Pupils Learning Appropriately TOgether
3rd grade - 5th grade
PLATO is an optional center-based program for students in grades 3-5 who need differentiated instruction and who elect this integrated program. Fairview and Highland Park Elementary Schools serve as locations for these centers.
Within the centers, grouping is flexible. The use of small group learning, including cross-grade grouping, allows students to progress according to individual ability. Team teaching and cooperative planning allow for flexible scheduling. In an atmosphere of cooperation and mutual respect, students are accepted as unique individuals, are taught on whatever level they are performing, and are allowed to succeed at those levels.
PLATO offers a differentiated, inclusive academic program. Students' mastery levels are assessed in order to avoid unnecessary repetition of instructional material. Curriculum is based on "concepts" instead of "content," using broad based themes that can be global in nature and applicable to real-life situations and problems. Curricular enrichment adds areas of learning not normally included and provides for the addition of more difficult or in-depth material on a given subject. Enrichment may also include seminars with guest speakers, experiences out of school relating to units of study, and individual research in areas of special interest.
One of the main goals of the PLATO program is to foster the development of alternative thinking patterns. Students make choices and are allowed to develop alternatives as they assume responsibility for learning and become self-directed.
Students who are identified as gifted yet opt not to transfer to one of the centers, have Differentiated Education Plans created to meet their needs in the regular classroom. Grouping strategies, acceleration options, and instructional modifications are implemented as appropriate for each child with the collaboration of the gifted personnel in the school.