Three Heartland teachers along with Elementary Principal Sadie Houck undertook the challenge of starting a High Ability Learner Club at Heartland this past school year. Tami Peters, Carrie Regier, and Sarah Ostmeyer invested time working with the identified students and saw the reward of their efforts last Thursday evening when the students presented “People of the Past and Present” at the school.
The evening featured students who had selected and researched famous individuals and created a board and presentation about them. The students were frozen as statues, dressed in character, until a donation was made at their presentation to benefit the club. The researched character then came to life with a presentation. After sharing their character’s story with the audience, the student then returned to their statue position. The evening was a great combination of information and entertainment.
Elementary Principal Sadie Houck explained the program that was started at Heartland this year:
“High Ability Learner Clubs and organizations are designed to enrich and accelerate student experiences in order to actively engage them in learning. To participate in HAL at HCS, students must meet identification criteria which include several pieces data: standardized test scores (MAPs, DIBELS, NeSA, Curriculum Placement scores, etc.), classroom performance, and teacher observation/input.
The People of the Past and Present concept has been portrayed at many schools: Aurora, York, and Holdrege are all districts that put on a similar night of presentations. The People of the Past and Present is just the start of our school’s HAL program, and who knows what will come next. Many teachers have shown an interest in developing ideas and finding new areas to cover in our HAL program, and I can’t wait to see more implemented throughout the program.
The students that performed on Thursday represented a sample of those students that qualified to be a part of HAL. Our hope is to engage more and more students that qualify by implementing new programs and new areas of study that will interest them.”
Beginning in January, students met two times a month for an hour each session to prepare for their final project of the “People of Past and Present” presentations. At the final presentations, there were 26 elementary students, five junior high students, and four high school students.
Congratulations to these teachers for implementing this new program at Heartland!
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