Grades 3-5 Cluster Classrooms

Upper Elementary Cluster Classrooms

All SoWashCo Elementary schools have Talent Development & Advanced Academics cluster classrooms in grades 4 and 5. Grade 3 cluster classrooms will return in 2021-22 after all 2nd and 3rd grade students are screened for services in the 2021-22 school year. Cluster grouping is the practice of placing a small group or cluster of gifted students together in the same classroom with a teacher who has received additional training in teaching gifted learners.

The size of the cluster may be as few as two or as many as ten students. Cluster classrooms have the same number of students as all other classes and include not only gifted students, but also students with a broad range of abilities. The idea of clustering is to allow academically talented and high ability students to learn with peers of all abilities, while also being able to group together for more challenging lessons.

Research shows that clustering students of high ability increases the opportunity for instruction to be delivered at an appropriate pace and level of challenge. When grouped with students of like abilities, gifted students make more educational gains than when they are separated into different classes.

TDAA services are curriculum based. The curriculum for students in the cluster classroom is based on our district's core curriculum which is differentiated to meet the needs of all learners. Able learners may progress at an accelerated rate or at an in-depth level. A primary objective of the cluster classroom is to place greater emphasis on high level cognitive abilities and go more in-depth with the curriculum. All students benefit when teachers focus on expanding, extending, and enhancing classroom learning opportunities.