Quest & Gateways

The Mendham Township Elementary School offers two programs through Gifted and Talented Services, Quest and Gateways.

                                            Quest Program

The Elementary School’s grade 3 and 4 Quest programs engage students in advanced collaborative and critical thinking to problem solve real-world STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) based learning activities. Students are challenged to use effective oral and written communication skills to research, collect data, analyze information and provide strong rationale for outcomes and proposals.

The Quest Program engages students in collaborative work that requires high levels of critical and creative thinking. Students are identified and screened during the spring of grade 2. The CogAt, SAGES-2 assessment as well teacher recommendations are used to identify students that are demonstrating readiness to participate in this program. Students attend Quest one period per week during their Mastery/Enrichment block, and one zero period before school. Students participating in the Quest Program are expected to maintain academic classroom performance and appropriate behavior throughout the school year.

The grade 3 and 4 Quest classes meet weekly during Mastery Enrichment periods. Quest students may also participate in additional special programs, competitions, or field trips coordinating with their units of study. In addition to the Quest program, all students in grades K-4 participate in weekly enrichment classes delivered by the G&T and classroom teachers.


Overview of Eligibility

All MTES students in grade 2 will be screened for Quest services beginning with CogAt Testing. Students found eligible for Quest services in grade 2 will remain eligible for Quest services through grade 8.

All students will again be screened for Quest services in grade 5. The grade 5 screening shall not terminate Quest eligibility for any student regardless of score, rather, grade 5 students who earn in the 96th percentile (CogAT) Composite or Non-Verbal will be added to Quest service rosters for grade 6. In grades 7 and 8, all “interested” students shall have the opportunity to participate in Quest 7 and 8 based upon successful completion of preliminary summer projects.

**Students new to the district may be recommended for participation upon registration, however must be screened and meet minimum eligibility criteria.

Grade 2 Eligibility Process for Grades 3-8


Stage 1 - Screening

Step 1

The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) is administered to all students in grades 2. Students receiving a (CogAT) Composite or Non-Verbal Standard Age Score of 132 or above continue to step 2.

*A standard Age Score of 132 represents scores in the 9th stanine and the 98th percentile of national scores.

Step 2

Students are assessed using the Sages-2 Aptitude Assessment (Screening Assessment for Gifted Elementary School Students) *Parent permission is required.

Step 3

Two teachers will complete the Renzulli-Hartman Checklist.

Stage 2- Identification

*Students must meet the minimum score requirements listed below to be eligible for Quest services:

CogAt: Standard Age Score of 132 or higher on the Composite or Non-Verbal sections.

Sages-2: Aptitude score of 120 or higher (on either section)

Renzulli-Hartman Checklist: Students must receive at least 60 out of 72 points on one or both of the Checklists.

*Appeal Process & New Students

If a student does not meet benchmark score for (SAGES-2) 120+, a parent or teacher can request the student be assessed through the appeal process. All appeals must be filed in writing to the principal by June 30th for consideration for the following school year. New students may submit CogAt, OLSAT-8, SAGES or any other normed cognitive assessment scores previously administered. 

The Profile of Creative Abilities (PCA) will be used in the appeal process. The PCA is a measure of creative ability. It is specifically designed to identify students gifted in the area of creative thinking.



Social Studies/Language Arts

Grades 3/4 *

Gateways is an advanced academic program which provides parallel or accelerated instruction in social studies/language arts for students who need additional or advanced coursework to continue his or her academic growth. If a student has shown academic skills far beyond his or her peers in ELA, his or her teacher may recommend the student for this program.

Grades 3 & 4, students who qualify for Gateways will participate in a pull out social studies program with an emphasis on reading and writing. The parallel curriculum will address the same essential questions and NJSLS  as the grade level social studies curriculum but will utilize a language based approach to enhance reading, writing, critical thinking, and communication skills.

*Assessment needed prior to participation.


Mrs. Theresa McNamara, Math/G&T