Kent ISD Provides Resources for Accelerated Learning

Ever heard of the Academically Talented Youth Program (ATYP) at Kent ISD?

In 1999, at the request of superintendents from multiple local districts, Kent ATYP began . Why? Because these districts had middle school students who were way beyond their peers in readiness to learn math, but no one district consistently had enough accelerated students to justify developing a program to support their needs for acceleration.

The History of Kent ATYP Program

Solution? Kent ISD should host a county-wide program for students who were ready to learn math in greater depth and complexity and at a much faster pace than an average or even a challenging middle school math class. After studying the existing accelerated math programs currently available in the state, Kent ATYP was born. The program was essentially modeled after the Kalamazoo ATYP program, but with some important differences.

Superintendents Developed the Structure for the Kent ATYP Program in 1999
  • Participation would be based on readiness to learn Algebra I & II in one year at an extremely fast pace (not grade in school) determined by taking an above level exam (i.e. SAT or ACT)
  • Students should not have to choose between appropriate instruction and their extracurricular activities. ATYP would operate entirely during the school day. Classes would be held on Wednesday, because there the fewest athletic competitions and fewest tests were on Wednesdays.
  • ATYP should be available to all students who needed it regardless of parents’ ability to transport or pay, so public districts decided to transport and pay a low tuition.
  • Students would not begin the program after 8th grade. Transition to high school was difficult and high school schedules were less flexible.
  • ATYP Math would be the student’s math course, and credit would be awarded for completion, even when it was two full years of high school math earned in just one school year, and students would not be expected to make-up the math their sending school peers were doing.

Kent ATYP was a success and we subsequently added an enriched Geometry course as ATYP Math, Year II, then FST/PDM as Year III. Most instructors were college professors or instructors.

The Development of ATYP English/Language Arts

Very soon schools were asking for a comparable program for students exceptionally talented in English/Language Arts. In 2004-2005, Kent ISD added ATYP Language Arts I with a writing component that looked much like a freshman college writing class. Exceptional Language Arts students thrived!

Kent ATYP Program Today

The accelerated math and language arts students continue to thrive in Kent ATYP today.  The courses have adapted to meet the evolving demands of MME and Common Core.  And, we have continued to adapt to meet the needs of accelerated students with Geometry now Geometry/Trigonometry, FST/PDM (Functions/Statistics/Trigonomety/PreCalc/Discrete Math) now PreCalculus/Statistics (Students successfully take the AP Statistics exam with most earning 4s or 5s.). Language Arts has evolved to exceed expectations for grades 9, 10, and 11 plus most students who complete three years of ATYP ELA also earn credit by examination for two AP English courses. The promise of faster pace and greater depth and complexity continues!

Kent ATYP Math Junior

Kent ATYP is still adapting to meet local school needs. This year Kent ATYP is piloting a PreAlgebra/STEM course for 5th and 6th graders, called ATYP Math Junior, in response to the many principals who asked us for help with their 5th or 6th graders, who were ready to learn more NOW.

Click here fore more information about ATYP Math JR  

More information

Want to know more about ATYP or ATYP Math Junior? Contact Mary Nell Baldwin at Kent ISD, 616-365-2284 or marynellbaldwin@kentisd.org

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s