Q.U.E.S.T. and Enrichment Programs (Grades 3-8)
Shannon Albino Coles grade 3&4Deborah Close Brunner/Evergreen grade 3&4
Charity Morris McGinn/School One grade 3&4
Caren Comeau Park/Terrill grade 5,6,7,8
The Scotch Plains-Fanwood Public School System is committed to providing learning opportunities which will stimulate all children while simultaneously meeting the unique needs of the academically talented student. The QUEST program (Question, Understand, Explore, Seek and Think) is a pullout program for academically talented students in the district elementary and middle schools. The goals of the QUEST program are to promote creative thinking skills, higher cognitive operations, problem solving skills and to increase knowledge, comprehension and application in content areas. In addition to in-school opportunities, students are involved in special activities, which enable them to interact with other identified students in our district and in neighboring districts. These activities will prepare our learners for meaningful participation in both the classroom and community by valuing their individuality, recognizing their skills and instilling in them an appreciation of their ability to contribute to society.
Students meet in QUEST for approximately 90 minutes per week. In grades 5-8, the schedule rotates through different class periods from week to week.
Multiple criteria are used to identify academically talented students in grades 4-8. Initial identification is done at the end of third grade for the fourth grade school year. A series of three benchmark activities are given to all third grade students. They include a Math Task, a Writing Prompt and a Creative Task. In addition, a parent checklist is sent to all parents/guardians of grade 3 students to collect additional information. Classroom teachers also share insight on students' classroom performance through a teacher checklist. A review of the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) taken in third grade is also part of the identification process. Once a student enters the QUEST program, the student may continue participating in the program each year through 8th grade unless it is decided otherwise by the parent, student and QUEST teacher.
All students are reviewed annually for QUEST participation. Click here to see the QUEST criteria.
Students in grades 7 and 8 can also nominate themselves for the QUEST program by presenting a comprehensive portfolio of their work demonstrating their talents and abilities. Portfolios are reviewed by a committee of teachers and district administrators, and students may be invited to a brief interview with the committee to share personal reflections of their work.
Recognizing that very capable students may not meet the profile for QUEST, but may benefit from enrichment activities, the elementary QUEST teachers also teach two 6-week enrichment units. One unit focuses on Mathematics and the second unit addresses Language Arts. The intention of these courses is to expand the number of students receiving enrichment in designated areas. Students are identified through standardized and/or state testing results and teacher recommendations. At the middle school level, students may choose to participate in enrichment opportunities after school, such as the Math Enrichment program and Science Olympiad.
Erin Mullman, Supervisor
Academically Talented (Q.U.E.S.T.)