Challenge Program

Middle > Programs > Challenge Program

Click links below to view information about the Challenge Program.



The Language Arts Challenge Program seeks to:

Provide students with the opportunity to spend time with gifted and talented peers.

Students needing additional challenge are given time to work with peers who share their passion for learning in language arts. These blocks of time are filled with discussion, choices, work on projects they have chosen, and time to share their ideas and opinions as they learn to trust each other’s feedback and push for excellence.

Offer choice in content, process and product.

Students have the opportunity to choose and control their own pace and depth of learning, as well as how they apply what they have learned, with guidance from a teacher.

Provide an environment in which students grow in their understanding of their learning preferences.

Challenge students complete a learning preferences survey. This survey is taken from The Tool Kit for Curriculum Differentiation A Work in Progress by Lannie Kanevsky, Ph.D., Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University.


Assessment and Student Selection

As recommended by the BC Ministry of Education, several of the following assessment tools are used when selecting students who would benefit from additional challenge within their school experience.

• Testing for ability and achievement
• Teacher observations, including comments or notes on student strengths, checklists and inventories
• Student work as shown in assignments, portfolios, grades and outstanding talents and accomplishments

Also recommended and used are: Nominations by educators, parents, peers and self.


Homework

Students are asked to make regular classroom assignments the priority and are given time within the Challenge block to work on their projects of choice. While some challenge work is completed at home, there is flexibility in completion times, given the need to work around other subject areas and assignments.


Marks

Excellent marks are not more difficult to achieve because students participate in a challenge program. We expect that students will produce work exceeding grade level expectations, and their marks will reflect this. In other words, we are on the student’s team, working to help them learn and show their understanding in ways that encourage new learning.


Frequently Asked Questions

How long will my child be in this program?

In the Language Arts Challenge Program, students participate for part of one term. There is some flexibility depending on a student’s need for challenge or the need for additional time to complete a larger project. They will miss one 75-minute block, or two 35-minute blocks of a subject area each week, in order to attend the Challenge class. When possible students miss an English class, but may miss another subject area due to scheduling conflicts.

Will my child get behind in his work in this subject area?

Students arrange to get notes from another student, and when possible, their assignments are adjusted to reflect time in the Challenge Program. Often there is a direct link between the Challenge Program and the unit taught in class. Teachers will ensure that a student does not miss tests or lessons needed by the student in the Challenge Program.

How is the work for the Challenge Program selected?

Students complete a survey form, which covers their preferred content, process, product and environment for learning. This is discussed with the teacher of the Challenge Program, and a project is developed.

Does the student work independently or within a group?

The student almost always works independently, although sometimes on a similar project to others within the group of students meeting at the same time. The conversation and peer feedback are full of fun and encouragement, as well as mature and honest.


Additional Options for Challenge

Math Challenge Class

Students may apply to attend the before school, math class (grades 6–8), taught by Sean LaForest.

Science Challenge Class

Sean LaForest teaches a science block once a week, in which students work towards a science fair project as part of their assignment for the year.

English Language Arts/Writing Challenge Class

Robotics Challenge Class

Leadership Challenge Class

Schedule

The weekly math and science classes taught by Mr. LaForest are offered before school.


Teachers

Mr. Sean LaForest,  Teacher – Challenge Math & Science
E-Mail: slaforest@meischools.com
Mrs. Karin Neudorf,  Teacher – Challenge English/Language Arts Challenge Program
E-Mail: kneudorf@meischools.com

The following is an exerpt from the Challenge of Writing Book, Vol.2, which is a book published for Challenge students choosing to submit poems, stories, essays or book reviews.