About Our Creative Learning Program

Mission Statement

To identify gifted and talented students and provide appropriate differentiated educational opportunities suited to their needs.



      • Identify gifted and talented students 
      • Provide an environment for gifted and talented students to interact intellectually, socially and emotionally
      • Assist classroom teachers in meeting the needs of gifted and talented students
      • Provide programming options to meet the needs of gifted and talented students
      • Foster skills in problem-solving, decision making, research techniques, critical and creative thinking, self-direction, and product development


About the Program

The Creative Learning Program (CLP) is the name of North Haven's gifted and talented program. A committee identifies gifted and talented students in grades 3 and again in grade 8, and provides differentiated educational opportunities suited to their needs. There are two parts to the Creative Learning Program: identification of students and programming for students. The State of Connecticut requires districts to identify students but does not require programming.


Although programming is not required by federal or state law, North Haven is very fortunate to have a wealth of opportunities for students who are eligible. North Haven has been able to maintain programming for students over the years, thanks to the dedicated efforts of parents, students, teachers, and administration.


The identification process looks for students who have above-average ability, show creativity, and have high motivation. When those three elements combine, gifted behaviors tend to exhibit themselves.


 Screening Process – Option 1 Whole Grade Process

  • End of Grade 3

All students in grade 3 at each elementary school are administered a screening test in the spring. In addition, a behavior rating scale is administered by teachers. All results from the screening and behavior rating scale are submitted to a district-wide CLP team for review at a PPT. 

  • Winter of Grade 8

All students in grade 8 are administered a screening test in the winter. In addition, a behavior rating scale is administered by teachers. All results from the screening and behavior rating scale are submitted to a district-wide CLP team for review at a PPT. 

 All data is reviewed and the top 5% for each grade level are identified using this process. Parents and students are notified in the spring of their acceptance status. The programs for students who are accepted will begin in fall of the next school year, in grades 4 and 9. 


Screening Process – Option 2 Individual Identification Process

The Creative Learning program philosophy has always been that the 3rd and 8th-grade identifications are a starting point. Students come to school showing their strengths and talents in a variety of ways, so the whole grade process does not always identify all the students who need this program. The Individual Identification process, therefore, allows students to be nominated by parents, teachers, their peers, or themselves. This process is open to students in all grades K-12. Nomination forms are available from the Creative Learning program facilitators in each building. Each student is asked to fill out the application completely and return it to their facilitator. A district-wide team reviews the applications and makes a decision. Sometimes the committee decides to defer a decision and asks that the student participate in the program for up to a year so that more data can be collected.


Programs Offered

The programs offered through the Creative Learning Program strive to address the interests of students and may change from year to year. For the elementary and middle schools, these programs are after-school activities with its own facilitator/coach who sets the meeting times and locations. Program offerings currently include Future Problem Solving, Scenario Writing, Math League, History Day, Poetry, STEPS (Science and Technology Experimental Problem Solving) and Wordmasters. Jazz Band, Special Chorus and the Art Workshop are also a part of the middle school program, but these programs have their own selection process to identify talented art and music students.


At the high school level, students start in their freshman year taking a course for credit in Future Problem Solving. Students may also participate in Scenario Writing, Community Problem Solving, and several musical groups. The Educational Center for the Arts program and the opportunity to take college courses are also available. Students who are not in the Creative Learning Program may participate in many of these programs with a teacher recommendation if space exists.


Contact Information

Districtwide Facilitator: Michael Yates

203-239-2581, ext 3118

[email protected]