Cedar Springs School District staff is committed to rigorous academic experiences and appropriate challenge for all students. We work together with students, parents, teachers, and administrators to provide the appropriate level and depth of differentiation and/or acceleration so that each student can strive towards his or her potential.
We have three levels of service to ensure that we meet the needs of students that are not only the very gifted members of our student population, typically the top 1-2% of a student body, but also students that may be performing a year or more ahead of grade level.
In our district, we use the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT, which is an aptitude test) as well as M-Step data (state achievement test data) to provide tiers of support for each level of student academic performance. Students qualify for services after 3rd and/or 6th grade CogAT testing is paired with M-Step data to determine eligibility. Qualifying students receive a letter in May of each year.
Students in this tier qualify for classroom differentiation based upon their M-Step scores and teacher data. Staff members meet these students needs by placing each learner into advanced literature circles, challenging content area reading materials and extensions provided through our Math in Focus Curriculum or early entrance to higher level math. Families that have children at this level also qualify to take the optional Explore or PSAT test to determine if they qualify for additional programming through NUMATS.
Students in this tier qualify for cluster grouping with a teacher and are provided an Advanced Learning Plan (ALP) to ensure not only the examples listed in Tier One occur, but a strategic plan is in place and communicated with parents at conferences. Additional resources are utilized for students at this level, such as differentiated content area literacy materials or the National Association of Gifted Children's Award Winning Project 3M Units. Students qualify for an ALP in Literacy, Math or both depending on their scores.