The Advanced Academic Programs at Cunningham Park provide challenging learning experiences that are designed to meet the unique learning profile of a broad range of advanced learners. Through a continuum of opportunities, students engage in a complex subject matter, preparing them for more challenging and rigorous classes as they advance in grade level. Children identified for FCPS advanced academic services exhibit exceptional performance capability in academic, intellectual, and creative endeavors. In order to meet their needs and develop to their potential, these learners require a differentiated curriculum.
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Continuum of Advanced Academic Service Young Scholars, K-12 (All Levels) Young Scholars is designed to find and nurture advanced academic potential in students from historically underrepresented populations. Curricular interventions and support are provided through the collaboration of the classroom teacher and the advanced academic resource teacher. As students’ progress through elementary and secondary school, continuing support and opportunities for accessing rigorous coursework are provided by school staff. Critical and Creative Thinking Strategies, Grades K-6 (Level I) The advanced academic resource teacher and classroom teachers teach nine higher order thinking strategies across all subject areas and grade levels. The strategies are embedded in lessons that incorporate 21st Century thinking skills and extend and enrich the Program of Studies (POS) for all learners. Student responses to the lessons are also used to collect evidence of advanced academic potential in order to ensure equity and increase access to advanced academic programs. Differentiated Lessons in Areas of Academic Strength, Grades K-6 (Level II) Differentiated lessons are offered to students in areas of specific academic strength. The advanced academic resource teacher collaborates with classroom teachers to provide additional challenge through resources that extend and enrich the FCPS Program of Studies. Part-Time Advanced Academic Program, Grades 3-6 (Level III) Students identified by a local school screening committee for advanced academic services (Level III) are challenged through models and strategies designed to extend and enrich the POS in the four core subject areas. Students receive direct instruction from the advanced academic resource teacher in one or more areas of academic strength at their local schools. Full-Time Advanced Academic Program, Grades 3-8 (Level IV) Students found eligible for placement in a full-time Advanced Academic Program (Level IV) through a central selection process receive a highly challenging instructional program in the four core subject areas. The Level IV program is designed to meet the needs of advanced learners with a strong emphasis on higher level thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making. Students have ongoing opportunities for reflection and self-assessment that develop an understanding of the characteristics, demands, and responsibilities of advanced intellectual development.