Vista Hermosa students study at Stanford

The group was participating in a Johns Hopkins University talent-search program.

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PRESCOTT -- Four Vista Hermosa Elementary School students spent three weeks at Stanford University recently, studying math and writing, and meeting students from around the U.S. and the world.

The students participated in the Center for Talented Youth talent search, a program of Johns Hopkins University.

Vista Hermosa teacher Ines Arenas said the school first enrolled students in the program about three years ago. Vista Hermosa is a private, faith-based school at Broetje Orchards in Prescott.

On Aug. 5, four students now in sixth and seventh grades -- Christopher Gutierrez, Jocelyn Granados, Anna Flores and Osiel Guerrero -- traveled to Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., to take math and writing classes, and share their love of learning with other academically talented students.

"While the focus is on rigorous academics and learning, the social experience that results from bringing these students together is an integral part of the program," Arenas said in an email.

The students qualified for the summer program by taking the School and College Ability Test, or SCAT. The exam is geared for gifted students in second through sixth grades, and tests academic skills above grade level. A particular score is needed to participate in the CTY talent search programs. Students qualify to take the exam by testing in the 95th percentile of standardized exams, or with exceptional grades and a teacher recommendation, according to its website.

Arenas noted that all of the four students who earned high enough test scores speak Spanish as their first language. One student moved to the U.S. from Mexico and began learning English as a second-grader.

The four students were among 24 that took the exam in June.

Maria P. Gonzalez can be reached at mariagonzalez@wwub.com or 526-8317.

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