Quest: Meeting the Needs of High-Ability Learners

Denver Christian School is excited to announce the launch of Quest, a new program designed to meet the intellectual and social-emotional needs of high ability learners.

Why Quest?

We recognize the fact that all learners are not the same, each one being uniquely gifted by God. At Denver Christian School, we strive to meet each student where they are at — be it a struggling learner, a solid student, or a high-ability student.

Students identified as learning at the high-ability level have unique learning and social-emotional needs. Quest will offer unique challenges in both of these areas within an environment of like-minded peers.  Quest complements existing individualized programs and support coordinated through our Extend program under the direction of Dr. Twinam.

Goals of Quest? 

Quest is designed to meet the intellectual and social-emotional needs of high ability learners.   Just like we strive to meet the needs of our struggling learners, so we must also meet the unique (and often more subtle) needs of our high ability students.

Studies have shown that these students need the time and space to explore what they are passionate about and delve deeply into a subject they are interested in.  They also need to be challenged and risk failure intellectually.   Quest will provide a safe place for them to take risks with their learning, to run into problems, and figure out how to navigate tough situations in their learning.

The National Association of Gifted Children notes, “students learn alongside others who learn at similar rates, possess similar levels of knowledge, and share similar goals, resulting in a peer group where students can challenge one another.”

What is Quest?

Quest is a weekly optional pull-out program for high ability learners in 3rd-8th grades.  Quest is designed to address their unique learning needs through in-depth investigation of a topic of unique interest to the students, as well as time spent with their intellectual peers, interacting and discussing issues that are important to them.

Quest students will research, conduct interviews, explore external resources through field trips and networks, and collaborate with their Quest group to creatively explore and learn.

Part of each weekly session will also be spent discussing and doing activities related to developing good habits of mind for active learning and social-emotional health, like persistence, striving for accuracy, showing empathy, interdependent learning, and asking good questions.

How are students identified/selected for Quest?  

Students are identified for participation in Quest based on a combination of test scores, classroom observation, classroom performance, student interest, and parent/student/teacher input.

What is the Quest schedule?

Quest is a year-long program with 90-minute weekly pull-out sessions.  Working collaboratively with Extend director Dr. Twinam, Quest instructor Mrs. Megan Harris will coordinate Quest programming, scheduling, and communication.

What if DC is forced to be online for a period of time?  What will happen with Quest? 

Should government mandates require a temporary pause in in-seat instruction or if a student’s individual situation requires learning at home for a period of time, Quest will continue in an online format utilizing Canvas Learning Platform, Swivel, and Zoom.

Additional information about Quest

Mr. Covey, Denver Christian’s Head of School, interviewed Mrs. Twinam and Mrs. Waanders (previous Quest instructor) in a recent podcast. Questions can be directed to Mrs. Tracey Twinam, Extend program coordinator.

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