Gull Lake's academic enrichment program, ExCEL (Explorations in Critical Thinking to Enhance Learning) is available for qualifying students in grades 1 through 5. All students are considered for the program through the use of the following data: STAR reading scores, (showing an independent reading level substantially above grade level), then a student evaluation of problem-solving, reasoning, and creativity skills, and teacher input in regards to task commitment, self-motivation, responsibility, success with reading activities, and creativity/problem-solving . The goal is to provide curricular and critical thinking challenges to the top 10-15% scoring students of each grade level.
The units and lessons covered throughout the year in ExCEL are designed to provide enrichment, while continuing to strengthen curriculum skills, enhance thinking skills, and develop responsibility and interpersonal skills.
The ExCEL program is a pull-out program, where the students will meet with the instructor for approximately 50 minutes per week. Students complete a variety of activities that provide challenges in thinking skills, research activities, higher level reading skills, and many other topics. The activities provided by the ExCEL program are in addition to the regular classroom curriculum.