The enrichment program at the elementary schools is also referred to as Problem Solving Investigations (PSI) and is taught by the school’s Information Literacy and Enrichment teacher. PSI is a multi-age pull-out enrichment program, typically taking place for about an hour each week. Though the exact structures of the program may vary slightly by building, in every school the program engages students in activities aimed at developing and enhancing 21st Century Skills, including:
- Critical thinking and problem-solving of real-world problems
- Collaboration and self-directed learning
- Making use of technology to research and communicate
The program is for students in grades 3, 4, and 5 who are identified based on standardized testing data (including MAP and IAR), local assessment data, and classroom performance data. Students who perform among the top 10% of their peer group in the area of mathematics and/or literacy are eligible to participate in PSI. This is determined by the end of the first trimester of third grade, and is based on a combination of available assessment data that includes second- and third-grade MAP or Aprenda, local math and literacy assessments taken by all students, and input from second- and third-grade teachers regarding classroom performance. During the first trimester, the school’s Information Literacy and Enrichment Teacher collaborates with third-grade teachers to work with students in their classrooms. Families are notified if their child will be participating in PSI at the end of the first trimester.
Student data is also be evaluated during the first trimester of fourth and fifth grade to ensure that additional students who emerge at an older age have the opportunity to participate.