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Gifted and Enrichment Programming at Roycemore

Faculty Friday Friday, 19 Apr 2024

Roycemore School’s Gifted and Enrichment Coordinator, Eliese Ronke, is bringing a new lens to gifted education at the school.

In Roycemore’s small-school environment, focused on differentiation, the role of Gifted and Enrichment Coordinator goes beyond one-on-one lessons and advanced reading groups. Instead, Eliese brings her creative mind and curriculum development background to the table to create opportunities that challenge all students.

“We associate giftedness with a love of learning,” remarks Elise, “I want to work to develop that love of learning in all of our students.” For her, the best moments are sometimes chaotic, like when she pulled out a game of Mouse Trap to help 2nd-graders identify simple machines, and the class got so excited with identifying that they ran out of time to actually play the game. Those moments, which she calls the “big exciting learning moments,” are what drew her to Roycemore and what she hopes to continue developing.

Rather than sticking with a traditional gifted model, where students are pulled out of the classroom, often missing vital whole-classroom experiences, Eliese incorporates a variety of strategies to target students in the classroom and beyond. When pushing into classrooms, she’s there to ask challenging questions and engage all students, while pushing them to excel to their fullest capacity. By coordinating with the Early Childhood and Lower School faculty, she’s able to target individuals while also supporting classrooms as a whole. This approach also allows for more specificity in supporting student needs, for example, when a student excels in Language Arts but needs support in Math. Having the Gifted and Enrichment Coordinator function as a part of the classroom community means that all students are challenged to think critically and engage with learning at a higher level.

In Middle and Upper School, where gifted and enrichment programming is more student-driven, Eliese is focused on building self-efficacy in students, challenging them to “opt-in” to take the next step in their learning. Growing that spirit of independence means she’s better preparing our older students to be driven and motivated as they move into higher education and eventually the professional world. Here, she focuses on concrete tools like “stretch boxes,” which are readily available for students who want to push themselves. She also provides programming (workshops, lessons, and more) in collaboration with our teaching faculty. Additionally, she’s working to develop students’ intuitions, empowering them to recognize moments where they should be challenged or stretched themselves, rather than waiting on a teacher to tell them.

As Eliese looks forward to the future of the Gifted and Enrichment Program at Roycemore, she’s excited to continue building programs and creating opportunities for all students. She’s already begun thinking about project-based learning opportunities for next school year and is working with teachers to build “enrichment-rich classrooms,” throughout the school. Mostly, she’s looking forward to having more of those sometimes chaotic but always exciting “big learning moments” with Roycemore students of all ages.

Interested in learning more about Roycemore’s academic programming? Reach out to our Admissions team to schedule a tour or attend our next admissions event.

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