Gifted Education

Gifted and Talented Youth
Gifted and talented children and youth are those students with outstanding abilities, identified at preschool, elementary, and secondary levels. The potential of gifted students requires differentiated and challenging educational programs and/or services beyond those provided in the general school program.

Students capable of high performance include those with demonstrated achievement or potential ability in any one or more of the following areas: general intellectual, specific academic subjects, creativity, leadership and visual and performing arts.

Hormel Foundation Gifted and Talented Education Symposium
Registration is now open for the Hormel Foundation Gifted and Talented Education Symposium, a collaboration between MDE, The Hormel Foundation, and Austin School District. The dates of the sixth annual General Symposium are June 9-12, 2014. Daily sessions address best practices on the assessment of students for services, program models, social and emotional needs, instructional strategies, under-represented populations, under-achievement, integration of STEM and technology as well as specific content in the areas of science, mathematics, language arts and social studies.

There will be a pre-conference on June 8 and an Administrator Day on June 9. Districts with school calendars that conflict with some of the symposium dates should contact Wendy Behrens to inquire about options for partial attendance.

Register for the symposium.

A private foundation has provided limited funding for first time attendees who are Minnesota public school administrators, gifted and talented coordinators, school psychologists, counselors, librarians or school board members. For information, contact Wendy Behrens.

Special Schools for the Gifted Network Meetings
A network is in place for school leadership team members from districts that have special schools for the gifted or are exploring the possibility of creating one. Special schools for the gifted include school-within-a-school models and gifted magnet schools. Monthly meetings provide the opportunity for leaders to discuss their roles and the use of best practices on a variety of topics. Each network meeting includes an invited guest speaker, school presentations and round-table discussions. There is no charge and all are welcome to register to attend the meetings

Young Gifted:  Potential and Promise in the Early Years
Young gifted learners (ages 3-8) are typically underserved. Very few gifted programs exist for children this age, and few teachers have the training necessary to support this group. The challenge is finding how to best serve and identify this population. Learn more about the issues facing young gifted learners.

Twice Exceptional Children
Twice-Exceptional children are gifted children with special education needs. The Minnesota Council for Gifted and Talented makes available a list of articles and organizations providing assistance to children and families. Learn more about available resources.

Gifted and Talented Program Design and Evaluation. The Pre-K–12 Gifted Education Programming Standards provide the basis for design and review of district and school site programming for highly able learners. They clearly articulate student outcomes and evidence-based practices. View the standards on the National Association for Gifted Children website.

Acceleration is an intervention that moves students through an educational program at a more rapid rate than their age-mates. The goal of acceleration is to tailor the level and complexity of the curriculum to the ability and academic readiness of individual children. Read the Frequently Asked Questions for more information. The Institute for Research and Policy (IRPA) Guidelines for Developing an Academic Acceleration Policy contains an easy-to-use checklist to guide policy development. Visit the IRPA website.

The Minnesota Scholars of Distinction program nurtures and recognizes distinguished achievement by highly motivated, self-directed students. Each specialty area was developed through partnerships of educators, the business community and others. Students may now apply for Scholars of Distinction Awards in Leadership, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Theater Arts. For information about the criteria, timelines and application process for a 2014 award, visit the Scholars of Distinction page.

Hormel Foundation Gifted and Talented Education Symposium. The symposium is a collaboration between the Hormel Foundation, the Minnesota Department of Education and the Austin School District. The dates of the sixth annual General Symposium are June 9-12, 2014, in Austin, Minnesota. There will be a pre-conference June 8 and an Administrator Day on June 9. Program and registration information will be available by February 1.

Legislation
Several changes made to the Minnesota state statutes during the 2013 legislative session impact gifted and talented learners. Below is a summary and section 10. 120B.15 GIFTED AND TALENTED STUDENTS PROGRAM and of 126C.10, subdivision 1 GIFTED AND TALENTED REVENUE.

Minnesota Statutes, section 120B.15 GIFTED and TALENTED STUDENTS PROGRAM (a) and (b), permit school districts to identify students who are gifted and talented, locally develop and evaluate programs addressing instructional and affective needs, provide staff development to ensure that they have access to challenging educational programs. The legislation also provides guidance for districts to adopt procedures for assessing and identifying students.

Section (b) requires schools to adopt guidelines for assessing and identifying students for participation in gifted programs.  Provides guidance for identification of students.

Section (c) directs school districts and charter schools to adopt procedures for the academic acceleration of gifted and talented students that include an assessment of students' readiness and motivation for acceleration and a match between the curriculum and the students' academic needs. (Districts may wish to implement policies that reflect gifted and talented best practices, consistent with Minnesota Statutes, section 120B.15.)

Section (d) requires schools to adopt procedures consistent with section 124D.02 subdivision 1, for early admission to kindergarten or first grade of gifted and talented learners.

Gifted and talented revenue (Minnesota Statutes, section 126C.10 Subdivision 2 (b)) provides school districts and charter schools with $12 times a district’s adjusted marginal cost pupil units (AMCPU) to be used to:

1. Identify gifted and talented students.
2. Provide education programs for gifted and talented students.
3. Provide staff development to prepare teachers to best meet the unique needs of gifted and talented students.

Beginning in fiscal year 2015, the gifted and talented allowance will increase from $12 to $13 to adjust for the change in pupil weights.

The Gifted and Talented Advisory Council meets quarterly.
Glossary of Frequently Used Terms in Gifted Education.