students,” Gmazel said. “We will give them enrichment opportunities that will enable them to stretch their abilities to reach their potential.”
The goal of the accelerated math program in the elementary schools is to give students strong enough skills to enter intermediate school ready for above-grade-level classes. In accelerated elementary school ELA, the material taught will enable students to have deeper and additional reading and writing opportunities at the intermediate school.
Previously at Troy’s elementary schools, accelerated coursework was available to third- and fourth-grade students in ACE classes, which pulled both grade levels together.
The new program will forgo the multi-aged ACE classes and group the students in single grade-level advanced math and ELA classes. The advanced math and ELA classes also will be separate from each other, so that a student may enroll in one or both of the classes, Gmazel said.
Troy Director of Instruction Jenna Woodland said the accelerated programming changes at William B. Orenic Intermediate and Troy Middle schools are designed to encourage above-grade-level math and enhanced ELA studies, such as more problem-solving math explorations and deeper reading and writing opportunities that would allow students to eventually enter high school in higher-level courses than they might otherwise.
“What we’re really looking at is creating cohesive programming in grades three to eight to really identify the students who are academically talented in reading and math, and to provide opportunities for them that they need in order for them to be successful in their career at Troy,” Woodland said.
Troy will identify students eligible for the new accelerated programs in several ways, including teacher input, grades and standardized test results.