Elementary PACE & Enrichment Opportunities

Elementary PACE & Enrichment Opportunities

What is Elementary Enrichment?

The elementary enrichment program was developed to provide engaging extensions of grade-level curriculum that encourage students in grades 1-5 to explore, discover and create various projects. Students are nominated by their teacher based on the students’ strengths and interests. Students can be nominated several times throughout the year. This model allows for nearly every student to be engaged in enrichment activities throughout the school year. Students attend enrichment sessions during their scheduled RtI block so they do not miss primary instruction. Students in PACE typically do not attend enrichment sessions.

Grades 1 – 5 Elementary Enrichment

  • 3-8 week mini-units which reinforce classroom curriculum
  • Occurs during the RtI block to avoid missing primary instruction
  • Available to all students in rotations throughout the year
  • No formal selection process, teachers choose students to participate in specific sessions
  • Students are grouped based on style of learning and/or skill set
  • Generally 12-15 students per unit

What is Elementary PACE?

The Elementary PACE program provides highly-motivated and highly-abled students the opportunity to meet weekly as a unified group as they participate in a year-long, thematic, project-based program.  Throughout the course of the year, students are given multiple challenges where they must strategically problem solve and research, design, build, and test engineering solutions to real world problems (i.e. water filters, shelters, boats).  Students are expected to read a novel and write descriptive and argumentative pieces that are carefully aligned with the curriculum’s theme of the year (changes yearly). Students are expected to work independently on all reading and writing assignments but the importance of teamwork and positive collaboration is emphasized during STEAM projects.  Selection is determined by teacher recommendation along with a battery of national, state and local assessments.

Grades 4 & 5 PACE

  • Year-long integrated thematic project incorporating ELA and STEAM topics
  • Increase in depth and rigor of the grade 4 and 5 classroom curriculum
  • Focus on problem solving process and strategies and teamwork
  • Occurs during the RtI block to avoid missing primary instruction
  • Formal Selection process requiring Parent/Teacher nomination and standardized assessment criteria (CogAT, State Assessments, iReady Scores)

Nomination & Selection Requirements for Elementary PACE

Expectations include a strong work ethic, regular homework completion, and above average effort, and class participation in all courses.

Flexibility of Opportunity

The BH-BL academic departments recognize that all children do not develop at the same rate.  Some children may be ready for higher-order thinking skills and more difficult concepts much earlier or much later than their peers.  Therefore, the department(s) constantly monitors the progress of all students. If it is determined that a student would be better served or challenged in another program, the parent will be contacted and the placement process will be initiated.

We also have provisions for new students entering the district.  Upon entrance, a committee reviews the records and an appropriate placement is made.  Each new student is monitored very closely to ensure placement is accurate.

It is our goal to meet the needs of and challenge each and every student.  We will do our best to work with you to see that your child’s needs are accurately and appropriately met.

Current Grade 3 & 4 students: A parent and/or teacher nomination is required for any student to be considered for PACE in grades 4 and 5.

Students are accepted into elementary PACE through a review of their performance on standardized assessments and teacher recommendations.

Student Profile (Teacher Recommendation): Each grade-level team of teachers will evaluate their recommended students by completing a Google Form considering the following areas for each student.  After initial selections are made based on this Student Profile, grade-level teams will again be consulted to determine the final constituency of the program with consideration of the Student Assessment Profile (see below).

Complete the following Student Profile items with:

4=above grade-level expectations | 3=meets grade-level expectations | 2=meets grade-level expectations with assistance | 1=below grade-level expectations

  • Fulfills responsibilities (Both at home and at school)
  • Works both independently and collaboratively
  • Demonstrates effort and interest across subject areas
  • Demonstrates classroom behavior, leadership potential, and participation
  • Performance on assignments, larger projects, and classroom assessments

Student Assessment Profile:  Assessments are an objective measure of student performance and potential for academic growth.  While no specific benchmark is used for selection, results on the CogAT and NYS ELA and Math are used when determinations need to be made due to limited space in the program.  The iREADY profile is also considered when the other assessments do not yield a clear determination.

  • Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT):  The CogAT is currently given in the fall of 3rd and 5th grade.  This test is a predictor of school ability and tests student aptitude in verbal, nonverbal and quantitative areas.
  • NYS ELA & Math Assessments:  The NYS exams are administered in the second half of the school year. These exams assess attainment of the standards in particular areas of ELA and math.
  • iReady Assessments:  The iReady Diagnostic is administered three times throughout the school year. It is an adaptive assessment for math and reading that adjusts its questions to suit students’ needs based on previous responses.