Center for Advanced Curriculum holds open house

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 20, 2005

School Superintendent Mike Looney has seen yet another goal come to fruition for the students of Butler County.

On Monday, Oct. 17, Looney, Butler County Board of Education President Linda Cook-Hamilton and Dr. Reginald Eggleston, director of special education and gifted education, announced the opening of the Center for Advanced Curriculum located at the Butler County Education and Community Learning Center on School Highlands Road.

&#8220This is a wonderful opportunity for our community to create something special for our students,” Looney said to the faculty, parents and students who had gathered for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. &#8220We look forward to creating our future doctors, teachers and lawyers.”

The center will focus on the curriculum needs of students who have been identified as gifted or advanced. Three Butler County gifted education teachers have been moved to the Education and Community Learning Center for three days each week to provide intensive, enrichment activities across the curriculum for the gifted students in the Butler County School System.

According to Amy McClellan, one of the gifted education teachers, third-grade students will attend gifted education classes on Monday, while fourth-grade students will attend on Tuesday, and fifth and sixth-grade students will attend on Wednesday of each week. On Thursday and Friday, the three teachers will return to their schools to conduct enrichment activities in the classroom.

At the new Center for Advanced Curriculum (CFAC), McClellan will focus on reading and language, while Mary Christ will target math and science. Helen Gewin will teach fine arts and social studies. All of the teachers will focus on higher-order thinking skills while adding research-based computer activities that will enhance the skills and objectives the students are being taught in the classroom.

&#8220The students are going to set up and maintain their own website,” McClellan said. &#8220We will also be compiling our own library here to add to the students' curriculum, so we will be glad to accept any new and used book donations from the community. And, we welcome anyone who would like to visit the gifted education center classrooms.”

In addition to parents and students meeting their teachers, Dr. Elissa F. Brown, director of the Gifted Education Center at The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., addressed the individual needs of gifted education students.

Brown said that students who had been identified as gifted needed challenging work, which would match their skill levels and their interests.

&#8220Gifted students need the opportunity to interact with other children of the same ability levels,” Brown said. &#8220This center will provide that opportunity.”

School Board President Linda Cook-Hamilton echoed many of Brown's sentiments.

&#8220This is a new day in Butler County education,” Hamilton said. &#8220We will continue to support our school system, and we have the great leadership of Mr. Looney to be very proud of.”

Some websites that provide information and support for parents of gifted children included the National Association for Gifted Children at, Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted at, and the Alabama Association for Gifted Children at