Helios’ curriculum framework and program development is informed by program standards developed by the National Association for Gifted Children. These standards draw on years of research on gifted education documenting the most effective approaches to curriculum planning and delivery for gifted learners.
Best practices in gifted education we incorporate at Helios include:
- Project-based learning Theme and project based learning allows learners to maximize thinking in terms of connections and relationships. Real-world projects anchor skills in authentic and meaningful applications which motivates students to learn and preserves their natural curiosity.
- Individual learning plans (ILPs) Helios accommodates individual learning goals in each field of study through the use of ILPs (Individual Learning Plans). Each child has an ILP developed from information gleaned from the assessment process, as well as through ongoing authentic classroom and standardized assessments.
- Flexible and fluid groupings At Helios, students learn at their own pace, unrestricted by the pace of the group. As they progress, students may change groups throughout the year, ensuring they are continually challenged and grouped with peers of similar abilities.
- Acceleration/enrichment We implement a variety of acceleration and enrichment strategies that enable learners to progress at their own pace and explore personal passions.
- Social-Emotional learning (SEL) Helios believes SEL is a critical life-skill, not only for gifted children but for all children. We use implicit and explicit SEL lessons to help children learn skills of conflict resolution and to develop the strategies and insights necessary to form meaningful relationships with peers.
- Extraordinary faculty Helios is staffed by a faculty of gifted learners who can appropriately challenge and meet the needs of our student body. Our teachers undergo ongoing training in the unique affective and intellectual needs of the gifted.
- Support for parents We believe parents are critical partners in the education of each child and have built a strong community to support parents in the sometimes-difficult endeavor of raising and educating their gifted children.