January 27th, 2012

Cluster Grouping to be Piloted in Groton, MA

A story this week on the Nashoba Newspapers website describes a pilot program for advanced learners in the district of Groton-Dunstable, MA. The new program utilizes the teaching practice of Cluster Grouping. The article, titled “New pilot program will better address needs of gifted students at G-D“, is by Pierre Comtois. Here’s an excerpt:

GROTON — In order to better serve “gifted” students, officials at the Groton-Dunstable Regional School District said they plan on implementing a pilot program next year that would cluster high achievers while keeping them in normal classroom settings.

The plan and the reasoning behind it was unveiled by Middle School principal Steve Silverman at a School Committee meeting held last Tuesday night.

According to Silverman, the district needed to address the concerns of high achieving students in order to educate them better and keep them interested enough in their studies so they did not become disinterested.

Statistics, reported Silverman, indicate that a good number of high school dropouts were among bored high achievers, which current educational mores have labeled “gifted” as opposed to other labels such as “bright,” “special,” and “talented.”

Alternate breakdowns of the typical classroom include a model with gifted students at the top followed by above average, average, below average, and below grade students.

“The Schoolwide Cluster Grouping Model (SCGM) helps school administrators embed gifted education services into the school system, increasing the possibility that the inherent needs of all students are understood and embraced,” reads a paper on the cluster theory. “The model proposes that when teachers are trained to challenge their gifted student, the learning opportunities and high expectations can positively impact all students.”

The complete article is here.

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