GIFTED PROGRAM

RCSA Gifted Education Program

The Gifted Education program at River City Science Academy is designed to challenge and meet the needs of our academically advanced and creative student body.  Gifted classes are available to middle school students, with a curriculum designed to foster the growth of students both intellectually and socially.  In recognizing each student’s specific skills, interests, and needs, the faculty of RCSA strives to guide these students towards recognizing their full potential.

 

Students learn the process of gathering information from a variety of sources, interpreting the information and presenting it in a variety of ways. Students think like scientists by using hands-on instruments, as well as mathematical and verbal communication. We build decision-making and problem-solving techniques by exploring scientific possibilities, organizing thoughts and information, and evaluating ideas or processes. 

 

Students that come to RCSA and are currently enrolled in an equivalent gifted program or designated Gifted will be placed into the appropriate classes upon enrollment. Middle school Gifted classes focus on STEM enrichment through Science and Math Olympiad courses. These courses prepare gifted students who want to compete on our Science or Math Olympiad teams.

In Science Olympiad, there is a competition division for grades 6-9 (Division B) and for grades 9-12 (Division C). In our middle school, we invite all students to attend a team meeting once a week after school. These team meetings allow each of the coaches to interact with each team member, building strong relationships between the students and coaches. Smaller groups of students arrange study sessions with the coaches and other teachers in our building to further explore topics in question. Our Science Olympiad team made history in March 2018 when they won 1st place at the state competition in Orlando, beating out 42 teams to become number one in the state of Florida! They went on to compete at the National level in May 2018, where they went against the best teams in the country. RCSA is extremely proud of our Science Olympiad team.

 

In Math Olympiad, students receive enhanced instruction and explore real contest challenges. The purpose is to promote enriched critical thinking and nurture mathematical talents in our youth through more logic-based problems and creative problem-solving strategies with ease and efficiency. Math Olympiad functions much like a football or soccer team, requiring preparation, commitment, coaching and practice throughout the year! These math problems stimulate the mind, enhance pattern recognition, and require logical reasoning capabilities. Students extend their mathematical knowledge and critical thinking skills acquired in the math classroom with the assistance of coaches, who will guide students through math contest problems during the weekly practices. This class includes intense focus on Math competitions, including but not limited to AMC-8, Math League, Math Counts, Math Kangaroo and many other math competitions. 

 

Both our Science and Math Olympiad teams attend a regional and state competition each year. Students are excited to compare their academic performance with other students in our state and they seem to appreciate the camaraderie amongst their teammates. The benefits of being on a competitive team include having a atmosphere in which to belong, confidence in using skills learned in class for a competition (and also using skills learned for competition in class) and of course, bragging rights for the school’s achievements.

 

Students who do not wish to participate in either Science or Math Olympiad class or teams are able to access the Gifted curriculum at RCSA with independent learning through the development of research and problem-solving skills. By developing critical, complex and creative thinking, our Gifted course allows students to challenge themselves and explore relevant topics. 

 

In High school, our Gifted students are served through Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment courses. In 9th grade, students are offered a Pre-AP program from the College Board. This program enrolls students in focused courses that strengthen understanding of standards and reinforce content knowledge and skills. Pre-AP prepares students for college-level and Advanced Placement (AP) coursework. AP courses are offered to high school students based on FSA Reading and PSAT scores. Dual Enrollment classes are offered to students in 11th and 12th grade. Both AP and Dual Enrollment courses are an excellent way to build college credit while in high school. Past students have been able to earn enough credit that they are able to complete two years of college before high school graduation!

 

In addition to the Gifted Education program, RCSA also offers the Elite Scholars Program (ESP) to students beginning in 8th grade. The Elite Scholars Program (ESP) was developed to offer an exclusive academic experience to RCSA's elite and gifted students. The goal of ESP was to prepare our students to go beyond just "college readiness" and support them for admittance into Ivy League schools and programs such as MIT, Columbia, Duke, or Princeton. Students chosen to be part of ESP will have rigorous core academic classes that incorporate substantial research writing, experiential learning, critical thinking, and problem-solving skill-based curriculum, and other skills to prepare them for the AP Capstone Diploma program once they get into high school. ESP has a built-in support system with ongoing counseling sessions throughout the year in order to look at students' academic portfolios.

RCSA MIDDLE-HIGH SCHOOL
7565 Beach Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32216
Ph: (904) 855-8010

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