The Middle School Program is enhanced through its relationship with The Center for Educational Enrichment at Gateway. The Center fuses understandings from the field of gifted education with progressive supports in executive function and social development, a combination that has proven to be powerful for the education of our very capable middle school students with learning differences.
The strength-based approach of the Center allows students to identify, pursue, and develop their interests, passions, and talents. All middle school students participate in a Center Team, and each team is structured around similar criteria.
The teams are driven by student interest and involve collaborative problem solving, the creation of a final product, and the presentation of the product to a meaningful audience. Examples of Center Teams include: Robotics, Documentarians, Comic Book Writers, Computer Technicians, Authors, Inventors, Visionary Artists, Stand Up Comedians, and Investors.
The Center also provides the Middle School Program with faculty who possess expertise in gifted and talented education and specific academic disciplines. Theses instructors teach advanced level courses in mathematics, humanities, and science. Students are selected for advanced courses based on their individual learning profiles as well as their previous performance in these areas.
Students who have particular talent or ability in specific academic and other areas may also work through the Center to pursue individual mentorships and apprecenticeships. Apprenticeships are established between students with advanced abilities and interests and highly accomplished professionals from that field. Examples of mentorships and apprenticeships include: the study of paleontology with a senior scientist at The American Museum of Natural History, the composition of a solo play with an accomplished playwright and solo actor, culinary arts with chefs from Union Square Café and Café Two MoMA, healing arts with a master of Oriental medicine and pain and stress relief, mathematics with a theoretical mathematician from City College, writing and curation with an experienced curator from the Art and Design Department at Montclair State, and creative writing with a published playwright.