Team members from left to right: Tara Matthews, Robin Lady, and Linda Griswold
What is Stretch?
Academic Stretch is the middle school component of the Rockwood Gifted Program. This component is offered in grades six through eight for students who meet district criteria for the gifted program. It is our mission to provide gifted middle school students with an encouraging and safe learning environment that offers:
- Rigorous academic curriculum that promotes high levels of student achievement.
- Meaningful activities that foster self-esteem and acceptance through stimulating intellectual challenge.
- Opportunities to explore and develop their creativity through student choices.
- Access to advanced technology, integrated into curriculum and instruction.
Stretch TeamAll Rockwood Gifted Program Academic Stretch teachers have graduate training and certification in gifted education. Crestview Middle School has three full time Academic Stretch teachers. Welcome Linda Griswold, our new 6th grade Stretch teacher! She has taught in gifted programs for many years in Chicago suburban school districts. Robin Lady, 7th grade Stretch, is a 17 year veteran of education, 14 of which in gifted. This is Dr. Lady’s 10th year teaching Stretch at CMS! Welcome Tara Matthews, our new 8th grade Stretch teacher! She has a Master’s degree in gifted and has taught 7 years.
Academic Stretch enables students to work with academic peers in an environment that focuses on identifying and maximizing individual student talents and interests. The curriculum gives students the opportunity to explore a range of high interest, real world issues that are both personally relevant and intellectually challenging. The program’s curriculum is interdisciplinary in nature and focuses on a different theme each year. Sixth graders study change, seventh graders explore survival and eighth graders investigate systems.
All units in this program are designed to promote active student engagement in learning and develop skills in critical and creative thinking, information processing, problem-solving, communication and leadership. Community resources are tapped to bring real world experience and expertise into the classroom. Technology is used extensively to create products and develop a sophisticated understanding of various fields and issues. Time management strategies, current events, language arts skills, and service projects are also incorporated into the Academic Stretch program.
At all grade levels, Genius Hour will be introduced this year. Genius Hour began with a strategy used by Google to improve creative problem solving. Google would give their engineers 20% of their time at work to devote to working on projects of their own choosing. This is new and exciting, stay tuned for more information!
Infinite CampusInfinite Campus will be used for grading, communication and some assignments but will not be used daily. Stretch projects typically span for several weeks with summative grades at the end. Please stay updated by reading the Stretch updates. If there are concerns with your child in Stretch, you will be contacted by the Stretch teacher.