Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Project Arrow Identification at Brookdale

Project Arrow Program Identification

The PA Letters will come home on Friday. So, I imagine that many of you will be asking, "How does Brookdale make these decisions and what is PA anyway?"

All students benefit from differentiation of instruction and curriculum. Those who demonstrate potential far beyond that of their age level peers may need opportunities beyond the regular classroom. Indian Prairie School District considers multiple measures in PA placement decisions to ensure a student’s academic needs can best be met through the program’s curriculum and structure.

The identification process for the Project Arrow program occurs on an annual basis at each school. The criteria for placement are district-wide, we all use the exact same data for every student.  Specific assessment details and time lines can be found in the Opportunities for Academically Talented Students and the PA Identification Timeline documents which are also available on the District 204 website.

FALL: Screening and Initial Data Review
  • Administration of the Cognitive Abilities Tests to all students in Grades 2 and 5
  • Review of standardized test scores on file
  • Review of District assessments
  • Review of observational classroom data 

WINTER: Data Collection
  • Administration of additional ability and/or achievement tests for students whose prior standardized test scores or classroom performance falls within the top 10% of academic peers
  • Administration of the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test to all students in Grade 5
Review of:
  • Classroom assessments
  •  District assessments
  • Student artifacts
  • Teacher/Parent input 

SPRING: Data Analysis

  • Completion of Student Profile Worksheet where all the data is collected for a shared review by the academic team.
SPRING: Decision
  • Students whose profile score falls within the qualification range are recommended for the program. Parents will be notified of placement decisions by letter from the school.

  • Parents who receive a letter that their child has not been recommended for PA placement may contact the school’s Student Services Coordinator or the classroom teacher to discuss the results.

  • The final placement decision rests with the school academic team.
What do kids do in PA?
Project Arrow is an English Language Arts (ELA)  based enrichment program designed using standards that are at least one year above grade level.  The texts we read are typically two years above grade level, sometimes even higher, and the tasks students work on reflect a wide range of higher-level thinking skills and complexity that other age level peers would not be successful with.  At the beginning of next school year, Mr. Schumann will have a meeting for all new PA families to explain everything. 

Is there a difference between accelerated math and PA?

Project Arrow is a completely different program from accelerated math.  Project Arrow has an ELA curriculum, students leave their homeroom classes during a literacy learning block time, and the topics we learn about replace other literacy learning with materials and content that better meet the needs of academically talented students.  Accelerated math is taught by classroom teachers on the grade level teams when all math instruction for the grade level occurs, but at a year above age level peers. The accelerated math qualification protocol is unique to the program and is unrelated to Project Arrow.


What happens now that second grade Project Arrow has been replaced?

The second grade program is transitioning to a "Talent Development" model. This small group will will spend part of their day with Mr. Schumann working on literacy enrichment activities.  Students will be selected by the academic team at Brookdale using a variety of assessments similar to how students are selected for the PA program, but unlike PA, students will move in and out of the class during the school year.  Students in kindergarten and first grade will continue to have "Talent Development" with Mr. Schumann during the 2015-2016 school year.  

Welcome Back

So, it’s been a while friends, and the new school year awaits.  I’ve had a difficult and remarkable recovery from a horrible fall and severa...