GAP program for students expanding
The Gowan Achievement Project (GAP) program will be expanding at Rancho Viejo Elementary School and will also now be available for students at Salida del Sol Elementary School. â€¨In order to provide additional students with the opportunity to be a part of the program, there will be open enrollment at Rancho Viejo for the upcoming school year and also an establishment of a GAP program at Salida del Sol.
Previously, Rancho Viejo and Salida del Sol schools were only open to students within their attendance boundaries. Now, however, the schools have been opened up to other Crane students as well as the rest of the community.
In order to be a part of the GAP program, which is designed to offer students a more in-depth education, technology use, and a community of involved learners; students must meet or exceed the Arizona state standards. GAP is open to fourth, fifth and sixth grade students that attend Rancho Viejo who have exceeded the standards in math and meet the standards in other areas; and third grade students at Salida del Sol based on their SAT 10 Math and Reading scores.
Both Rancho Viejo and Salida del Sol will be implementing “Engineering is Elementary,” a supplementary Science program, which will also be used at the Gowan Science Academy.
Rancho Viejo Principal Norine Bowers said that the program has been very beneficial to aid the learning of students on their campus.
“They are able to move through curriculum faster and use critical thinking skills,” Bowers said. “In science they are able to participate in many hands-on activities and experiments. Recently new netbooks were purchased for each GAP classroom. We received 100 netbooks so each GAP student has one to use. With this technology they participate in ALS, which is a computer-based, self-paced curriculum. As students master their grade-level by completing work and passing assessments they can move up as far as eighth-grade. They also use the netbooks for various projects in each of the classes especially science.”
She also noted that students also attend field trips to state and out of state universities through the program.
Salida del Sol Principal Connie Jerpseth said that the addition of the GAP program to her campus will be a great resource for students at the top of their class.
“I think this additional program would benefit my students because those students that are advanced learners and ready to move at a faster pace will be able to as a whole class,” she said. “Right now those advanced learners are being challenged by the teacher providing differentiated instruction during lessons, learning stations, and walk-to-enrichment. All the classes in third grade will still be working on the same skills and standards, but the GAP classes will work on those skills using above grade level reading and real-world math problems corroboratively.”
Crane Superintendent Bob Klee said that at Centennial and Crane middle schools, where GAP is also offered, the rigor of the programs will be increasing.
Klee said that there will be a much stronger emphasis on this campuses on exploratory-type inquiry-based instruction and a much stronger emphasis on science and math as the core of the program.
“We're implementing a career-based exploratory program, it's a technology based program where kids will actually go in and work at different careers in science and technology so they'll have an opportunity to see what they're looking for, for college and careers.”
Staff will also undergo training on implementing a critical thinking and question model versus a typical stand a deliver type of instruction.
Visit ranchoviejo.craneschools.org or salidadelsol.craneschools.org for more information about the expansion of the programs at Rancho Viejo and Salida del Sol or call 373-3400. Schools are currently on Spring Break and offices will open back up on Friday, April 5.