Phone: (616) 786-2050

SAIL Program

Advanced & Accelerated Programs

SAIL Program at West Ottawa Public Schools

West Ottawa Public School’s SAIL (Students Accelerating In Learning) Program has been established to meet the needs of the academically advanced elementary student. Research has shown that children who are academically advanced learn two to four times faster than the average student in their area of strength.

By providing students with an accelerated and more challenging program, students’ feelings of frustration with the pace of grade level curriculum can be alleviated. Studies show that single subject acceleration can lead to academic gains well beyond a child’s current grade level.

Kindergarten through second grade students identified as potential candidates for the SAIL program in the future work with the SAIL teacher during small group instruction and are given advanced curriculum opportunities within their classroom.

Third through fifth grade students identified for the SAIL program participate in an extensive pull-out program during the English Language Arts portion of their day. Weekly homework is accommodated to meet their advanced needs. Self-interest projects are assigned for students to complete, giving them numerous opportunities to apply their advanced skills and knowledge.

  • SAIL students will increase their knowledge of a variety of literature genres as well as master many reading strategies.
  • SAIL students will write reflecting a variety of writing modes as well as master many traits of quality writing.
  • SAIL students will expand their enjoyment of the process of reading and writing.
  • SAIL students will have many opportunities for peer leadership and coaching roles.
  • SAIL students will have many opportunities to practice and perfect communication skills in large and small group settings.
  • SAIL students will participate in service projects to share their love of literature with others in the community.

Students will be considered for the SAIL program based on the following criteria:

  • A Running Record score of one year above the child’s grade level entering in the fall
  • A teacher-completed rubric and recommendations by current teacher
  • A writing sample which is assessed using above grade level criteria
  • A completed parent questionnaire

Quotes from parents & students about the SAIL program

“The SAIL program helps me be brave.” -Ben, age 8

“This advanced curriculum is generating love and appreciation for English Language Arts that might otherwise be lost with grade level curriculum.” -Parent of first and third grade students

“My brain is always thinking when I am in the SAIL room.” -Bailey, age 8

“With the introduction of each new genre, we are able to read new types of books at home and the kids are excited about them!” -Parent of fifth and third grade students

“I learn a lot when I am in the SAIL Room!” -Kylie, age 9

“My son has truly developed an interest in SAIL Program writing, although initially it was his most prominent weakness.” -Parent of a SAIL student

“SAIL kids love reading and writing!” -Quinton, age 8

“We are thrilled with the SAIL program! It really seems to be meeting the English Language Arts needs of both our girls. We feel like we’ve already seen growth this year.” -Parent of second and fifth grade students

Contact Information

West Ottawa Public Schools
Lakewood Elementary School
2134 W. Lakewood Blvd.
Holland, MI 49424

Elizabeth VanderWege, Principal
(616) 786-1399

Denise Smyk, SAIL Teacher
(616) 786-1321


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