February 29th, 2012

DC Middle Schools to Pilot Schoolwide Enrichment Model

Bill Turque, the Washington Post’s “Schools Insider” columnist, wrote this piece recently about an enrichment program being rolled out at two middle schools which serve mainly children of color. “DCPS to pilot gifted-and-talented program”. Here’s an excerpt:

DCPS will pilot its first gifted-and-talented program at Kelly Miller and Hardy middle schools this fall. No application will be necessary; it will be open to all students enrolled at the schools, officials said Monday.

It will be built around the Schoolwide Enrichment Model, created by educators at the University of Connecticut and used at more than 2,500 schools. Among the features will be special mini-courses in particular subject areas, or “enrichment groups” for students interested in particular topics such as filmmaking or history. Projects could also include assigned time with a gifted-and-talented teacher to work on a research project or other special assignment.

One teacher in each school will be trained in the SEM program this summer.

Gifted and talented programs have been the subject of criticism for their lack of diversity. In other Washington area school systems, white students have been disproportionately represented. This is less likely to happen at Kelly Miller (Ward 7), where enrollment is 99 percent African American. Hardy is 82 percent African American and Hispanic.

The complete article is here.

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