Advanced Learning at Whittier

At Whittier, we believe that all students have academic talent. We also recognize that students vary in their needs throughout the day, in different subject areas, and over time as they grow from kindergarteners to 5th graders. Students with advanced learning needs may require learning experiences that are deeper, more complex, or at a faster pace.  Our goal at Whittier is to use our rigorous IB programming to ensure that all students discover their unique talents and strengths, while also ensuring that our students receive a differentiated curriculum to feel truly challenged all day, every day. Achieving that goal requires a lot of teamwork and collaboration!

Students with advanced learning needs in the primary grades are engaged in challenging learning opportunities throughout the day by their classroom teachers who are coached by the Advanced Differentiation Specialist, Colleen Bergh.

Telescoped math in grades 4 and 5: While many advanced learners benefit from the increased challenge and careful management of learning goals facilitated by curriculum compacting, certain students may need a more accelerated approach to learning in math. Rather than skipping a year in math, which has the potential to create gaps in understanding, telescoping allows for vigorously paced learning, progressing through three years of curriculum in two. At Whittier, 4th and 5th grade students who need a very intense level of differentiation participate in telescoped math courses taught by Sara Anderson.  The goal is completing all of grade 6 math by the end of 5th grade. Middle school options for telescoped and other advanced math courses are available at all MPS secondary schools.