Enrichment Opportunities at SAP
To accomplish our goal of providing enrichment opportunities for every student, classroom and specialist teachers offer challenging learning opportunities in a variety of ways. In general, enrichment in core academic subjects (reading, writing and math) is a part of everyday school routines, many additional options are available for students to develop their artistic, scientific, athletic, and leadership talents.
All of us here at St. Anthony Park (SAP) believe that every student deserves to be challenged at his/her ability level. To accomplish this goal, SAP classroom and specialist teachers offer challenging learning opportunities to all students. SAP offers these enrichment opportunities in a variety of ways.
Enrichment in core academic subjects (reading, writing and math) happens frequently and is a part of the everyday school routine. For example, third graders who are reading at a 5th grade level are provided with books to read and discuss at their level in a small guided reading group with other advanced readers.
Enrichment in other subjects includes more options for kids to develop their artistic, scientific, athletic, and leadership talents. Some enrichment classes/activities are open only to qualified students (such as a challenge math group for gifted math students), while others involve all students (such as the Artist–in-Residence program). After-school enrichment activities (such as Chess and Destination Imagination) are voluntary for students who demonstrate an interest.
Important Note: The department for Talent Development and Acceleration Services (TDAS) within the Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) coordinates the testing of all kindergarten and 2nd grade students in the district using the CogAT7 (Cognitive Achievement Test, Version 7). This test determines whether students are identified for gifted and talented services within SPPS. If your child has been identified for gifted and talented services, his/her homeroom teacher can answer specific questions you may have about how he/she is being challenged at school. If your child is not in kindergarten or 2nd grade and you would like him/her to take the CogAT7, talk to your child’s teacher in early fall to learn about the nomination process.
Enrichment in Core Academic Subjects
To provide challenge in core academic subjects, St. Anthony Park teachers use:
- Pre-assessment and interest inventories to create flexible groups.
- Small groups with focused instruction, activities and assignments to reach different levels of need (special emphasis on use of higher order thinking skills).
- Challenge packets, learning centers and independent projects (including use of technology) to challenge advanced, motivated learners
- Math grade level skipping
Enrichment in Other Subjects
- Weekly art classes in the art lab with artist Courtney Oleen
- Weekly technology classes with specialist Dan Clark
- Artist-in-Residence program (visiting artists work with students at each grade level)
- Celebration of Talent (annual celebration of visual arts)
- Talent Show (annual celebration of performing arts)
- Art Adventure Program (volunteers are trained at Minneapolis Institute of Arts; volunteers then teach students about selected pieces; finally, students go see actual pieces at MIA)
- “St. Anthony Park Reads” (school-wide literature appreciation program; sometimes involves a visit by an author)
- Literary Journal (students submit their best stories, poems and essays for publication)
- Concerts by our school bands, orchestra, grade-level choirs, and by visiting musicians
- BOKS (once a week, before school workout program)
- Running Club (springtime, after-school running program)
- Track and Field Day (annual friendly competition)
- Cross grade-level mentoring (students from different grades teach and learn from each other)
- Community service projects (student-led, food collection for a local food shelf, raking for local seniors, Jump Rope for Heart, …)
- On-site Community Education Classes
- Extended Day Learning Enrichment
- Parent-led after-school opportunities
- Destination Imagination
Additional Enrichment by Grade Level
Kindergarten Active Inquiry Specialist Class, Fire Department Visit, Officer Friendly Visit, Catalyst Tools for Thinking, Make a Memory Day, 100th Day Celebration, Children’s Museum field trip, Como Park Planetarium field trip
1st Grade Family Science Night, Active Inquiry Specialist Class, Officer Friendly Visit, St. Paul Fire Fighter Visit, Children’s Museum field trip, Como Park Planetarium field trip, Saint Paul Public Library field trips
2nd Grade Family Science Night, Family-School Reading Celebrations, Officer Friendly, Volunteer facilitated book groups, Dia de Espanol with Como High School, Cretin High School Volunteer Program, St. Paul Saints field trip, Saint Paul Public Library field trips, Minneapolis Institute of Arts field trip, Ordway Theater field trips
3rd Grade Family Science Night, Science Project and Fair - optional, Energy and U Program, Seasonal Celebrations, Destination Imagination, Children’s Theatre field trip, Como Park Planetarium field trip, Minnesota Zoo field trip, Mill City Museum field trip, Belwin Nature Center field trip, Science Project and Fair, WordMasters analogies competition
4th Grade Science Project and Fair, Orchestra and Band, Friendly chess tournament, Destination Imagination, Lego League, Cretin High School Volunteer Program, Theatre performances, attended, Grade-Level Musical, Heart of the Beast Theatre Residency, Fort Snelling tour, State Capitol and History Center tours, Journey to the Falls Adventure, Belwin Nature Center field trip, Continental Math League, WordMasters analogies competition
5th Grade Science Project and Fair, Major research projects, Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center - 5 days, Orchestra and Band, President’s Physical Fitness Challenge, It’s Our World Service Group, Destination Imagination, Lego League, Como Park Planetarium field trips, Belwin Nature Center field trip, Continental Math League, WordMasters analogy competition, Young Authors’ Conference
Area E Schools Partnering to Advance Student Learning
In the area of Mathematics, area E is exploring how our schools can meet the needs of high-ability students. It is the one area where St. Anthony Park Elementary and Murray have been piloting a partnership where grade skipping is one option in an academic tool kit known as "acceleration." As the learners advance through grades there are many options to support accelerating learning and work has begun to fully articulate a program that supports the needs in advancing the students in the math standards.
Area E Pathway Partnership: Elementary-Murray-Como Park Senior High-In this plan our learners will take a class at the site that provides the necessary challenge for their learning level. For example, SAP 5th graders are currently enrolled and taking 6th grade math at Murray Middle School. Murray 8th graders may enroll in and take coursework at Como Park Senior High School.
Online Partnership-Students are enrolled in the appropriate math class through APEX online and are provided a time in their schedule during the day with an assigned math supervisor to facilitate the process and support the learners.
University of Minnesota UMTYMP-This is a fee-based program that provides a challenging alternative for Minnesota’s talented mathematics students in grades 6-12. The highly accelerated courses are specially designed to provide students with an intense academic experience that will stimulate their mathematical interest and abilities. The program, offered through the University of Minnesota School of Mathematics Center for Educational Programs (MathCEP). Students currently in grades 5-7 are identified and recommended by their schools as eligible for entering UMTYMP at the Algebra level.
These students may then register to take the UMTYMP Algebra Qualifying Examination. Upon enrollment students take class at the U of M one evening per week. Murray provides a supervised period each day where learners can access the University coursework and collaborate with peers.