District Begins New Student-Enrichment Program

District Begins New Student-Enrichment Program
Posted on 03/21/2022
BPS

Bloomfield Public Schools has launched a Talented and Gifted program that will provide more rigor and advanced content to selected students in grades 4-8.

District and school leaders have been discussing the viability of such a program for several months, as part of last year’s community conversations that defined a Portrait of a Graduate in Bloomfield.

Key characteristics for a successful graduate were identified, including:

  • Critical thinkers
  • Communicators
  • Problem Solvers
  • Adaptability

The Talented & Gifted program is an extension of those community conversations.

 “We see this program as a transformative new initiative for our district,” said Bloomfield Schools Superintendent Dr. James Thompson, Jr. “It will further stretch the capacity of students to reach their full potential.”

Bloomfield’s enrichment-learning program will be modeled after one created at the University of Connecticut by Dr. Joseph Renzulli and his partner Dr. Sally Reis. Both are world renowned for their work in advanced-education models for developing students. Their student-development programs feature small group instruction, as well as curriculum-based, classroom-enrichment activities. These elements allow students to explore their creativity, experience advanced-level content, identify areas of interest and enhance critical thinking and problem-solving.

“The Talented and Gifted program being implemented in Bloomfield is another example of opportunities being provided to our students to help them become more productive members of our community,’’ said Bloomfield Board of Education Chairman Donald Harris.

The district will be working closely with Dr. Nancy Eastlake - a consultant from UConn’s Renzulli Center for Creativity, Gifted Education and Talent Development – in implementing the initiative.

In describing the program’s potential for substantive growth that can eventually reach all students, Dr. Renzulli has used the metaphor “a rising tide lifts all ships”.

Current grade 4-8 students have been selected based on results from standardized tests that measure reasoning skills; past academic data; and teacher recommendations. Grade 3 students will be assessed and nominated later this spring.

Thompson noted that the district has other ambitious goals for the 2022 year, including:

  • Expanding the pre-school opportunities for Bloomfield parents.
  • Advancing the district’s work to provide more culturally relevant teaching and learning in the curriculum.

“Despite the challenges of a pandemic, we have kept our focus on improving the quality of classroom instruction, engaging students in critical thinking, problem-solving and personal development,” Thompson said. “This new program is expected to be an impactful one for our district.”

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