Extended Learning Overview

Our Extended Learning program, aligned with the Iowa Code section 257.44, caters to talented and gifted children exhibiting exceptional achievement or potential in areas such as general intellectual ability, creative thinking, leadership, visual and performing arts, and specific academic aptitudes.

The Burlington Community School District acknowledges this state definition and refers to Talented and Gifted programming as Extended Learning. This program adapts to the developmental needs of each child, offering services that may be necessary at various stages of their academic journey. Parents will be informed about the specific services their child receives.

Definition of Talented and Gifted as defined by Iowa Code from the Department of Education:

“Pursuant to IC section 257.44, gifted and talented children include those children with demonstrated achievement or potential ability, or both, in any one or more of the following areas: 1) general intellectual ability; 2) creative thinking; 3) leadership ability; 4) visual and performing arts ability; and 5) specific ability aptitude.”

Burlington Community School District’s Acknowledgement of IC section 257.44: 

The Burlington Community School District recognizes the state of Iowa definition for Talented and Gifted. The district refers to Talented and Gifted programming as Extended Learning. The focus of Extended Learning services will vary based on child development and needs. Your child may need all, some, or none of the services provided by our department at various stages of their school career. Parents will be notified as to what services their child is receiving. 

BCSD Extended Learning Core Beliefs 

Unique Needs: Extended Learning students have distinct academic and social-emotional needs that surpass the core curriculum.

Diverse Representation: These students come from all cultural, economic, and gender backgrounds, including those with other special needs.

Nurturing Environment: Extended Learning students deserve educational experiences that validate and nurture their needs while allowing for academic and social emotional growth.

Identification for Extended Learning Services

To meet the state requirements and serve our students effectively, we employ multiple criteria for identifying the need for Extended Learning services. These tools and methods include:

  • Universal screening tools
  • Primary Education Thinking Skills (PETS)
  • iReady (math)
  • FAST (reading)
  • Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress
  • Teacher referrals
  • Parental and student information
  • Rating Scales (HOPE, GATES, etc.)
  • Peabody (Vocabulary)
  • Work samples
  • Student interviews
  • Observations

Determination of student services will be completed on an ongoing basis. Students may need all, some, or none of the Extended Learning services at various stages of their school career.

Extended Learning Services

Our K-12 services are tailored to the specific academic and social-emotional needs of our students and include:

  • Collaboration with general education teachers for differentiated instruction
  • Whole class enrichment and screening for grades K-2 using PETS
  • Individual and/or small group pull-out services
  • Self-advocacy and enrichment for grades 5-12
  • Academic acceleration and dual enrollment options
  • Early graduation opportunities for grades 9-12
  • Mentoring and leadership development for grades 7-12
  • Visual Arts Achievement Program (VAAP) for grades 7-8
  • Individually contracted opportunities for grades 9-12

We are committed to providing enriching educational experiences that recognize and develop the unique talents and gifts of our students.

Extended Learning Teacher Contact Information

Julie Russell

Black Hawk: 319-753-5300
Grimes: 319-753-0420

Zach Dahl
North Hill: 319-753-6363
Sunnyside: 319-754-5244

Kahri Plein
Aldo: 319-752-8390

Katie Salisbury
Edward Stone: 319-752-4393