The Loudoun County SEARCH (Seeking Educational Alternatives to Reach and Challenge Higher Level Thinking Skills) program focuses on thinking skills and is designed to foster a classroom environment that encourages students to develop an excitement for learning and discovery. SEARCH teachers work within the classroom to stimulate curiosity, practice problem-solving strategies, incorporate cooperative learning activities, provide opportunities for students to use higher level thinking skills, and identify students with exceptional ability.
During the lessons, the primary classroom teacher makes observations to gain insight into students' various skills, strengths, and learning styles. Both teachers work cooperatively to recognize and develop the potential for excellence in each student. The SEARCH teacher is available to assist with developing lesson plans and activities that promote higher-level thinking, to demonstrate and share techniques for differentiating instruction, and to offer enrichment to students who have been formally identified for gifted services.
The Loudoun County SEARCH lessons are organized under the thinking keys listed below and are aligned with the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL). These lessons fulfill the goals of the LCPS Gifted Education Department which are:
1. To become divergent creative thinkers who recognize problems and solve them.
2. To construct personal meaning and understanding of others and of the world around them.
3. To develop the capacity for self-assessment (ownership of the learning).