Real Results for a Real School!
"I was hired at Lakeside Farms for the 2005–6 school year. At the time, our API score was 775, which ranked us #5 out of 6 district elementary sites. Susan Winebrenner delivered professional development to my staff the following year, and followed up with discussions with some of my teachers on my site. We read The Cluster Grouping Handbook (coauthored by Susan and Dina Brulles), which describes the Schoolwide Cluster Grouping Model (SCGM) Susan had presented to the staff, and began employing her "purposeful grouping strategies." We also greatly added to our GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) program offerings by following Susan's advice regarding extension activities and compacting curriculum.
As I sit here now, our 2009–10 API score is 858. We have set all-time district highs in API scores the past three years in a row, and I strongly credit our implementation of Susan's practices. The SCGM has provided our staff the pedagogical tools to increase student achievement."
- Scott Goergens, Principal, Lakeside Farms Elementary School, Lakeside, California
How It Works for One Family
"My son is someone who does not fit readily into the K-12 system as is likely the case with all 2e kids. He is a creative, free thinker with moments of breath taking brilliance, but in the confines of a normal classroom he can easily wither into mediocrity or worse.
Fortunately, he ended up in a school district that uses The Schoolwide Cluster Grouping Model. As a result, he is currently finishing up first grade with a flourish. While there are many benefits to my son in the gifted cluster classroom, the biggest benefit to him this year is his teacher. When she chose to be the gifted cluster first grade teacher, she took on this assignment with impressive vigor by participating in the necessary training to learn about educating gifted children. When my son's school year began, she was only vaguely familiar with the concept of the 2e student; however, her experience as a gifted cluster teacher and the corresponding experience in teaching unique children allowed her to quickly learn how to bring out the gifts of my son while simultaneously minimizing his challenges. But for his placement in the gifted cluster classroom, I do not believe that my son would have had such a successful year."
- Gretchen K., mom
In Schoolwide Cluster Grouping Model (SCGM), gifted identified students are clustered into mixed-ability classrooms at each grade level.The Gifted Cluster Teacher participates in training that addresses the learning and affective needs of gifted students.
Classroom compositions are carefully structured with two main goals: to ensure a balance of ability and achievement throughout the grade level, and to reduce the learning range found in any classroom.The SCGM provides a structure wherein gifted students receive differentiated curriculum and instruction in all content areas on a daily basis by teachers who understand the learning needs of gifted students.
Gifted cluster teachers work together to plan appropriately challenging instruction for their gifted students. This may involve acceleration, enrichment, and extended learning opportunities targeted to develop students’ full potential. The SCGM empowers teachers to more readily respond to the needs of all students.