Explorer Program seeks applicants

The program serves gifted students in elementary and middle school.

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WALLA WALLA -- Applications are now being accepted for participation in the Walla Walla Public Schools Explorer Program for academically gifted students.

Nomination and referral materials are available in all district elementary and middle schools for students to take part in the program next school year.

Parents with students currently in second through seventh grades may contact their child's teacher, school learning specialist or counselor for more information. Materials and details are also available online at www.wwps.org/programs/explorers.htm.

The deadline for nominations and referrals is March 14.

The Explorer Program is geared for students of high academic and intellectual ability by providing designated time to explore concepts in greater depth. Explorer classes are offered to students in third through eighth grades.

The Explorer Program encourages students to become responsible for their own learning, to develop creative thinking and critical reasoning power and to strive to reach their potential.

In the elementary grades, curriculum focuses on math, science, oral and written communication and critical thinking skills. The elementary Explorer program is run at Sharpstein Elementary two half-days a week, and students from other elementary schools are bused to Sharpstein for the program.

The sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade programs are at Pioneer and Garrison middle schools, where curriculum focuses on the humanities through a study of language arts and social studies.

To join the Explorer Program, referred or nominated students must take and pass a series of standardized and cognitive abilities tests. Students who were not selected for the program one year may be referred again.

More information is available by contacting the Walla Walla School District's Curriculum and Instruction Office at 526-6735.

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