This mission of the QUEST Program is to provide various types and levels of enrichment opportunities for SJRCS students – recognizing that all children are gifted and talented in some areas. Parents and teachers are the “power source” that can support and encourage gifted behaviors in students. The student’s classroom teacher, in collaboration with the QUEST specialist and parents/guardians, will determine which resources best meet students’ needs.
St. John Regional Catholic School’s QUEST enrichment program began in 1991 and was based on the Renzulli School-wide Enrichment model. The model was developed in 1977 by Dr. Joseph Renzulli, professor of educational psychology at the University of Connecticut and Director of the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented.
The School-wide Enrichment Model recognizes that all children are gifted and talented in some areas. As appropriate, classroom teachers will provide some level of differentiated instruction for students. QUEST specialists, working in conjunction with classroom teachers, will provide enrichment resources.
The definition of gifted behavior emphasizes the relationship among above average ability, high levels of creativity, and strong task commitment. Where these traits come together and overlap, gifted behavior occurs. Students who possess, or are capable of developing these composite set of traits, can be served by the school-wide enrichment model.
QUEST seeks to provide various types and levels of enrichment to students by:
Integrating enrichment activities and programs with regular classroom materials and assignments. (Classroom teacher and QUEST Specialist)
Providing students with opportunities to extend learning in many varied directions.
Types Of Enrichment
Under the direction of a team of part-time enrichment resource specialists, students may experience three specific types of activities designed to enrich and extend the regular curriculum:
Type I enrichment experiences and activities consist of general exploratory experiences designed to give all students some opportunity for enrichment. These activities are aimed at exposing students to new and exciting topics, ideas, and fields of interest not usually covered in the curriculum. This may be done by class, by grade level or by interest area. Type I tries to find out “What lights you up?” and can provide stimulus for Type III research. A learning lunch program is an example of a Type I activity. Throughout the year, a variety of programs are presented during the lunch period. Students choose, based on interest in the subject matter, whether or not to attend.
Type II enrichment consists of “How To” training and involves cooperation of the QUEST Team with classroom teachers in providing instructional methods and materials to promote the development of mental and emotional processes, including critical inquiry, problem solving, and divergent, creative thinking. Type II instruction may include classroom sessions on Research Methods, study skills, Learning Styles Assessment (Cap Sol), Thinking Hats and Lateral Thinking Skills developed by de Bono. An example of Type II enrichment is the Junior Great Books Program.
Type III enrichment activities include individual or group investigations and/or research of an area of interest. Type III activities lead students to acquire an advanced level understanding of the knowledge and methodology used within a particular field of study or artistic area of expression, while also developing feelings of self confidence and creative accomplishment. These types of activities are usually conducted during class time, whereby a student can “buy” time by compacting a particular academic subject area. The end result is a product which will have an impact on a real world audience. Students interested in pursuing a Type III learning activity should contact a QUEST Specialist.
How can you help?
QUEST relies on volunteer support from within the community. If you have talents or expertise you would be willing to share with the students, or if you can give the gift of your time to assist QUEST, please contact the QUEST Team at:
Type I Enrichment Opportunities: Learning Lunch Programs and Fairs
Approximately two to three Learning Lunch Programs are offered each month during the school year for various grade levels. An average of 25 students attend a learning lunch which they sign-up for based on their interest in the topic.
Fairs of various themes (Art & Architecture, Science-Technology-Engineering & Math) can be offered to large groups of students. Students, in small groups, spend one period meeting and talking with 3 people who represent some aspect of the Fair theme. A Vocations Fair was held in 2009 and a Career Fair was held on March 4th, 2011 for all students in grades 4-8.
Pigskin Geography Contest Program
Type II Enrichment Opportunities: Junior Great Books, Math Enrichment Bags, Study Skills
Junior Great Books, supported by parent volunteers, is offered in grades K-3. Books are available for upper grades and parent facilitators can be made available if teachers desire to utilize this program. The Junior Great Books program is intended for the top reading group in each class (teacher/Quest teacher to agree on group).
Math Enrichment Bags are available for 2nd grade classrooms and are designed to be used by students who have mastered classroom work and need additional challenge. Bags are math related but may include literature sources related to various math topics.
Study skills program is available in response to teacher request.
Frederick News Post Media Core student reporters at The Great Frederick Fair Magic Tree House reading group Middle School Academic Team
Type III Enrichment Opportunities: Individual and Small Group Investigations
This type of enrichment opportunity allows students to test out of their regular classroom curriculum (with a Grade of A or A+) and investigate another area of interest. The investigation must result in a product which will have an impact on a real world audience. Students interested in pursuing a Type III enrichment activity should contact a Quest Teacher. An example of Type III Enrichment Opportunities would be “Clusters”, which are offered monthly to all students in grades 5-8.