PoGStudio Program

The New Jersey Department of Education’s administrative regulations (N.J.A.C. 6A:8-3.1) define gifted and talented students as, “Those students who possess or demonstrate high levels of ability, in one or more content areas, when compared to their chronological peers in the local district and who require modification of their educational program if they are to achieve in accordance with their capabilities.”

The district’s new PoGStudio program, which will begin in September, 2018 seeks to enhance the quality of education for all students through a program offering differentiation and acceleration through a design-thinking, problem-based learning approach to teaching and learning.

In Tier 1 (K-3), all students receive enrichment in the classroom setting. Differentiated activities and hands-on learning encourage critical thinking through analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Students utilize the “4Cs” - critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication in order to grow as 21st century learners.
The district’s Tier II PoGStudio model (pull-out model for grades 4-6), offers a separate program for students who have been identified using multiple measures of criteria to ensure a comprehensive, fair selection process.  In following the National Association of Gifted Children’s recommended guidelines, the district uses the following multiple measures of criteria, beginning in grade 4 and initially admitting up to the 10th percentile of the district’s student population by grade into the program.

Additionally, the district is now excited to offer students not identified through the above criteria in grades 4-6 the opportunity to complete an age-appropriate, yet rigorous application process that may lead to inclusion in the PoGStudio classes.  This will enable hard-working, high-achieving students who are passionate about areas covered in the program, but who were not previously identified, to potentially be included. *This opportunity should only be considered for students who are committed to the work, able to make the necessary sacrifices of time and energy, and willing and able to realistically handle the rigors of the class.  Applications will be completed by students during the school-day, and reviewed by a team at each school consisting of the Principal, Supervisor of Curriculum, and PoGStudio teacher on an annual basis to determine eligibility.

Grades K-3

K-3 Push-In Program

The purpose of the K-3 PoGStudio program is to provide all children with differentiated educational experiences that will stimulate logical and critical thinking, creativity and imagination, abstract conceptualization, leadership, problem solving, and task commitment.  Differentiated activities and hands-on learning encourage critical thinking through analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.  Students utilize the "4C’s" – critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication in order to grow as 21st century learners. All lessons attempt to enhance existing curriculum in each grade and provide another dimension to the child’s growth. The classroom atmosphere is designed to develop a positive level of self-esteem and self-worth, which will complement all aspects of classroom learning.


The K-3 program stresses the belief that all students benefit and learn from higher-order thinking activities.  In addition, it assists the classroom teacher and the PoGStudio teacher in gaining insight into the unique strengths and talents of each student.  While this whole class model emphasizes full class involvement, it also recognizes the importance of working with small, differentiated groups depending on the activity. 

The PoGStudio teacher collaborates with classroom teachers through staff development and/or in-class assistance to provide instruction within the classroom setting, serves as a resource to the classroom teacher, and as a liaison for incorporating innovative and rigorous tasks into the everyday curriculum. 

Grades 4-5

In addition to the push-in model all students will continue to benefit from in grades 4 and 5, the PoGStudio teacher offers weekly classes for students identified as up to the top 10th percentile (based on our multiple criteria). However, River Vale is now offering the opportunity for students not initially identified to partake in a rigorous, yet age-appropriate application process to potentially be included in the program. We recognize the necessity of giving every child a chance to engage in high level classes based on interest. Our program will include community service, the arts, global citizenship and design thinking.  Students will engage in design thinking/project-based learning/passion projects above and beyond the general education curriculum with guidance from the PoGStudioteacher. This program will reflect high caliber learning through advanced critical thinking and reasoning skills.   The program also nurtures such intellectual pursuits as problem-solving, creative thinking, and expanding interests, all at levels meant to challenge students' abilities beyond the general education setting.

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