Examples of School Districts that Use the ALM

There are many school districts that implement the ALM program in varied ways. Some districts implement summer programs where students participate in prearranged enrichment activities of interest. Other school districts use the ALM programs within their pull-out classes where students work for several years in a particular topic of study to produce a culminating project.

The following descriptions and web links illustrate how these various districts implement the ALM program.

The Primary Extension and Challenge Program in the Pilbara Education District in Western Australia uses the ALM model to meet the needs of gifted and talent students in grades 5-7. Students participate in weekly summer camp sessions and explore science and social studies related content: ecology, nautical exploration, and modern history. http://www.kisser.net.au/pdeo/peac/page8.html

North_Warren_Student.jpgThe North Warren Regional School District in New Jersey provides the ALM model for its gifted and talented students. The ALM provides the overall structure to the gifted education programs at the middle and high school levels. Additionally, students participate in enrichment seminars where they can learn about a wide variety of topics including: Hurricanes, Genetically Engineered Animals, the Physics of Roller Coasters, Vintage Recipes, and Understanding Mental Illness.

Hopkins_Image.jpgThe Hopkins School District in Minnesota offers the ALM program during the Study Time/Goals Lab period to both middle and high school students. While also maintaining its gifted programming called “Challenge”, the ALM program during “connections” time offers students the opportunity to participate in enrichment activities outside of the core academic periods. Students learn about geocaching, the economist John Nash, the paintings of Rene Magritte, and mock debates on ecological and nuclear weapons issues. At the end of the ninth and twelfth grades, the middle and high school students complete culminating projects over several months. At the end of the school year, the students showcase their in-depth studies to the community at the “Palooza Night”.

The following video showcases the students' work at the ALM Project Palooza in 2009. The students exhibited their in-depth studies that they had been working on for several months.

Waterloo_Student.jpgThe Waterloo Community School District in Iowa blends their language arts curriculum with the Autonomous Learner Model for gifted middle school learners. The ALM curriculum creates opportunities to apply and extend reading, writing, and learning concepts and skills into areas of personal interest and other content areas. The ALM has been used for quite some time in the Waterloo District since its adoption in 1984.