Welcome to the Waltham Public Schools Challenge Program
en Español Challenge teachers provide services to grades 3, 4, and 5 weekly. In addition, Challenge program teachers work with the classroom teachers to provide support and resources. The goal is to provide services that allow students to understand contents at a higher level and apply their knowledge to grade level curriculum and beyond.
Math Olympiad is also offered through the Challenge Program. This is an after school program at each elementary and middle school where a Math Olympiad Coach is available.
Challenge Curriculum & Content
The new curriculum for the Challenge Program is Project Based Learning. Project Based Learning is an interdisciplinary, student-centered system designed to help students explore topics on broader, deeper, and at higher levels. Students use their critical thinking skills to discuss topics, take perspective, communicate, and work collaboratively and creatively. Project Based Learning is global learning, through which students grow both academically and socially. Students welcome this engaging system as they take ownership for their learning. The core focus of project Based Learning is:
- Inquiry- based
- Experiential and hands-on
- Discusses citizenship and impact
- Embeds social and emotional intelligence
Project Based Learning is an extension and enrichment to topics students learn in their classrooms. The system builds upon mastery of fundamental skills learned at students’ grade level.
This curriculum ties in Massachusetts Curriculum Standards while connecting to all academic disciplines.
Challenge Program’s Goal and Mission
To provide interdisciplinary, student-centered curriculum based on Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks to students identified as needing additional enrichment and challenge in different academic areas.
Project Based Learning celebrates diversity and multiculturalism through weaving presentations and activities unique to our students.
Challenge Program Team
Paul Maiorano, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction and Challenge Program Director
Heny Taraz, Challenge Program Teacher, MacArthur and Stanley Elementary Schools HenyTaraz@K12.waltham.ma.us
Deborah Fisher, Challenge Program Teacher, Fitzgerald and Northeast Elementary Schools DeborahFisher@k12.waltham.ma.us
Deirdre "Dede" Clapp, Challenge Program Teacher, Plympton and Whittemore Elementary Schools DeirdreClapp@k12.waltham.ma.us