Who are Young Scholars?
Young Scholars are students with academic potential who may lack advocates, access, and affirmation; members of populations currently underrepresented in advanced academic programs – African American, Hispanic, English Language Learners, and students who receive free and reduced meals. Once identified, students are invited to remain part of the Young Scholars cohort throughout their years in FCPS. Young Scholars was founded in FCPS in 2011 and currently operates at Hillcrest Elementary, Monocacy Elementary, Monocacy and West Frederick Middle Schools, Frederick and Governor Thomas Johnson High Schools. FCPS has the only Young Scholars program in Maryland and is a leader in assisting other districts across the country with establishing similar programs.
To identify students who may not be considered for Advanced Academics programs using traditional methods of identification, and who, without that opportunity, are less likely to pursue advanced levels of learning on their own.
To nurture high academic potential at an early age so that identified students will be prepared to engage in challenging subject matter and rigorous courses in middle school, high school, and college
How do we identify students as Young Scholars?
Young Scholars are identified via multiple means: ongoing observation of student work, response to lessons designed to elicit critical and creative thinking (Open Minds, Open Doors), review of achievement scores, student performance on a non-traditional creativity measure (Torrance style) and collaboration between classroom teachers and specialists.
What opportunities are given to Young Scholars?
Central to the program is the Young Scholars Summer School, which immerses approximately 20-25 students in rigorous, challenging, and engaging lessons in a multi-age environment (primary, intermediate, middle). Curriculum is concept-based with a focus on engineering, while incorporating science and social studies skills that are often limited by time during the school year. A cultural focus exposes students to diverse ideas and challenges. Teachers from Advanced Academics programs lead the program in collaboration with teachers from these students’ home schools. The summer experience includes a field trip designed to expose students to a unique perspective and community connection. Parents are critical partners to the success of the program and are invited to attend several events throughout the program.
Young Scholars meet on a regular basis throughout the school year with the Advanced Academics Specialist at their schools to extend their learning from the summer and engage in similar experiences. In addition, students involved in Young Scholars are monitored and supported as they enroll in other Advanced Academics programs. Data regarding enrollment and performance in these programs is reviewed on a regular basis.