What makes ALPS different from an honors program?
The main difference between the ALPS program and an honors program is the accelerated pace that ALPS offers. Students in the program complete significant portions of the tenth-grade curriculum by the time they finish ninth-grade. Classes that cover tenth-grade material include English 10 Honors, Pre-Calculus (with sufficient enrollment), Spanish III, French III, and Biology Honors, to name a few. We also offer a variety of advanced electives to meet student needs and interests.
Faculty members are experienced and are being educated and specially endorsed by the state in gifted and talented education. The faculty and staff will be particularly sensitive to the needs of gifted and talented learners, and design their classes and curriculum around those needs.
How many classes do ALPS students take with other ALPS students? How many classes are shared with neighborhood students?
All English, Science, and Social Studies classes are designated as specialized ALPS classes through 7th and 8th grades. In 9th grade, only the English classes will be ALPS specialized, with Geography Honors and Biology Honors available as integrated courses. Through the natural sorting of schedules, most other classes tend to be made up of mostly ALPS students. Students are enrolled in math classes based on ability, so they may be in with older students who are at the same level. As ALPS students advance in math, the concentration of ALPS students in the classes increases. Because foreign language classes are offered only to ALPS students in the seventh grade, the concentration of ALPS students in those classes is also high.
What advantages does Oquirrh Hills Middle offer?
Oquirrh Hills’s greatest asset is its talented, caring, and collaborative teaching staff. Oquirrh Hills’s teachers and staff go out of their way to ensure the needs of all students are met. The student body is very welcoming. We are extremely excited about the opportunity to work with the ALPS population and see our program here grow.
What transportation is offered to ALPS students?
Buses will be available at 4 different locations throughout Jordan School District. These locations have yet to be determined by the Transportation Department. As these locations are made known, all information will be provided to interested families. This information should be available as soon as April 1, 2009 from the JSD Transportation Department.
How do I get into the ALPS program?
A number of factors go into determining eligibility for the ALPS program. These factors include results from an above-level IOWA Test, the CogAT Cognitive Ability Test and a student and teacher survey. Testing will take place December 2-4, 2010 for the 2011-2012 year. To download an ALPS application, go to the Jordan District Gifted & Talented website. Reciprocal students who move into the district mid-year will be screened and may be admitted based upon space availability. For more information, please contact the Curriculum Department at Jordan School District by calling 567-8381.
Does an ALPS student have to retest every year to stay in the program?
Once a student advances from the elementary ALPS program and tests into the Middle school ALPS program, yearly testing is no longer required. Students who struggle academically at Oquirrh Hills Middle will have their individual case reviewed as required to be sure that their needs are being met by the school.
How much homework should an ALPS student plan on?
The rule of thumb is that a student should expect ten minutes of homework per night, per grade. In other words, a seventh-grade student should have about seventy minutes of homework per night. In addition, the ALPS teachers and a student’s “team” coordinate a homework calendar so that large projects in various classes are not due at the same time.
What skills make an ALPS student successful?
Besides academic ability, an ALPS student should focus on planning and organization when it comes to school work. Because we understand that the transition from elementary school to eight teachers every day is sometimes difficult, we have assigned each student a teacher advocate—their TA teacher. TA teachers meet individually with students on at least a weekly basis to support struggling students and to encourage those who exceed. Students remain with the same TA teacher during all three years at OHMS.
Do ALPS students tend to stay in the program?
We expect the vast majority of students to stay and find the ALPS program very rewarding. Very few switch schools, but a handful of students may move or end up returning to their boundary school in any given year.
Which high school do ALPS students attend?
ALPS students, like all students in the District, can request a permit to attend the high school of their choosing. Many ALPS students choose to attend an International Baccalaureate (IB) program, while others attend their boundary high school or another high school in the Jordan School District that they feel is the best match for their needs. Each of our high schools offer a great selection of Advanced Placement and Concurrent Enrollment courses that offer a rigorous option for college readiness. Becoming an IB school is a process that takes a couple of years of development before being fully implemented and our school board is currently considering the best location for a future IB program. The ALPS program offers a particularly strong foundation for students seeking to participate in the International Baccalaureate program. However, attending Oquirrh Hills Middle will prepare students for continued success at whatever school they choose to attend.
More info about Hillcrest High School’s International Baccalaureate program