All About ALP
Quarterly Updates for Advanced Learning Program Parents
Reading and Writing
The 90-minute Elementary ALP Humanities time now consists of Reading and Writing. Students will join their homeroom classmates for social studies instruction. All ALP curriculum documents, instructional materials, and lesson plans have been updated to reflect the removal of social studies from the humanities block.
Middle School ALP English consists of a parallel course of study to the general education class with a deeper investigation of the content. The new 6-8 general education reading lessons and instructional materials were updated to bolster the ALP teaching and learning.
This year, Elementary Science instruction has a dedicated 30-minute block three times a week. In the summer of 2022, curricular extensions were created that elaborate on current ALP Science lessons. Students in ALP Science will participate in hands-on engineering lab challenges and projects. ALP Science enrichments and assessments are specifically designed to support student success on Grade 5 NGSS test as well as prepare students for Grade 6 Advanced Science.
During the 2022-2023 school year, middle-level advanced students are taught in a separate section from their on-level peers. To accommodate this return to pre-COVID norm, during the summer of 2022, student guides and assessments for on-level and advanced students were delineated. Furthermore, as directed by the Board, and promised during the January 2022 K-8 STEM report, students have one additional STEM Experience unit in Grade 6, and two additional STEM Experience units in Grade 7. Eighth-grade advanced science students work to gain mastery of six additional high school level performance expectations.
Special Topic - ALP Placement
Shifts for the 22-23 School year
By mining existing district data, we have eliminated testing redundancies so this year the following changes have been made:
- The embedded Math, ELA, and Science performance tasks in the general education curriculum will be used in lieu of additional performance task testing for students entering third, fourth or fifth grade.
- No additional placement assessments will be given for students entering sixth grade.
Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT)
Greenwich is returning to the pre-COVID best practice of giving all Grade 2 students the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) in October in advance of ALP Enrichment placement. Because these abilities are closely related to an individual’s success in school in virtually all subjects, data gathered from the CogAT is included as one aspect of the multiple measures which help the staff make decisions regarding students’ instructional needs.
More information regarding the CoGAT Assessment is available here.
Referral, Assessment and Placement
All students shall go through at least the initial screening for the Advanced Learning Program. A combination of subjective and objective data is considered during the ALP screening process. We call this their body of evidence.
The referral process in grades 2-5 is broken down into three tiers:
- In tier 1: Students in grades 2-5 are first flagged as potentially needing an advanced program by a review of academic performance on assessments given at a district level.
- In tier 2: Students who are doing well in their classroom on a daily basis are referred for additional testing by their teachers.
- In tier 3: Parents are invited to refer their child based on what they see outside of school. At the beginning of the parent referral window, a form is emailed to all parents and is also available on the district ALP website.
It does not matter at which tier a student is referred, all students are considered equally.
Greenwich uses three types of assessments to paint a precise picture of who the student is:
- Aptitude (CoGAT)
- Achievement (NWEA)
- Qualitative (Performance Task)
Aptitude and Qualitative assessments are embedded into the general education program.
Above grade-level achievement is assessed using the NWEA Reading, Math, and/or Science assessments (depending upon referral subject(s)). More information about the NWEA can be found here.
Students' scores on the CogAT and NWEA are analyzed using a “Z-score.” This statistical calculation explains how a student performs in relation to the class, school, and district average.
Once this is done, a score profile is created for every student.
Students are recommended for ALP placement if their average Z-score places within:
Top 10% of District Achievement or
Top 10% of Building Achievement
All score profiles are also reviewed by a group of teachers, administrators, and members of the ALP leadership team at what we call a Building Advisory Committee. The team conducts a comprehensive review of each child’s record and performance during the evaluation in order to make final placement decisions. The final decision is based on a combination of objective test data performance and subjective judgment. All selection decisions reflect the best professional judgment of the committee to determine how the best way to meet each child’s individual needs.
It is important to remember that children develop at different rates and that strengths emerge at different times and points during a student’s school career. For this reason, we provide rigorous on-grade level core content classes designed to foster critical thinking and skills of a range of students, and we offer multiple entry points into accelerated classes over the course of a student’s K-12 learning/academic experience in the Greenwich Public Schools.
Timelines and Important Dates
Grade 2 Enrichment for 22-23 School Year
Grade 2 ALP Enrichment Q&A for Parents
- November 15, 2022
Grade 2 ALP Enrichment Parent Referral Window
- November 7 - November 18, 2022
Grade 2 ALP Enrichment Parent Input for the Building Advisory Committee must be received by:
- December 9, 2022
Grade 2 ALP Enrichment Placement Recommendation Notifications
- January 3, 2023
Middle School Placement for the 23-24 School Year
Middle School Transition Q&A for Parents
- January 9, 2023
Parent Input for the Building Advisory Committee must be received by:
- February 10, 2023
Middle School Placement Recommendation for the 23-24 School year Notifications
- March 10, 2023
Elementary ALP Placement for the 23-24 School Year
Elementary ALP Q&A for Parents
- March 7, 2023
Elementary ALP Parent Referral Window
- March 3 - March 17, 2023
Elementary ALP Parent Input for the Building Advisory Committee must be received by:
- April 7, 2023
Elementary ALP Placement Recommendation for the 23-24 School year Notifications
- May 5, 2023
Dates to Know
ALP: BOE Update
Thursday, Oct. 20th 2022 at 7pm
9 Indian Rock Lane
Save the date! The Advanced Learning Leadership Team will be presenting to the Greenwich Board of Education on Thursday, October 20. The meeting is at Central Middle School, but is also available virtually on Zoom.
Grade 2: Enrichment Placement Information Sessions
Save the date! Virtual meeting to discuss placement process for Advanced Studies for Grade 2 Enrichment. More information, including links, is forthcoming. To better accommodate parent schedules, we will present the information twice. You will be invited to attend one session.
- November 15 at 9:30 AM and 7:00 PM
Grade 5: Middle School Advanced Studies Information Sessions
Save the date! Virtual meeting to discuss placement process for Advanced Studies in Grades 6-8. More information, including links, is forthcoming. To better accommodate parent schedules, we will present the information twice. You will be invited to attend one session.
- January 17 at 9:30 AM and 7:00 PM
Elementary ALP Information Sessions
Save the date! Virtual meeting to discuss placement process for Advanced Studies for Elementary ALP for the 23-24 School Year. More information, including links, is forthcoming. To better accommodate parent schedules, we will present the information twice. You will be invited to attend one session.
- March 7 at 9:30 AM and 7:00 PM
ALP Leadership Team
This year, we welcome a new member to our ALP Leadership Team, Kimberly Paladino, our district's K-8 English Language Arts Coordinator. We work together in support of our advanced students. Our administrator content area curriculum coordinators work alongside ALP facilitator, Bonnie O'Regan to create a cohesive experience for our students.