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GEARS is a program at St. John Vianney Catholic School that designed to help students become creative thinkers, critical thinkers, and caring thinkers. When students think creatively they generate original ideas and can elaborate on those ideas. Creative thinkers are curious, make complex connections, and can use their imaginations. They are risk takers who can try new and interesting ways to solve questions. Critical thinkers are able to focus, to plan, to affirm others, and are open to new ideas. Caring thinkers value different points of view, think about other’s feelings, actively listen, and show empathy.

The GEARS program has three main parts, which are a Gifted Program, an Enrichment Program, and a school wide program to enhance Academic Rigor. The GEARS program is open to students in first through sixth grade. Acceptance into this program is based on the following criteria: combined scores from a Cognitive Test, such as the CogAt, standardized test scores, and STAR assessments. Students in the GEARS Program are evaluated and placed each academic school year according to the criteria listed above. The Academic Rigor component of GEARS supports classroom teachers as they continue to strive to challenge students academically within the classroom setting.

Students who are selected to participate in the GEARS program meet on a weekly basis in a specialized classroom designed to encourage creativity, teamwork, and problem solving skills.

As a result of participating in GEARS, students will be able to:

· Extend their knowledge to allow them to make connections, to analyze, to evaluate, and to create.

· Build relationships with their peers.

· Develop research skills.

· Work independently and collaboratively on projects.

· Produce a project that has a positive effect.

· Become active listeners who can show empathy.

· Understand that they can learn from their mistakes.

If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Philpot at