The role of the Academic Enrichment Program is to enhance the educational experiences of all GSES students. The Academic Enrichment team reinforces classroom instruction in a variety of ways. At the beginning of each year, classroom teachers work with Academic Enrichment teachers to develop an individual MAP for each student. The MAP is both a snapshot and a guide, designed to create a picture of each student and to provide goals for his or her learning during the school year. The MAP is written as a collaborative effort between teachers and the Academic Enrichment team, and parents’ input is welcome. The MAP is sent home to parents at the beginning of the year for their comments and then signed and returned to school.
In Lower School, grades kindergarten through fifth, Academic Enrichment teachers provide support and enrichment within whole classes or with small groups of students. Students may need extra time and additional instruction in order to master skills and concepts, and Academic Enrichment teachers provide guided activities to reinforce and practice topics presented in the classroom. Students may also be ready for extra challenges within a subject area, and Academic Enrichment teachers create lessons to extend and deepen learning.
In Middle School, each grade has two dedicated Academic Enrichment class periods each week during which time students learn in small groups and one-on-one with Academic Enrichment teachers as needed. Academic Enrichment class time focuses on study skills, organization, and test preparation, as well as supporting and extending classroom instruction. Academic Enrichment teachers also assist in core classes as needed throughout the week. Eighth graders explore secondary school options, practice taking school entrance tests, and create resumes. The Academic Enrichment transition coordinator works with eighth graders and their families to prepare for their transition to high school. During the third trimester, the process of looking toward high schools begins for the seventh graders. In addition, an Academic Enrichment teacher is available each morning for any middle school student who needs help with classwork, homework, or test preparation.
The Academic Enrichment team also manages standardized assessments. Testing at GSES is completed in the spring, and typically focuses on grades 1, 3, 5, and 7. The goal is to track student progress, without over-testing or losing valuable instructional time. Assessments are undertaken in a combination of group and individual formats. Academic Enrichment teachers work with parents to understand their child’s progress, strengths, and challenges. This may include facilitating a student’s work with a tutor or therapist employed outside the school.