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Mission Statement

Our mission is to inspire all students to be confident, passionate learners with the courage and skills to lead their lives with integrity, while contributing to our global community with creativity and compassion.

Curriculum Department

ALPHA Program

 

 

“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known."
                                                                          -Carl Sagan
 
Alpha: (al-fa) n. The first letter of the Greek alphabet; n. The principal (usually, the brightest) star in a constellation; n. Brain waves associated with daydreaming, fantasizing, and visualization. They are the bridge between the conscious and the subconscious mind. 

The Alpha Program addresses the unique cognitive, affective, and social needs of the intellectually gifted children (grades 3-6) in the North Bellmore School District.  Our aim is to provide these gifted learners with the support needed to maximize their intellectual potential and character development.

Alpha is an academically substantive program, which focuses on the generation, acquisition, and appreciation of knowledge.  Students participate in a range of exciting and challenging activities in many of the discipline fields.  Highlights include: advanced mathematics, interpretive literature, poetry workshop, Spanish, and scientific and technological exploration.  We recognize the multitude of talents, diverse interests, and different ability levels among our gifted population.  With this in mind, we hope to broaden horizons, foster areas of strength, and further develop additional competencies.

Students are pulled out approximately three times per month and are bussed over to the Newbridger Road School for their Alpha class.  In order to foster educational continuity and personal growth, some outside work is required between sessions.  

Alpha is a quest; an adventure; in some respects a journey into the unknown. It is a serious undertaking, requiring commitment, motivation, and responsibility; not to mention, it’s a lot of fun!

If you have any questions which are not answered here, please call Mrs. Tillie McNamara, Director of Educational Programs and Staff Development at the District Office: 992-3000 x 3024

Program Description:
The Alpha program addresses the unique cognitive, affective, and social needs of the intellectually gifted children in the North Bellmore School District.  Our aim is to provide these gifted learners with the support needed to maximize their intellectual potential and character development.  The Alpha program services gifted students in grades 3-6.

 Alpha is an academically substantive program, which focuses on the generation, acquisition, and appreciation of knowledge.  Students participate in a range of exciting and challenging activities in many of the discipline fields.  Highlights include: advanced mathematics, interpretive literature, poetry workshop, inventive thinking, and technological exploration.  We recognize the multitude of talents, diverse interests, and different ability levels among our gifted population.  With this in mind, we aim to broaden horizons, foster areas of strength, and further develop additional competencies. The Alpha Program is a quest; an adventure; in some respects, a journey into the unknown.  The program requires commitment, motivation, and responsibility.  In order to foster educational continuity and personal growth, some outside work is required between Alpha sessions. 

Students meet with the Alpha teacher at Dinkelmeyer School once every 6-day cycle.  On each scheduled Alpha day, the students report to their regular class and are transported by bus to and from Dinkelmeyer School. 

Selection Process:
Teachers begin recommending academically talented students for Alpha at the end of second grade. Selection for the program is based on a three-part process:

Phase 1:  Otis Lennon School Ability Test and Renzulli-Hartman Scales for Creativity, Learning, Leadership and Motivation

Students are given the Otis Lennon School Ability Test in both Grade 2 and Grade 3.  A score of 130 or higher requires a referral, but does not guarantee entry into the program.  A child who scores less than 130 may be recommended by the teacher based upon the assessment of the child’s performance in the classroom. Children who scored a 130 or higher in previous years and are not currently in Alpha are automatically recommended for consideration each year.  For all recommended students, teachers complete the Renzulli-Hartman Scales for Creativity, Learning, Leadership and Motivation based upon their classroom observations.

Phase 2:  Achievement Assessment
The students who are recommended for the ALPHA program based upon the data collected in Phase 1 are qualified for the second phase of screening.  With parent permission, students are given an achievement assessment in both mathematics and reading.

Phase 3: Final Matrix Score
All data from the Otis Lennon School Ability Test, the Renzulli-Hartman Scales for Creativity, Learning, Leadership and Motivation, and the Achievement Assessments are applied to the Alpha Matrix to determine final eligibility into the ALPHA program.  Those students with the highest matrix scores are invited to participate in the gifted program. Each year students are compared to the current applicant pool, and if they do not get selected, they may be recommended in subsequent years.  Parents of nominated students will receive a letter over the summer indicating whether or not their child has qualified to participate in the ALPHA program for the upcoming school year.