There are many schools in New York City with rigorous and high quality enrichment programs. Generally these schools use a structure known as The Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM) to provide services to their students. The Schoolwide Enrichment Model is a research-supported model designed for all students. It is based on the use of instructional methods and practices that were associated with gifted and talented programs. Enrichment programs are a way for all schools to implement instructional strategies and structures to promote high engagement and challenging learning opportunities for all students. The model emphasizes the importance of providing a broad range of advanced-level enrichment experiences to all students in a school so that the opportunity to engage in investigations grounded in students’ talent, interest or ability is enjoyed by all.
Schools establish “enrichment” clusters as a way to provide their students with a variety of dynamic learning experiences. Enrichment clusters can be organized around special topics, content, themes, skills, interests and questions of students in the community. They can be grade specific, or they can include students across one or more grade levels. Enrichment clusters can be scheduled on a weekly, bi-weekly or daily basis. Enrichment programs offer a highly flexible structure and they can be adapted and shaped to meet the needs of each specific school community.