K-2: Young Scholars serves students in kindergarten through second grade. Identified students will engage in a pull-out enrichment program where they will have the opportunity to work with intellectual peers in a rigorous environment of discovery and exploration. The context of the enrichment will be literature and science, with an emphasis on vocabulary and the scientific process. The enrichment model allows for multi-age grouping and intellectual peer socialization.
The learning activities in the Young Scholars Program are designed for highly capable students. The activities extend basic skills and supplement regular classwork. In the Young Scholars Program, students study patterns in language and learn about the world around them through science topics. The activities help students develop a rich vocabulary, comprehend non-fiction text, and encourage them to think deeply. The multi-age grouping gives students a chance to work with other students who have similar learning needs.
3-6: QUEST serves highly capable students in grades three through six at eight elementary sites in the Puyallup School District. Regional QUEST classrooms are multi-age classrooms. Each of the host schools has a 3rd / 4th grade classroom and a 5th / 6th grade classroom.
The QUEST classroom features specialized curriculum and instruction for highly capable students. The self-contained QUEST classrooms are differentiated by an increased intellectual rigor, accelerated pacing, an expectation of early content mastery, greater depth, and exploration of content with structured inquiry. Students experience a two-year rotating curriculum designed for highly capable learners, which is at least one year above grade level.
Highly capable students are students who perform or show potential for performing at significantly advanced academic levels when compared with others of their age, experiences, or environments. Outstanding abilities are seen within students' general intellectual aptitudes, specific academic abilities, and/or creative productivities within a specific domain. These students are present not only in the general populace, but are present within all protected classes. Students who are highly capable may possess, but are not limited to, these learning characteristics:
- Capacity to learn with unusual depth of understanding, to retain what has been learned, and to transfer learning to new situations;
- Capacity and willingness to deal with increasing levels of abstraction and complexity earlier than their chronological peers;
- Creative ability to make unusual connections among ideas and concepts;
- Ability to learn quickly in their area(s) of intellectual strength; and
- Capacity for intense concentration and/or focus.