St. James is committed to an educational program which recognizes exceptional academic potential of qualifying students. This program provides opportunities for students to interact with peers of similar abilities to develop their academic skills while promoting a greater sense of cooperation through group activities and work. Students selected are encouraged to be self-motivated as they learn to select and complete projects or advanced academic work.
Two types of program are available for the highly able learner: Differentiated Instruction and Acceleration of Instruction.
Differentiated Instruction allows the learner to have instruction/learning occur in a variety of: depth, complexity, novelty and/or pacing/acceleration.
Acceleration of Instruction allows the learner to go beyond the altered pace as presented by differentiated instruction by joining instruction with intellectual peers rather than social peers. For example, at the 5th grade level, students may be considered for advancement into 6th grade level mathematics.
Selection for Accelerated Studies is based on nomination from the classroom teacher, teaching specialist or parents. Students must be at or above the 90th percentile in academic, cognitive or creative ability and possess task commitment. Students are placed for a probationary period to determine if the placement is effective. Students will be evaluated yearly to determine if such a placement should continue.