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Our Role

The Brookline Public Schools has a commitment to enable all children to reach their full potential. The mission of the Enrichment and Challenge Support Program is to assist and support classroom teachers in providing for those students who show a capacity for high levels of academic, intellectual and/or creative achievement.

What is the Enrichment and Challenge Support (ECS) Program?

The Enrichment and Challenge Support Program (formerly the Gifted and Talented Program) is a K-8 system-wide program that supports classroom teachers in providing challenging curriculum and extension opportunities for students who show a capacity for high levels of academic, intellectual, and creative achievement.

Who is it for?

The Brookline Public Schools has a commitment to enable all children to realize their full potential as learners. Brookline does not formally identify students as "gifted and talented" for placement in a separate program. We use a consulting teacher model, which means that the program's emphasis is on supporting classroom teachers in extending and enriching the Brookline curriculum in order to provide for academically and intellectually advanced students in the regular classroom.

How does the program operate in each school?

There is an ECS program resource teacher on staff in each elementary school in Brookline. S/he works collaboratively with Classroom Teachers, Guidance Counselors, and Principals to provide information, consultation, and extension opportunities.

Who oversees the program system-wide?

Deputy Superintendent for Teaching and Learning: A full time administrator who oversees the ECS program in the Town of Brookline and supervises the ECS Program Coordinator.

ECS Program Coordinator: a part-time administrator who is responsible for coordinating and supervising the individual ECS Resource Teachers working in the elementary schools. The Program Coordinator is responsible for issues of staffing, budget, and resource allocation for the program. The ECS Program Coordinator also provides professional development to the ECS resource teachers and classroom teachers. The coordinator works with the other system curriculum and program coordinators, and researches, develops, and distributes extension materials to ECS resource teachers and classroom teachers. S/he also serves as co-chair of the ECS Parent Advisory Committee.

School Committee: Elected representatives who serve to set priorities and budgets for programs, including the ECS program, within the Brookline Public Schools. A designated member of the School Committee serves as a liaison to the ECS Parent Advisory Committee.

How are the parents represented?

ECS Parent Advisory Committee: A volunteer committee consisting of one-two parents appointed to represent each elementary school. These representatives serve to inform parents within the schools of ECS program services. They also provide outreach to parents and convey the concerns and suggestions of parents to the Program Coordinator. One parent serves as the co-chair of the committee.

What's happening in each school?

ECS Program Resource Teacher: This part-time teacher serves as a resource to classroom teachers, parents and students. S/he works with teachers to help them differentiate instruction and develop extension and enrichment opportunities within their classrooms. ECS Resource Teachers may also lead whole-class, small group, or one-on-one extension lessons as a way of supporting classroom teachers in a given year. Resource teachers are in the buildings 1-2 days per week. They are also available as a resource to the parent community.

Classroom Teachers: Classroom Teachers are provided with resource and consultation support to differentiate instruction so as to meet the challenge needs of academically advanced students. Parents are invited to talk to their child's classroom teacher about the strategies and activities he/she uses to extend and enrich the curriculum.

Guidance Counselors: Resource teachers frequently consult with guidance counselors. Parents are encouraged to work with their child's Guidance Counselor to ensure continuity from year-to-year in their child's instruction.

ECS Program Resource Materials: A library of materials on G/T education is available in each elementary school and can be accessed through the G/T Resource Teacher. A lending library is housed at the Sperber Education Center. A listing of resources is on the ECS program website.

How can I learn more?

It is recommended that each interested parent visit the Public Schools of Brookline website for information about the Enrichment and Challenge Support Program, formerly the Gifted and Talented program, in the Town of Brookline. You will be able to find a variety of resources.

To address questions related to your child's education, we recommend the following:

Parents with questions about their child's overall progress, strengths and areas for improvement, should consult with the Classroom Teacher and/or Guidance Counselor.

Parents with questions about their child's needs for challenge and extension should consult with the Classroom Teacher. S/he works collaboratively with the ECS Resource Teacher.

If there are questions about the ECS program services at your school, parents may contact the ECS Resource Teacher via email or by leaving a note in her/his mailbox.

If there are questions regarding the system-wide ECS program, parents are encouraged to contact the ECS Program Coordinator, (617) 264-6407.

A word about identification...

In Brookline, we do not formally identify students as "gifted and talented" for placement in a separate program. The Brookline program is considered part of the regular Brookline curriculum. We use a consulting teacher model, which means that our emphasis is on supporting classroom teachers in extending and enriching the Brookline curriculum in order to provide for academically and intellectually advanced students in the regular classroom. One way the ECS program resource teachers provide support is to work with small groups of students in pull-out situations - both inside and outside of the regular classroom. These groups meet for a designated period of time, and on a specific topic. The classroom teacher, in cooperation with the ECS resource teacher, selects students for these informal, flexible groups. In determining which students could benefit from direct services in a flexible group, a number of things may be considered:

Student work - evidence of high ability in the chosen topic.
Student interest and motivation in the topic.
Student performance on assessments, both formal and informal (pre-tests, standardized tests, etc.).
Ability of the student to work productively in pull-out situation.

Important Information and Links

For more information about the ECS Program you can look at several uploaded documents on this Website that describe components of the program in more detail. We have also included a list of links to websites that may be useful for parents who have questions about challenges for their talented students.

Documents

A Nation Deceived - book

Links

www.nsgt.org - National Society for Gifted and Talented website