The Challenge Program at East Middle School
830 Gunnison Avenue
Grand Junction, CO 81501
970-254-5020

Tina Sleigh, Challenge Coordinator

tina.sleigh@d51schools.org


Teresa Sheffield, Counselor for last name A-M

teresa.sheffield@d51schools.org


Dacia Ritterbush, Counselor for last name N-Z

dacia.ritterbush@d51schools.org









“Some students require the climate, interaction, and independence found in a program designed especially for gifted students.-Autonomous Learner Model


Mission of the Challenge Program

The mission of the Challenge Program at East Middle School is to meet the full-time needs of gifted middle school students by pursuing high academic and ethical standards in a rigorous, creative environment. Our focus is to provide challenging, higher level curriculum, as well as support for social and emotional needs.


What is The Challenge Program?


The Challenge Program is a MCVSD 51 program for academically gifted middle school students and is housed at East Middle School. Students must apply to be in this program; typically 5th graders apply for their 6th grade year and stay for three years. Students only need to apply in 6th grade, but may re-apply in 7th or 8th grade if they are not accepted in 6th grade. There is only one core of students in the Challenge Program at each grade level, so space is limited. Once accepted, students attend all core classes together (Literacy, Math, Social Studies, and Science). However, they attend their elective classes with the EMS population.



How is The Challenge Program different than GT programming?

When exploring options for gifted students, understanding the difference between programming and programs can be confusing.

GT Programming is the planned response to an individual or group of students. Some students require different programming for different needs and strengths. Examples can include:

Pace of Instruction
Complexity or Depth of Information
Acceleration
Cluster Grouping

The Challenge Program is predetermined and has set criteria for students to be admitted.  There is a set series of instructions or events with a planned outcome for the group.  Other program examples in our district include:

STEM at Central High School
IB at Palisade High School
Dual Immersion Academy at Bookcliff Middle School