top of page

Schoolwide Enrichment Model at John Lewis Elementary


John Lewis is one of ten DC public schools with an advanced-learner program (Schoolwide Enrichment Model) designed to provide ALL students the opportunity to engage in enriched and stimulating learning within and outside of the regular classroom curriculum.


SEM (Renzulli, 1977; Renzulli & Reis, 1985, 1997) is widely implemented as an enrichment program used with academically gifted and talented students and a magnet theme/enrichment approach for schools interested in high-end learning and developing the strengths and talents of all students. The major goal of SEM is the application of gifted education pedagogy to total school improvement.


Through SEM, John Lewis provides enriched learning experiences and higher learning standards for all children through three goals; developing talents in all children, providing a broad range of advanced-level enrichment experiences for all students, and providing advanced follow-up opportunities for young people based on their strengths and interests.


SEM focuses on enrichment for all students through high levels of engagement and the use of enjoyable and challenging learning experiences that are constructed around students' interests, learning styles and preferred modes of expression. At John Lewis, students participate in weekly enrichment clusters, a class offered outside of the standard curriculum. Students are provided a menu of choices each semester and rank those that interest them most. They then are placed into a cluster based on interest, analysis of their skills/needs, and available space. Twice a year, we present a showcase of student projects.

S.E.M. Clusters


Every Fall and Spring, our entire student body here at John Lewis Elementary take part in S.E.M clusters. These enrichment clusters are one piece of our Schoolwide Enrichment Model. Our clusters are non- graded groups of students and adults who share a common interest. These groups are student-driven and facilitated by our very own teachers. It is during this time when students can apply advanced content and authentic methods to research, create, collaborate and design a product, a performance, or service based on the specific interest.


What is S.T.E.A.M.?


Steam programs fill an important gap in our school communities. The acronym which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.

STEAM education is an approach to teaching and learning that combines science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math to guide student inquiry, discussion, and problem- solving. Education experts say STEAM education is about more than developing practical skills alone.

Our current STEAM offerings here at John Lewis Elementary include:

  • Art

  • Physical and Health education

  • Drama/Theatre Arts

  • Library/Makerspace

  • Music

  • S.T.E.M/ robotics

bottom of page