Options for Gifted & High Achieving High SchoolersHigh achieving students at River Springs Charter School are excellent candidates for alternate and accelerated learning opportunities, particularly as part of the home school experience. Home schoolers seem to understand the value of learning that takes place outside of the classroom better than anyone else and many home schoolers have already been introduced to personalized and interest-led learning techniques and realize the tremendous benefits of these unique learning outcomes.
Many opportunities exist for high achieving home schooled students to pursue. There are expanded educational activities available for the home schooled student outside of the traditional college or university campus and many home schooled students already have experience finding alternative learning opportunities. Many home schoolers have already begun the process of investigating a subject of particular interest, and the studies that home schooled students have undertaken during the high school years could possibly be turned into college credits.
RSCS now offers AP classes. Check out the RSCS Master course list to see the courses being offered this year. RSCS proctors AP exams in May. The guidance department keeps an interest list for students who want to take an AP exam. If you are interested in testing, contact the guidance department at 951-252-8831 or email
. Please provide your contact information, and the name of the test you would like to take. The guidance department will finalize the list of tests, and order them in the spring. Click HERE if you would like to learn more about the AP exam.
Recommendations and Resources
RSCS students are capable of many things which should not be underestimated. With the proper preparation and motivation, students will be able to take on the challenges of college-level study. Therefore, it is important to help them understand how the learning experience will relate to their ultimate goals. When developing an educational program for a River Srings student, there should be a great deal of discussion about the students’ interests and how those interests could correlate with a possible course of study and even a future vocation. Giving children a sense of life purpose will motivate them and guide them as they prepare for college-level study.
Before attempting college-level study, students must first develop a strong motivation and character skills. Students’ strength and weaknesses need to be accounted for. Once areas which need improvement have been identified, home study and work projects can be made a part of the students’ educational program in order for the child to demonstrate that character quality they are focusing on in a practical way. For example, if a child needs to be continually reminded of projects and assignments, it will be very difficult for that student to be successful in a distance-learning program which requires the student to be an independent learner. That character trait can be cultivated though as the student is taught planning, goal setting and time management skills through the use of a planner. It is also recommended that the student complete study skills courses in order to cultivate cognitive abilities such as learning skillfully, effective studying, building a better memory, and even speed reading and comprehension.
While in high school, it is possible for gifted and highly capable students to earn college credit right along with high school studies. Students might try the following strategies: First, students could take college level exams. If a student has an interest in pursuing a certain course of study in more depth, encourage that interest and help the child earn college-level credit for the learning that takes place. There are two ways to do this: Find a college that already offers credit for the internship, even if the school is not the school of record. Or, find a course that covers the knowledge gained through the internship, document everything learned, and complete a portfolio for credit. Portfolios are a wonderful way for students to document their work for future reference. For example, if the child is interested in studying landscaping, a portfolio could be easily prepared in Landscape Plant Materials or Landscape Construction and Maintenance. The student should keep an annotated bibliography of books read on the subject. Interviews with experts and training received should be well documented. Photos should be taken of actual landscape projects completed. Once all of these components are prepared, the student can write about what was learned in a narrative and combine all of the components into a portfolio. Later, by enrolling in a college that accepts portfolio credit, the student can submit the portfolio and receive college credits for the learning that took place. Furthermore, students could become interns. If a student is interested in pursuing a particular course of study in greater depth and needs to work with a professor, the student might consider taking a correspondence course or online course. See distance learning resources below for a variety of existing programs. That way, high schoolers can “test the waters” to see if the method of higher education is suited for them at this time in their life. Students should also take advantage of RSCS’s guidance counselors. RSCS guidance counselors can be very helpful assisting students develop a unique and personalized learning program based on their individual goals, skills, and interests.
Distance Learning Opportunities