As a school, we are always eager to talk about all the support we give to students when they are having a hard time in school. If they fall behind in reading, we can give them extra help within the day. If they are having a hard time getting along, or wrestling with anxiety, we connect them with professionals. But what about the kids who are doing well, and could be pushed to excel? What do we do for them? Teachers often neglect to share the fabulous activities they have for those students as well.
As a public school, we have seen terrible cuts over the last decade, and unfortunately, many cuts come from programs that were intended to challenge our most advanced students. It has fallen on the classroom teachers to make sure all students are getting what they need, despite having tremendous differences in the abilities of their students. Additionally, legislation requires that they focus on closing the achievement gap between struggling and on-level students. So what do they do?
Here at Peirce, they do quite a lot. From ‘Think Tanks’ to “Challenge of the Week” problems, teachers at every grade level are aiming to meet the needs of their advanced students. Sometimes, just getting through the broad curriculum they need to cover is challenge enough for even our strongest students.
If you aren’t sure what opportunities your child is receiving for challenge, ask your classroom teacher. If there isn’t enough time in your child’s busy school day, ask what you can do at home as well. Our teachers are full of creative ideas!