JSD_logo_3colorWhat is ALPS?  

ALPS is an acronym for Advanced Learning Placement for Students, a gifted and talented magnet program that serves Jordan School District students in Grades 1-9.  The program is designed for students who demonstrate high performance or capacity for high performance beyond grade/age expectations and thus require specialized learning experiences beyond the regular curriculum.  Students attend full-time in one of four ALPS magnet schools (3 elementary and 1 middle school).

How do I know if my child is a good candidate for the ALPS program?

Students should be considered for the program if they score above average on standardized tests, are one or more grade levels above placement in reading and math, and if they demonstrate characteristics of giftedness which may include having a broad knowledge base, easily making connections and intuitive leaps, exhibiting quick mastery of skills, showing creativity and originality, having an expanded vocabulary, having a questioning attitude, knowing a lot of information about one topic, and being persistent.

How is an ALPS classroom different than a regular education classroom?

In ALPS, students engage in appropriately paced and rigorous curriculum with an emphasis on depth, complexity, and creativity.  Students’ abilities to master curriculum quickly allows for faster pacing of instruction and extended emphasis on higher level thinking skills.

How are students identified for ALPS?

To qualify for ALPS, students must submit an application and take two standardized assessments.  Testing is conducted once each year, and  applications are posted on this website during the first week of September.  The application will contain the testing dates for the given year.  Please see the “ALPS Testing” tab for more details on the assessment process.

Will my child have to retest every year?

All students entering 1st, 4th, and 7th grades are required to apply for the program and take the assessments  to qualify for placement.   Once students are admitted into ALPS, they can remain in the program until the next mandatory testing grades (1st, 4th, 7th).  New applicants to 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 8th, and 9th grades are admitted according to space availability.

What if my child has been in ALPS and does not re-qualify to remain in the program?

The appeals process is an important part of the identification system and will be used to carefully gather additional data and consider individual needs of students who may not re-qualify for the ALPS program. During the appeals process, more information and data will be collected on the student’s abilities and performance, and then considered by an Appeals Committee.   Please note that each individual student is important and our primary goal is to honor and respect each student so his/her educational needs will be appropriately met.  Under the circumstance that a student returns to the regular classroom, support is given to the teacher from a Gifted & Talented Teacher Specialist to ensure the transition is smooth and that academic needs are met.

What if my child enters the program and is not successful?

A student may exit the program at anytime.  If students do not experience success in the program, parents are contacted by the teacher, principal or counselor and appropriate interventions that might help the student achieve success are implemented. If the interventions are unsuccessful, a formal conference is scheduled with the parents, teacher, principal and district Gifted & Talented coordinator to set goals and a three week probation period begins.  A follow-up meeting is scheduled to discuss placement options.

What is available in local schools to meet the needs of advanced learners?

Local schools establish plans for meeting the needs of gifted and talented learners that meet the unique needs of their own community. Consideration is given to activities that provide talent development, opportunities for all, differentiated instruction, and interventions for students who demonstrate exceptional abilities. Each school receives a gifted and talented budget to help support their goals. Many schools participate in district-sponsored special programs such as Debate, Monster Math, Sparks of Ink, Storytellers, Creative Pursuit, and History Fair, which provide opportunities for enrichment. District Gifted and Talented Teacher Specialists can also offer support to individual parents, teachers, and administrators who are seeking help to meet the needs of exceptional students

For ALPS applications click here.

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For additional ways to enhance the credits you earn, check out the following Jordan District options.

Honors Courses

Utah Scholars Initiative

Jordan District Graduation Requirements Show Me the Way Credit Enhancements Beyond the Basics Making the Grade-Why Grades are Important