ELP Program

Elementary Extended Learning Program (ELP)

Philosophy and Education Program

The Roland-Story Community Board of Education believes that each individual should be accepted into the educational program as they are. Students should be provided with a stimulating environment, program opportunities and learning experiences designated to promote behavioral changes that will effect satisfactory adjustments to life.

The district continually strives to create the optimum in learning experiences for students. Instructors are encouraged to develop and use multiple strategies to meet the needs of their students. Curriculum, programs, facilities, policies, plans and procedures are constantly evaluated and revised in the search for educational improvement and advancement.

Rationale For the Extended Learning Program

The Roland-Story Community School District recognizes the need to provide a coherent and rigorous educational program for students of all levels of ability in order to help them develop to their full potential.

In order to offer educational opportunities appropriate for each child’s ability, it is essential to provide for the unique abilities and needs of the gifted and talented. These students possess, or are capable of possessing, extraordinary learning ability and/or outstanding talent. They are entitled to a meaningful and complete education experience regardless of age, location, ethnic background, or economic circumstances.

Recognizing the multifaceted dimensions of intelligence, giftedness and talents, the District’s K – 12 Extended Learning Program is designed to provide identified students with instructional programs, educational and supportive services, researched based materials and learning settings which differentiate, supplement and support the regular educational program and curriculum. The program is also designed to meet student’s social and emotional needs.

District Mission Statement:

Building a foundation of lifetime learning

for our student, families, and communities.

Roland-Story Elementary School

Laying the foundation        

and showing the way.

Roland-Story Middle School

Shaping learners for

today and tomorrow.


Roland-Story High School

Providing the tools for success

in a global society.

Talented and Gifted Program Mission Statement

The mission of the Extended Learning Program is to provide a differentiated and acceleration program and learning opportunities for students who have exceptional abilities and the motivational needs to excel beyond the challenges available with the current district curriculum and programming. The district shall implement programs, procedures, and support systems that promote the beliefs stated in both the Rationale and Philosophy. Therefore helping the students become independent, self-directed learners who continuously generate questions analyze, synthesize and evaluate information and ideas while becoming life long learners.

Program Overview

The name for the program serving gifted and talented students shall be the Extended Learning Program (ELP) because the name reflects the Philosophy and Mission for the program.

ELP may identify and serve students in any of these three categories:
General Intellectual Ability: Usually defined in terms of a high intelligence test score – usually two standard deviations above the mean on individual/ group measures: students with general intellectual talent by their wide-range fund of general information and high levels of vocabulary, memory, abstract word knowledge and abstract reasoning.
Specific Academic Aptitude: Identified by outstanding performance on an achievement or aptitude test, scoring in the 97th percentile or higher in one specific area such as mathematics or language arts.
Creative & Productive Thinking: ability to produce new ideas by bringing together elements usually thought of as independent or dissimilar and the aptitude for developing new meanings that have social value.

Students in the District ELP Program will be offered learning opportunities appropriate to their identified gifts, talents, interest, motivation and needs addressing the cognitive and affective growth through varied instructional strategies and program options.

  • Regular classroom within grade level
  • Special programming within grade or school
  • Special programming within / beyond grade or school


Extended Learning Program



The Roland-Story School District recognizes and supports the development of student’s talents and abilities.  We believe that it is important to identify gifted and talented children at an early age to ensure that our educational system is responsive to their needs throughout their school careers. To help us identify students, teachers, parents, administrators, students themselves, and another student’s referral may recommend students for identification. 


To find our academic talent base for the 3rd-12th Extended Learning Program, we constructed a systematic and defensible procedure to screen and identify students’ academic talents and abilities.  Standardized tests, an objective form of identifying, are reviewed to find each student’s achievement and ability.  Students scoring at the 90th percentile, on Iowa Norms, are entered into a screening pool.  From this pool, the teachers are given behavior-rating scales, a subjective form of identifying, as well as a request for grade performance in the classroom for students in the top 10% of the candidate pool, of the grade.  All the information is entered on a data organizer page. 


After all the information is gathered and organized, a Student Needs Evaluation Committee will use the information gathered, to determine the students needs for the top 3 to 5% of the class.  The need could be for general intellectual ability usually defined in terms of usually two standard deviations above the mean on individual measures; students with general intellectual talent are identified by their wide-range fund of general information and high levels of vocabulary, memory, abstract word knowledge and abstract reasoning.  Students could also have needs in specific academic aptitude.  This is identified by outstanding performance on an achievement or aptitude test, scoring in the 97th percentile or higher in on specific area such as mathematics or language arts.  The Student Needs Evaluation Committee consists of the classroom teachers and ELP teacher.


This information is reviewed yearly.  If scores decline, the student and parents are notified and put on one-year probation.  After scores are reviewed the following year and improvement is not obtained, the student will not be eligible for services.  


Any student that moves to Roland-Story will have their files reviewed by the Extended Learning teacher.  The ELP teacher will confer with the Student Needs Evaluation Committee as to their academic needs.  All students’ requirements can be reassessed as the teachers observe changes in academic skills.    


To ensure the academic needs of the K-2 students, the classroom teachers team up with the ELP instructor.  In kindergarten, the ELP instructor goes into the room twice a month for seven months with PET activities.  The ELP instructor watches students work for the PET checklists that correlates with the lessons. 


In April, the K-2 classroom teachers confer with the ELP teacher as to who will be taking a small group CogAT Test.  The ELP teacher will test groups of five students at a time and hand grade the answer sheets.  The results from the test, as well as teacher checklists, are put on data sheets so the team can view the results as a grade level group.  From the results, grade level teachers, as well as the ELP teacher, will determine what specific needs, reading or math, the students’ will need to be challenged.    


ELP Program Goals

Curriculum and Instruction:  ELP services include curricular and instructional opportunities directed to the needs of the gifted students.  These include differentiated curriculum as well as opportunities for subject and grade acceleration. 

Program Administration and Management:  ELP programming involves creating a systematic mean of developing, implementing and managing services.


Program Design:  The development of appropriate gifted education programming requires comprehensive services based on sound idealistic, academic and practical support.  This includes a continuum of services for gifted learners and appropriately funded gifted education programming that is an integral part of the school day.

Program Evaluation:  A systematic study of the value and impact of services that are implemented for ELP students.  


Guidance and Counseling:  ELP students will be offered strategies to address at risk behaviors, affective needs, underachievement and career programming. 


Professional Development:  Staff development will be provided to teachers of gifted students to help serve ELP students with differentiated content and instruction. 

Student Identification:  Students will be assessed to determine appropriate educational services.  Instruments used for student assessments measure diverse abilities, talents, strengths, and needs.



Performance Measures


Students’ curricular needs will be assessed by the grade level district assessments given during the year as well as observations by the teachers.  The scores will help determine the differentiated needs of the students.


Differentiated and enrichment activities will be developed and assessed either by the ELP teacher or classroom teacher to meet the learning needs of students.


Personal Education Plans are written for each identified ELP student and agreed upon by parents, classroom teachers, principals and TAG teacher annually.


Students are provided opportunities to develop critical thinking skills, creativity problem solving and reasoning skills.


Students will have opportunity to interact with intellectual peers through various extra-curricular activities intended to challenge students beyond the core curriculum through Future Problem Solving, Mock Trial.


Students will successfully enroll and complete advanced placement courses. post secondary enrollment options, and dual enrollment courses.


Staff, students, administration and parents to help the TAG program meet the needs of the students will fill out an evaluation.


Roland-Story ELP In-service Design


Gifted students require specialized educational experiences that promote the development and expression of their potential. If gifted individuals as children, youths, and adults—are to experience fulfilling lives and if society is

to derive optimal benefits from gifted individuals’ uncommon potentials, an

educational program must be structured to develop more fully their exceptional and varied abilities, interests, and talents.  Staff development is an important aspect of the ELP program.


Staff development training is provided to inform staff about how to:

  • Identify students and their educational needs
  • Utilize identification procedures to ensure that the program is accessible to students from diverse populations                                                                
  • Differentiate learning experiences for the GT students 
  • Give guidance to meet the needs of GT students                                              
  • Supply appropriate materials and activities                                               
  • Enhance the general education curriculum


Ongoing Staff Development Plan



1. Assist with the implementation of the district Gifted Education Plan.

2. Retrain those who need to update their skills in gifted education.

3. Train teachers to make curriculum modifications that meet the needs of gifted/talented students.

4. Provide opportunities for teachers to share classroom strategies and methods of curriculum differentiation.


The Roland-Story Community School District professional development plan is

intended to provide teachers and administrators with the knowledge, skills, and strategies that will help them provide talented and gifted students with the academic and affective support they need to experience an appropriate level of challenge and learning each day. The professional development is provided in multiple ways. Some professional development is provided during traditional professional development time to all teaching staff in a building or across the district. Some professional development is provided

by e-mails, newsletters and during grade level team time. Extended Learning staff and other teachers across the district are provided opportunities to attend workshops geared toward the teaching of the talented and gifted student.


 Extended Learning Program Evaluation Plan


Students, parents and teachers participating in the Extended Learning Program will have an opportunity to evaluate the program by completing a survey during the spring semester. Information gained through program evaluation is useful in determining program strengths and weaknesses.  The results will be used to address improvement/modification of the Gifted and Talented Program and district plans.

The Roland-Story School District ELP Plan will be monitored annually.  Benefits of effective program evaluation include realization of ways to achieve meaningful improvement in the program coupled with enhanced relations between and with all stakeholders.



· Identification Process

· Curriculum/Instruction

· Program Administration/Management

· Parent/Community Involvement

· Professional Development

· Program Evaluation




Identification Process

1. Are all the state compliance standards met?

2. Does the identification process identify students matching the program definition?

3. Do identified students match the total school population?

4. Is the process free of any method that would discriminate based on culture, handicapping condition,

    socioeconomic status, or any other condition?

5. Is the identification process understood by stakeholders?



1. Do the activities in the program allow for the pursuit of individual interests?

2. Do the activities in the program reflect consideration for varied learning styles?

3. Do the activities in the program expand students’ interest?

4. Do students utilize research skills, which develop independent learners?

5. Do the students develop critical thinking skills, communication skills, creative thinking, and experience

    affective growth?

6. Is diversity of individuals and cultures nurtured?

7. Are skills mandated in the state Gifted and Talented standards being effectively addressed?

8. Are students provided opportunities to utilize technology?


Program Administration/Management

1. Does the program serve students in kindergarten through twelfth grade?

2. Are all the state compliance standards met?

3. Is program documentation comprehensive and available to stakeholders?

4. Does the plan address all areas of the Iowa Department of Education’s

    Gifted and Talented Rules and Regulations? 


Parent/Community Involvement

1. Are opportunities provided for parent/community awareness through the newspaper, brochures,

    newsletters, ect.

2. Are parents encouraged to participate in the program?


Professional Development

1. Do staff members have a clear understanding of the characteristics and needs of gifted students? 

    Do they thoroughly understand the identification process?

2. Are opportunities provided for staff development in creativity and critical thinking skills?

3. Is the gifted and talented coordinator/teacher growing in his/her understanding of the field by attending

    workshops, coordinator’s meetings, etc.

4. Are materials such as books and journals focusing on gifted and talented education made available to



Program Evaluation

1. Does the evaluation process involve all stakeholders?

2. Does the evaluation process draw data from a variety of sources?

3. Is the information garnered from the evaluation process related to stakeholders and used to effect

    positive and meaningful change in the program?

4. Is an Action Plan developed and implemented based on the evaluation findings?

5. Is a Timeline in place and followed to effect the recommendations of the Action Plan?