Extended Learning Program


The West Des Moines Community Schools recognizes that every student possesses unique abilities, talents, and needs which require an appropriately differentiated program. The Extended Learning Program will facilitate, provide, and support programming for gifted and talented students. This programming includes opportunities and options that differ from and/or complement the regular curriculum in breadth, depth, pace, or in the kind of experience offered.


The Extended Learning Program (ELP) provides opportunities for gifted and talented students to become independent, lifelong learners.


  • We believe gifted and talented learners require differentiated academic experiences as well as opportunities to explore their passions and interests in order to develop their talents, promote self-direction and self-reflection, and to encourage lifelong learning.
  • We believe gifted and talented learners have specific social and emotional needs, which should be addressed through programming.
  • We believe that providing a supportive environment which allows and encourages gifted and talented learners to realize their potential is a responsibility shared among school personnel, family, and community.
  • We believe gifted and talented learners need opportunities to collaborate and learn with their intellectual peers.
  • We believe that identification for the Extended Learning Program must be an ongoing and systematic process.