In the spring of 2015, Abbotts Hill Elementary School piloted enrichment cluster activities based on Dr. Joseph Renzulli's Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM) framework. SEM is not intended to replace or minimize existing services to high achieving students. Rather, its purpose is to provide enriched learning experiences and higher standards for ALL children through three goals: developing talents in all children, providing a broad range of advanced level enrichment experiences for all students, and providing follow-up advanced learning for children based on interests. The SEM emphasizes engagement and the use of enjoyable and challenging learning experiences created around students' interests and learning styles.
Within our SEM pilot, faculty members developed enrichment cluster topics. Students then participated in each of the activities. During the 2015-2016 school year, we are working to extend our SEM program to provide a broad range of learning opportunities that are designed to promote high levels of achievement, creative productivity, motivation, and respect for the uniqueness of each student. All students will participate in type I and type II enrichment activities and we will provide opportunities for talent pool students to participate in type III enrichment activities.
Type I Enrichment activities are general exploring experiences to get students interested in a particular topic.
Type II Enrichment activities provide group training, they let students practice the skills and acquire the knowledge they will need to successfully conduct their own activities.
Type III Enrichment activities are individual or small group investigations of real problems based on students interests and skills with the aim to produce a product for real audiences.
"A rising tide lifts all ships ... the main focus of the Schoolwide Enrichment Model is to apply the pedagogy of gifted education to total school improvement. All students, from struggling learners to our most advanced students do better in an atmosphere that values diversity among fellow students' talent areas and unique strengths, and a broad range of learning options that are designed to promote high levels of achievement, creative productivity, motivation, and respect for the uniqueness of each student."
- Dr. Joseph Renzulli