Frequently Asked Questions About the
Gifted and Talented Program at Scholars Academy
How does the program work?
Once a week the students in grades 1-5 who meet the criteria for the program are bused to Scholars Academy located at the former Mt. Carmel School for a full day of instruction. There are approximately 40-50 students daily attending Scholars Academy. The students eat breakfast and have their attendance taken at their home school. Then they are transported to Scholars Academy for the GT program. They are bused back to their home school for dismissal.
What are the areas of study at Scholars Academy?
The instruction at Scholars Academy is project-based and interdisciplinary. Students are involved with on-going in-depth study projects throughout the three classes they attend- Math, Science, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). The projects are carefully designed by the Scholars Academy teachers to provide in-depth studies of a variety of content areas and involving the exploration of grade-level skills.
What time do the students leave and return to their home school?
The bus arrives at the home school between 8:30-8:50 a.m. Students arrive at Scholars Academy around 9:00 a.m. and leave at 2:30 pm. They are bused back to their home school for dismissal.
What happens when students are late to school the day they go to Scholars Academy?
The district does not provide transportation for students who are late, however, their parent or guardian can bring the child to Scholars Academy once they check-in at their home school. The child will be dismissed from Scholars Academy as usual with district transportation.
What days do the students go to Scholars Academy?
1st and 2nd grades
Are the students that attend Scholars Academy responsible for the classwork they missed and the homework that was assigned that day?
Students are NOT required to make up any classwork on the day they attend Scholars Academy but ARE required to complete the assigned homework for that day.
Do the GT teachers at Scholars Academy assign homework to the students?
As students are working on long term and on-going in-depth study projects, specific homework is not assigned, however, extension activities are provided for students which are posted on the teachers’ websites. It is the expectation that students who attend the GT program be provided the opportunity to explore their topics and projects between weekly sessions through the use of extension activities.
What if students miss a test that is given or a new topic is introduced on the day they attend Scholars Academy?
It is the expectation that tests or new topics are not introduced on Scholars Academy days. These days are used at home schools to provide time for more intensive reinforcement of skills taught.
Is there a way for other students to join as the year goes on?
Each year students who meet the criteria are eligible to attend Scholars Academy. Once a student is accepted, they do not need to be recommended again the following year but must meet the ongoing Scholars Academy contract. Applications are posted online and shared with the school liaisons in April. Applications are due by May. The NNAT3 is administered late May/early June. All applicants will be notified about their status before the school year is over via letter to their home schools.
Can a student exit the Gifted and Talented Program?
If the program does not meet the needs of the student, a meeting will occur between the Scholars Academy student, teachers, and administration. After careful consideration, if the program is not to the advantage of the student, the parent/guardian will conference with the Scholars Academy team and the student to decide on the best academic situation for the student. Students must continue to maintain at least a B average in all classes at their home school to continue in the program. If academic grades begin to fall, a parent-teacher-administration meeting will occur in the best interest of the student’s academic success. Once a student exits the program, they will have to reapply should they want to be in the program again.
How are students graded in the Gifted and Talented program?
A progress report from Scholars Academy is distributed twice a year: After the 2nd marking period and at the end of the year. Assessment is based on a rubric designed for specific projects and based on Common Core Standards and National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) standards. Students are expected to reflect on their learning process and include that information on their progress reports. Parent-teacher conferences are always available with Scholars Academy staff. Appointments are necessary to ensure the proper time and attention is given to the family.
How does communication work between the teachers at each home school and the teachers at Scholars Academy?
The Scholars Academy teachers have professional development with their colleagues throughout the district. Home school teachers will reach out to Scholars Administration with questions or concerns regarding mutual students to support the students. Grade level skills taught at the home school are reinforced and expanded thought the in-depth study projects at Scholars Academy.
What is the administration of the GT program at Scholars Academy?
A full-time Principal, Administrative Assistant, and Security Guard are assigned to Scholars Academy. A nurse works directly with the program to provide any necessary medical support.
Please visit the Scholars Academy website at https://www.orange.k12.nj.us/Page/11866 for more information.