Kingston Accelerated Learning Program (KALP) Overview
It is the purpose of KALP to develop the exceptional potential of every child by providing extensions for learning which afford opportunities to discover, experience and explore. Activities and opportunities are structured to assist students as learners and producers. The program builds upon unique abilities, talents, interests, and needs which will allow students to fulfill their potential to society. The program prepares students for the future while supporting the foundational education standards of New York State.
KALP is centered around enrichment learning and teaching. The programs include a systematic set of strategies designed to promote active engagement in learning on the parts of both teachers and students. The approach strives to do the opposite from traditional, didactic teaching. Four principles define this concept:
- Each learner is unique. Therefore, all learning experiences must take into account the abilities, interests, and learning styles of the individual.
- Learning is more effective when students enjoy what they’re doing. Therefore, learning experiences should be designed and assessed with as much concern for enjoyment as for other goals.
- Learning is more meaningful and enjoyable when content and process are learned within the context of a real problem, when students use authentic methods to address the problem, and when they want to have an impact on a real audience.
- Enrichment learning and teaching focus on enhancing knowledge and acquiring thinking skills.
- Applications of knowledge and skills must supplement formal instruction.
Kingston Accelerated Learning Program (KALP)
Students will be able to:
Demonstrate convergent as well as divergent thinking and behaviors
Develop goals related to thinking and ability to define the outcome of an activity or project
Develop positive self-concept and peer relations while working cooperatively and independently
Demonstrate affective thinking and behaviors
Utilize proper research methods
Demonstrate responsibility for completion of related tasks for a project
There are two types of KALP programs; Discoveries and Explorations
General enrichment activities that are purposefully designed to expose students to a wide variety of disciplines, topics, occupations, and events not normally covered in the regular curriculum.
Discoveries will be offered in all elementary schools for students in grades 2-4.
In each school, Discoveries topics will be determined by the instructors and facilitators.
Enrollment is open to all students.
Class size is limited, students will be enrolled based on a first come/first serve basis.
Investigative activities and artistic productions in which the learner assumes the role of firsthand inquirer for students in grades 4-7.
Instructors provide direction, support, and skill training.
Eligibility is determined by the benchmark score on the formal screening for cognitive ability
KALP Explorations Eligibility:
The development of ability or talent is a lifelong process. It can be evident in young children as exceptional performance on tests and/or other measures of ability or as a rapid rate of learning, compared to other students of the same age, or in actual achievement in a domain. A few characteristics can signal to a professional that a young child might be gifted. There are behaviors that can be observed indicating when a child’s thinking or learning is advanced. Examples include:
1. early development of language
2. abstract thinking
3. strong memory
4. a capacity to focus and concentrate on tasks of interest
5. intellectual curiosity
6. a strong motivation to learn
All children in the Kingston City School District are formally screened for gifted and talented abilities as required by the New York State Education Department. The NYSED (Chapter 740 of the Laws of 1982) defines gifted pupils as "pupils who show evidence of high performance capability and exceptional potential in areas such as general intellectual ability, special academic aptitude and outstanding ability in visual and performing arts. Such definition shall include those pupils who require educational programs or services beyond those normally provided by the regular school program in order to realize their full potential."
Explorations Participation and Review Criteria
Students in Explorations will be expected to participate in the program as active learners and problem solvers. Students will identify the topic/project of interest and work independently or in a team to research the topic and develop a product. They will use research skills and technological resources to support their individual learning.
Evaluation of the Programs
Students and Instructors will evaluate all KALP programs (Discoveries & Explorations) and the end of the programs. Students may be required to maintain a journal of their experiences to be reviewed periodically by instructors. Program evaluations will be used to plan for future programs and/or to determine student participation. KALP Explorations instructors will facilitate an ‘Expo’ to showcase students’ projects at the end of the program.