ALP (Accelerated Learner Program)
The ALP (Accelerated Learner Program) services approximately 100 students from grades 2-6 and is designed as an enrichment program for students who would benefit from more challenging academic activities. Students are pulled from the mainstream classroom for 30-45 minutes of small group instruction once per week, in the areas of reading and/or math.
How are students selected for the program?
The decision to invite a student to ALP comes from NWEA MAP reading and math scores, MCA II reading and math scores, and teacher observations. If a student is considered borderline from the above measures, the SAGES-2 (Screening Assessment for Gifted Elementary and Middle School Students) and/or TOMAGS (Test of Mathematical Abilities for Gifted Students) tests are administered. Lastly, a signed parent permission slip is required.
What do the students do in ALP reading?
The program is heavily student-led (based on an interest inventory given each fall), so activities vary each year. Some examples from the past include: writing non-fiction books, solving lateral thinking puzzles, reading and discussing books, interpreting poetry, writing a school newspaper, playing language games, going on webquests, writing creatively, discovering multiple intelligences, writing/filming/editing a movie, having philosophical discussions, and solving word puzzles. The students in 5th & 6th grade ALP are entered into a WordMasters competition each year as well, a national analogy-solving contest using higher-level vocabulary.
What do the students do in ALP math?
As a general rule, ALP math is meant to be a more challenging extension of the mainstream curriculum, following parallel to those major concepts throughout the year. However, we also have time for origami, brainteasers, math games, lateral thinking puzzles, multiple intelligences, tangrams, and other advanced math concepts. 6th grade students are also entered into the Math Olympiads contest, given worldwide.
Both groups will also experience live videoconferencing with other students around the country and globe.
I welcome any questions or comments you have about Milaca’s ALP program—feel free to contact me anytime.
Valerie Anderson, ELL/ALP