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.

Putting The Innovation in STEM: Creating Opportunities for Making and Collaboration Among High Ability Learners Workshop:  October 13, 2015
Creativity leads to persistence, critical thinking, curiosity, and deeper understanding of core concepts in mathematics and science. How do we promote creativity within STEM programs for highly able learners?  In this workshop, participants will work with three experts in innovation through creativity. We will discuss strategies that encourage youth to be makers and to see the world as something they are actively helping to create and learn how to incorporate creativity and assessment into daily classroom practices. Gifted education coordinators and specialists, classroom teachers, STEM/MAGNET school teachers, administrators, and afterschool and out-of-school program providers will all benefit from this information. Presenters will be Patti Drapeau, AnnMarie Thomas and Diane Heacox. Learn more about the workshop and register online at Metro ECSU.

New  GT Coordinator and Specialist Workshops: October 26 and December 8, 2015
A two-day workshop for new gifted education coordinators and specialists will be held at MDE. The workshop is intended for those with new responsibilities in gifted education or anyone interested in a review of issues related to legislation, funding, the identification of students for services, and models. Learn more about the workshop and register online at Metro ECSU.
Open Applications for MDE’s Gifted and Talented Advisory Council
Applications for the positions of parent or guardian representative, school psychologist or counselor representative, and out of school education program provider representative will be accepted through November 16, 2015.  Each two-year position begins in January. Apply for an open position on the advisory council.

Young Scholars:  Finding and Developing Talent in Underserved Populations of Gifted Learners Workshop:  December 3, 2015 
The Young Scholars model is designed to find students with high academic potential from diverse backgrounds at an early age, and to nurture their potential so that they will be prepared to engage in advanced learning opportunities as they progress through school.  Presenter Dr. Carol Horn coordinates K-12 Advanced Academic Programs for Fairfax County Public Schools in Northern Virginia and has over 25 years of experience in gifted education, developing and implementing the Young Scholars model.  In the afternoon, three Minnesota schools with Young Scholars programs will share their implementation stories.  Target audience:  gifted education coordinators and specialists, classroom teachers, administrators, and early childhood educators.  Questions:  contact Wendy Behrens online at Metro ECSU.

Hormel Foundation Gifted and Talented Education Symposium 2016
Save the dates!  The 2016 symposium will be held in Austin, Minnesota, June 13-16. Registration will begin in January. Sessions will 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, and specific content in the areas of science, mathematics, language arts and social studies.

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 2015 award, visit the Scholars of Distinction page.

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 Gifted and Talented Advisory Council meets quarterly.