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Extended Studies

Melissa Schnitzmeier Principal Pioneer School
Melissa Schnitzmeier, Plan Leader for the Extended Studies Program.

Plan Leader: Mrs. Melissa Schnitzmeier

The purpose of the Pioneer Extended Studies Program is to provide identified students with opportunities beyond the regular curriculum to broaden their knowledge, skills, and experiences. The District is committed to providing quality education services for all. It is the District’s philosophy to include students from all segments of the district population and to also include advanced learners in challenging academic services whenever possible.

The goal of our program is to provide challenging and engaging learning experiences while also providing additional opportunities for growth that will enable children with high potential, talent, and exceptional capabilities to develop to their potential. Emphasis will be on developing self-directed and independent learners while encouraging and supporting more in-depth learning with diverse and creative thinking skills.

If you have any questions please never hesitate to email Mrs. S at schnitzmeier@pioneerschool.us or call 406-373-5357.

Learn more about the Montana Agate: Montana Association of Gifted and Talented Education

Pioneer Elementary School Extended Studies Strategic Plan 2017-2020

PHILOSOPHY STATEMENT

Pioneer Elementary School is dedicated to meeting the needs of every student. In a democratic society, which seeks to offer educational opportunities appropriate to each child’s ability, it is necessary to provide for the unique needs of the high ability learner.

Children with outstanding abilities who are capable of high performance and require differentiated educational programs beyond those normally offered in public schools in order to fully achieve their potential.

The objective of Pioneer’s Extended Studies program is to provide the high ability learner with extensions for learning; exposing them to a wide variety of educational experiences and opportunities beyond those typically offered in the classroom. Emphasis will be on developing self-directed and independent learners, while encouraging and supporting more in-depth learning utilizing diverse and creative thinking strategies.

IDENTIFICATION PROCESS

  1. Teacher/parent will use HOPE Nomination Scale to refer students for the Extended Studies program.
  2. Teacher/ parent referral is based on the following criteria:
    1. Smarter Balanced scores
    2. Outstanding classroom performance
    3. NWEA MAPS scores
  3. Parents are informed that their child has been referred for screening and possible placement in Pioneer’s Gifted and Talented program.
  4. Student is screened using the Pearson Digital Platform .
  5. Recommendation is made by a committee, using the Pearson Digital Platform assessment scores, CRT scores, grades, and anecdotal records of outstanding performance.
  6. Before the child enters the Extended Studies program, both the parent and child are required to sign a contract.

CURRICULUM REFLECTING STUDENT’S NEEDS

Instructional Management

  • Regrouping by achievement for subject instruction
  • Single subject acceleration

Instructional Delivery

  • Accelerated pace
  • Discovery learning
  • Discussion
  • Flexible tasks/deadlines
  • Group projects
  • Higher order thinking
  • Independent projects
  • Peer tutoring
  • Teaching games
  • Personal goal setting
  • Open-ended, creative thinking
  • Problem-based learning
  • New content
  • Community service projects

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Professional development is considered a vital component of Pioneer’s Extended Studies program. Our school board encourages teachers to attend Tech cadre,
MSSA workshops, as well as the Annual Montana AGATE Spring Conference, as the
budget allows.

Specific Professional Development topics are as follows:

Program Development

  • Conducting a needs assessment
  • Writing a philosophy
  • Designing an identification process
  • Selecting delivery options
  • Creating action plans

Identification: characteristics and needs

  • Characteristics of high achieving learners
  • Identification of high achieving learners
  • Social and emotional needs of high achieving learners

Instructional Strategies: content, process, product, pace

  • Compacting
  • Pre-assessment strategies
  • Higher-order thinking skills
  • BrainstormingProblem solving
  • Extended activities
  • Modification of assignments