The Excellence in Youth (EY) Program at Westside Community Schools provides expanded learning opportunities for students with high ability, in addition to fostering and encouraging talent development in all students.
The EY Blog is the hub of communication for the EY Team. For our K-6 students, weekly challenges, seminars and events, as well as other learning opportunities are posted to the blog on a regular basis. All students are encouraged to participate in the opportunities posted, regardless of whether they have been identified for the EY Program. Students can participate independently by accessing the blog opportunities during Enrichment/Intervention (EI) time, a 43-minute block in the schedule each day for 3rd-6th graders. Teachers may also facilitate whole and small-group enrichment opportunities for students in the classroom. An EY Coordinator is scheduled at each building on a 4-day cycle and will conduct whole and small-group enrichment sessions, as well as provide pull-out services for selected students.
For our 7-8 students, a variety of seminars and unique learning opportunities are made available throughout the year. Emails are sent out to students on a frequent basis alerting them to upcoming events with the requirements to attend. Middle school students also enjoy independent studies, contests, and project-based learning opportunities, all organized by the EY Coordinator. Classroom teachers differentiate in the content areas, mainly allowing voice and choice when it comes to how students will demonstrate their learning.
Though the overall EY Program continues to evolve into a K-12 service, the more formal emphasis is on students in grades third through eight. As students advance to the high school level, their abilities are challenged through a wide variety of course selections and individual experiences. Some of these opportunities include advanced placement courses, college courses, and externships.
All students are encouraged to participate in the enrichment opportunities made available by the EY Team. Some students are identified as needing extra intervention. To identify these students, we collect data in four areas:
*Stanford Achievement Test or MAP Test *Otis Lennon Aptitude Test *Screening Assessments of Gifted Elementary Students (SAGES) *Scales for Identifying gifted Students (SIGS)
Once the data has been collected, the level of service is determined based on the student’s needs. Students who are identified for the EY Program receive whole and small-group interventions in the classroom, as well as pull-out services provided by the EY Coordinator.