CCA gives advanced students what they need to soar

Commonwealth Charter Academy students worked at Andculture in Harrisburg as part of an internship. Students helped create CCA's new website and learned how a web development company operates.

Learn about the opportunities CCA offers gifted learners from AP to honors courses and more.

At CCA, students have personalized learning plans, which give gifted and accelerated learners the ability to move forward in their course work at their own pace, eliminating time they would spend waiting for their teachers to move on to the next lesson.

Gifted children often face roadblocks in classrooms that prevent them from reaching their full potential, according to a 30-year study conducted by Vanderbilt University.

The report revealed that “typical school settings were often unable to accommodate the rapid rate at which [gifted children] learned and digested complex material” because many teachers focused on the struggling students in the classroom. This resulted in missed learning opportunities, frustration and underachievement for gifted students.

Harrison Kell, one of the researchers of the study, said these gifted students “will do well in regular classrooms, but they still won’t meet their full potential unless they’re given access to accelerated course work, AP classes and educational programs that place talented students with their intellectual peers.”

Beginning in third grade, qualified elementary learners can participate in the Gifted and Talented Program at CCA. They can enroll in advanced courses and work at a higher grade level. When gifted learners reach middle school, they can continue with the program and have an opportunity to challenge themselves further by taking high school-level courses.

At the high school level, our curriculum includes honors and Advanced Placement courses so learners can prepare for college classes and the workforce. For example: CCA's Honors chemistry course description says, "This Honors level course also includes greater opportunities for independent research and the demonstration of critical thinking skills. ... The more rigorous curriculum includes the exploration of concepts and principles in the fields of electrochemistry, organic chemistry and nuclear chemistry." Other courses include AP art history, calculus, English, psychology, Spanish, government and environmental science. Browse CCA’s course catalog here.

CCA also offers a broad range of electives, such as Chinese, 3-D art, Earth sciences, web design, marine science, programming, journalism, sign language and sports management. These electives offered for CCA learners allow gifted children to broaden their horizons and explore their interests in a greater capacity than they could before.

Because it is crucial for gifted learners to interact with their peers, CCA has an honors society that recognizes achievements and academic performance. Gifted learners can join CCA’s honors society to meet and make friends with other learners at their level. CCA has a junior honors society and several foreign language societies as well.

Encouraging gifted students to keep learning and providing them the opportunities they need to reach their full potential is just as important as looking out for the students who are falling behind. CCA offers gifted learners the flexibility and freedom to keep going at their own pace.

Gifted students are the innovators and leaders of the future. As David Lubinski from Vanderbilt said, “Gifted children are a precious human-capital resource.” By not challenging the gifted, we risk their futures and the promising abilities they were born with. At CCA, we believe in supporting advanced learners and giving them what they need to fly.

Author

Commonwealth Charter Academy

Published

September 28, 2016

Category

Cyber Community

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