Academically Talented Program
Kalamazoo Public Schools offer special language arts and mathematics programming for students in grades 2-12 who are "exceptional in their abilities to grasp concepts, symbols and ideas and have potential for high performance in academic areas." Students are identified for this programming through a series of specific procedures including cognitive abilities testing, basic skills testing, and classroom performance assessment. These students require educational programs and/or services beyond those normally provided by the regular school program.
The A/T program consists of various services. Identified students in the grade 2 Soar program are grouped for small instruction in a focused group within the regular classroom. Students in the grade 3 Soar Program and the grade 4-5 Explore Program are provided both in-class acceleration and cluster (pull-out) instruction in mathematics and/or language arts. Another component of the A/T program is Avant-Garde, a pull-out program for fifth and sixth grade students who have demonstrated a need for radical acceleration. Students in Avant-Garde meet one day per week with A/T instructional specialists and also are provided in-class acceleration and enrichment.
At the middle school level, A/T takes the form of advanced classes in mathematics and English. At the high school level, students take advanced classes in mathematics, English, science, and social studies. Advanced Placement classes and dual enrollment opportunities are also available.
Other programs available to KPS students who excel in academic areas of mathematics, language arts, and/or science and meet the entrance requirements include ATYP and the Kalamazoo Mathematics and Science Center (KAMSC).
Philosophy and Rationale
Federal and state constitutions and statutes imply overriding educational rights for all children. These rights include individual, self-actualization, healthy self-concept, and realistic self-under standing. KPS supports these educational rights as demonstrated in its mission statement, beliefs, and parameters. Special programs for academically talented students are a direct consequence of the organizational mission which envisions an "educational system characterized by the highest academic achievement for all students; the development or the unique talents and abilities of each person; and unlimited opportunities for all…"