The Schoolwide Enrichment Model at Austin Elementary in Coppell ISD is based on the work of the Renzulli Center for Creativity, Gifted Education, and Talent Development at the University of Connecticut.
Enrichment activities offered during the school day to all students:
- 9 Week Enrichment Clusters
- Weekly “E-Time”
- Brown Bag Lunches (Mentor-Led / Learner-Led)
- Learner Internships
- Authentic Project-Based Learning Experiences
- Curriculum Compacting
- Interest-Based Field Experiences
On January 13, learners shared their experiences and products in the Enrichment Cluster Showcase. Members of the school and community were invited to attend.
Specific Enrichment Clusters vary year to year. Two clusters from this year are AE Design, Inc. and Let’s Explore Paint. Though the story from each of the clusters was worth sharing, two directly impacted the campus of Austin Elementary and are described best in the photos below.
Let’s Explore Paint: Learners in this cluster designed and created this painting in one of the stairwells in their school. Notice the detail in the butterflies. This is definitely a work of art to be proud of and one that will positively impact learners for years to come – what a wonderful example of joyful learning!
AE Design, Inc.:Learners in this cluster surveyed educators at Austin Elementary in order to learn more about the staff’s alma maters, favorite colors, etc. Then, they used this information and their graphic design skills to create personalized posters for the classrooms at Austin Elementary.
Austin Elementary S.E.M. Coordinator, Liz Malone, described the high quality of this year’s Cluster Showcase with this statement:
“The educators are stepping back and allowing the learners to drive the work.”
With this, Ms. Malone captured the school’s guiding purpose: At Austin Elementary, we are driven to unlock the passion and cultivate the uniqueness inherent in every learner. Learner-driven work is worth the effort, every time.
Within Article II: The New Learning Standards of the Visioning Document, we read about student access to non-core academic and enrichment-focused learning.
II.e Standards should tap curiosity and imagination in the traditional academic core, aesthetic and skill areas in a way that lack of proficiency in any one area does not discourage students from recognizing and pursuing their special talents and learning in other areas.
As we move along the continuum to high level transformation in the area, we see evidence of students having access to a variety of non-core academic and enrichment areas. In addition, students are expected to experience a broad-based curriculum. There are processes and structures in place supporting student accessing a broad curriculum, a part of which may be based on student talent or interest.
For more information about the Schoolwide Enrichment Model at Austin Elementary follow @SEMAustin on Twitter or read the S.E.M. at Austin Elementary smore newsletter.