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Cedar Rapids Virtual Academy
1Full-time virtual school

The program for academic and creative talent (PACT) enhances and supports the educational program and experience of high ability students to prepare them to become world class learners and responsible citizens.

Elementary school PACT

PACT resource specialists serve as a primary advocate and resource in the area of gifted education for students and families as well as a liaison among CRCSD, building staff, students, and parents on matters pertaining to the academic and affective needs of gifted learners in elementary grades.

ACE (kindergarten and first grade)

Academic challenge experiences (ACE) is a kindergarten and first grade program facilitated by PACT. ACE is designed to identify and recognize student potential, gather and share data, and collaborate with CRCSD and building staff.

The ACE program aims to identify kindergarten and first grade students who possess characteristics and behaviors that indicate a student may be talented in a particular academic area. The program also analyzes student data in order to support learning opportunities for high achieving students, and collaborate and support kindergarten and first grade classroom staff and students to challenge and enrich CRCSD’s core curriculum.

Prime time (second and third grade)

Prime time is a demanding academic program that serves CRCSD second and third grade students. Students selected for prime time have demonstrated potential in a specific intellectual area.

Resource specialists with training in serving gifted and talented students conduct classroom screening at the beginning of each semester. These screenings consist of observations of student responses to activities directly related to the prime time unit that will be delivered that semester. The classroom teacher assists the resource specialist with prior knowledge about the student’s ability as appropriate.

Once a final pool of highly able candidates has been identified, the resource specialist, classroom teachers, and other appropriate building staff meet to determine which students will benefit the most from the program. Approximately 6% of the students from each grade level can be served. Parents of students selected to participate in the forthcoming semester are notified by mail and are invited to an informational meeting.

First semester prime time delivers instruction in math and/or science in units that are supported by logical and analytical thinking skills. Second semester prime time delivers instruction with a reading and writing foundation in units that are supported by verbal and creative thinking skills.

Resource specialists meet with students selected for prime time twice a week for classes that are usually 45 minutes long, and will meet over the length of a semester for approximately 20 lessons. Classes meet at the student’s school, usually in a special classroom or the IMC. Classes are small, thus leading to more opportunities for the teacher to interact with each student.

There are no limits on prime time participation. Screenings are conducted each semester. Some students have exceptional talents in all areas; others are talented in specific areas. Prime time seeks to address different areas of intellectual strength and to provide children with initial exploratory experiences in gifted education. However, a placement in prime time does not guarantee further placements. Children develop their intellectual strengths in varying stages and at varying speeds during their school careers; the purpose of prime time is to serve students demonstrating the greatest need for extended programming each semester.

To learn more about prime time, contact the manager at your school or the PACT office at 319-558-2220. As a parent, you can provide valuable insights and information about your child’s exceptional abilities.

PACT (fourth and fifth grade)

Elementary school PACT provides curriculum enrichment experiences for academically gifted students. A team of resource teachers serves the schools on a rotating schedule, offering students the opportunity to participate in challenging activities in such areas as science, humanities, mathematics, and language arts.

Elementary students who excel in one or more of the basic curriculum areas, or who demonstrate the potential to do so, will benefit from PACT services. These students need ongoing opportunities to develop their abilities in complex learning environments.

Several subjective and objective criteria are used to identify academically gifted students for PACT. Staff observations of student task commitment, achievement, and creativity are considered. In addition, achievement, and intelligence test scores are reviewed prior to placing students in appropriate activities.

To proceed, contact the PACT manager at your school, or the PACT office at 319-558-2220, for additional information about identification procedures and the program. As a parent, you can provide valuable insights and information about your child’s exceptional abilities.

Middle school PACT

Middle school PACT offers specialized curricular and extracurricular services to academically gifted students. Building program managers work with the instructional staff of each middle school to extend the basic curriculum and provide intellectually challenging enrichment activities. After-school classes and field trips based on the students’ interests and needs are also provided by individual middle schools.

Middle school students often demonstrate the need for a differentiated curriculum that encourages higher level thinking and problem solving. Students who welcome opportunities for individual and group achievement will benefit from the variety of academic programs available during and after school. PACT managers in each middle school strive to meet the needs of those students with varied and single-minded commitments to different areas of interest.

Several subjective and objective criteria are used to identify academically gifted students for PACT. Staff observations of student task commitment, achievement, and creativity are considered. In addition, achievement and intelligence test scores are reviewed prior to placing students in appropriate activities.

To proceed, contact the manager at your school or the PACT office at 319-558-2220 for additional information about identification procedures. As a parent, you can provide valuable insights and information about your child’s exceptional abilities.

High school PACT

High school PACT offers specialized guidance services to academically talented students. These services include career counseling, profiling vocational interests and personal strengths, and facilitating academic planning during and after high school.

CRCSD curriculum provides abundant opportunities for academic challenge and enrichment through higher level classes, including those in the advanced placement program.

High school students often need assistance in clarifying possible career paths and locating suitable, affordable higher education. Since highly able students usually have numerous interests, or intense, long-term interests that influence their life planning, they will benefit from the decision-making focus provided by PACT guidance services.

Discover summer camp

Discover summer camp for academically talented third through fifth grade students in Cedar Rapids area schools. Apply early! Classes will be on a first-come, first served basis as registrations are received. Early registration is encouraged since enrollment is limited.


Resources


Key contacts

Chad Hageman

PACT Content Lead