REACH (Gifted and Talented)
Director of Programs
Administrative Assistant for Learning and Teaching
Elmhurst District 205's rigorous curriculum meets the needs of most students. However, some students demonstrate exceptional intellectual ability and need experiences extending beyond the regular curriculum. REACH provides curriculum enhancements based on academic needs and augments classroom instruction with enrichment and/or acceleration. Elmhurst District 205 provides enriched services in two programs: English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics.
REACH ELA is designed to meet the needs of students demonstrating academic strengths in the area of literacy in Grades 3 through 8. REACH math is an accelerated math program and begins in 3rd grade for qualifying students; REACH ELA identification is not required for advanced math.
REACH Initial Identification
The REACH identification process consists of a review of achievement data, cognitive assessment data, and teacher rating scales based on student performance in the classroom. Each school year, both second and fifth grade students take the CogAT (Cognitive Ability Assessment) and MAP assessments and are reviewed for REACH placement the following school year.
Please see the 2022-2023 rubrics linked below. The first page of the document includes a timeline for metrics used for initial identification.
Notifications for initial identification will be sent out no later than Friday, February 18th.
Second and fifth graders take the CogAT (Cognitive Ability Assessment) each December. If a student is appealing to qualify for REACH ELA and/or math, students will take the assessment February 28 - March 11. If you have questions about the CogAT, please review the frequently asked questions below.
CogAT FAQs English
REACH Appeals Process
The initial identification for the REACH program takes place when students are in 2nd and 5th grade (for placement the following school year, 3rd and 6th grade) for math & ELA. Students mature and grow at different rates, and a change in placement may be warranted later in a student's academic career. If a student isn't identified in the initial identification process and is interested in being considered for REACH, an appeals process for math &/or ELA is available for current 2nd-7th graders (for placement the following school year).
D205's rigorous curriculum ensures that students are challenged in all of their courses. A student earning a high grade in a particular course or wanting more challenge does not necessitate REACH placement; in most cases, a high grade is indicative of appropriate placement and strong success in the current course.
Students who are identified for REACH consistently demonstrate above grade-level performance across multiple metrics. For students demonstrating a need for academic extension or acceleration that is beyond the regular classroom, parents, teachers, or administrators may submit an application for REACH Appeal. Appeals are considered and reviewed each Spring for identification and placement beginning in the next school year.
While families and schools can apply for an appeal for students, any student who may qualify for REACH ELA and math currently in 2nd-4th grade will be identified using the appeals rubric below with the addition of the multiple metrics.
For example, if a current 3rd grader has MAP scores that could qualify them for REACH math, they would be invited to take a quantitative CogAT. If they elect to do so, the student's MAP data, CogAT, teacher rating, and IAR data will be used using the appeals rubric below.
Timelines for appeals are included in the rubrics (on PAGE 1).
New to District
Families who are new to District 205 may request that their child(ren)'s information and data be reviewed for placement in the REACH gifted program. Please contact Kerry Leuschel (firstname.lastname@example.org) for information.
New-to-District Student Placement Guidelines
If your student does not have data points from the last 12 months to submit for REACH placement consideration, D205 offers new-to-district families the opportunity to take MAP and/or CogAT. Please complete THIS FORM to sign your student up for summer assessments.
The dates available for summer testing are:
- 6/29 (testing begins as early as 10AM and the last time slot will begin at 1PM)
- 7/13 (testing begins as early as 10AM and the last time slot will begin at 1PM)
- 7/21 (testing begins as early as 10AM and the last time slot will begin at 1PM)
- 7/25 (testing begins as early as 12PM and the last time slot will begin at 3PM)
New to REACH Informational Meeting
The New to REACH virtual informational meeting are scheduled for Thursday, August 18th at 7PM on Zoom. If you are not available, the slide deck will be posted on this page.
Please see the meeting information below:
Meeting ID: 813 2640 7977
Summer Bridge Opportunity
Any student who has qualified this school year for placement in a REACH math level course for the 2021-22 school year will be able to participate in a Summer Bridge course. This is a 6-week course from June 14-July 23rd. It is an optional course and students will be assigned specific tasks through Khan Academy that will help them bridge some of the skills they will need for the upcoming school year. It is a self-paced course that will be completely online. A teacher will be assigned to students and available weekly to work through and support students as needed through virtual office hours. Information will be sent to all eligible families the first week in June. Please check your spam or junk mail if you have not received information as of yet.
Gifted Instruction Program Analysis and Recommendation Presentation
On Tuesday, March 16th, 2020 information was shared with the Board of Education in regards to the Gifted Instruction program analysis that has occurred as well as recommendations for gifted instruction services. The presentation is available below. At this time, the Gifted Instruction Program recommendations have been placed on pause until the new Administration team has collaborated and discussed next steps.
Illinois Definition of Gifted & Talented
Children/youth with outstanding talent who perform or show potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared with other children/youth of their age, experience, and environment. A child shall be considered gifted and talented in any area of aptitude, and specifically, in language arts and math, by scoring in the top 5% locally in the area of aptitude.
Illinois General Assembly, Illinois Compiled Statues Section 5, Public Act 094-0151, Article 14A