GEARS is a program at St. John Vianney Catholic School that is designed to help students become creative thinkers, critical thinkers, and caring thinkers. When students think creatively they generate ideas that are original and they can elaborate on their ideas. Creative thinkers are curious, make complex connections, and can use their imaginations. They are risk takers who can try new and interesting ways to solve questions. Critical thinkers are able to focus, to plan, to affirm others, and are open to new ideas. Caring thinkers value different points of view, think about other’s feelings, actively listen, and show empathy.

The GEARS program will have three main parts, which are a Gifted Program, an Enrichment Program, and a schoolwide program to enhance Academic Rigor.  The GEARS program is open to students in First through Fifth Grade, acceptance into this program will be based on the following criteria: combined scores from a Cognitive Test, such as the CogAt, standardized test scores, and STAR assessments. Students in the GEARS Program will be evaluated and placed each academic school year according to the criteria listed above. The Academic Rigor component of GEARS will support classroom teachers as they continue to strive to challenge students academically within the classroom setting.

Students who have been selected to be a participate in the GEARS program will meet on a weekly basis in a specialized classroom designed to encourage creativity, teamwork, and problem solving skills.

As a result of participating in GEARS, students will be able to:

  • Extend their knowledge to allow them to make connections, to analyze, to evaluate, and to create.
  • Build relationships with their peers.
  • Develop research skills.
  • Work independently and collaboratively on projects.
  • Produce a project that has a positive effect.
  • Become active listeners who can show empathy.
  • Understand that they can learn from their mistakes.

If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Philpot at