Gifted and Talent Development
- Parent Resources
- Gifted and Talented Advisory Council (GTAC)
- Service Model
- Gifted Identification
- Grades 3-5 Cluster Classrooms
- Frequently Asked Questions
District 196 Gifted and Talent Development Service Model Goals:
- Enrich, enhance, and extend core classroom curriculum and instruction within the literacy workshop and math workshop blocks. Staff utilize critical and creative thinking strategies, problem-solving and inquiry to help students become independent investigators.
- Engage and empower learners across the full day
- Equip PLC (professional learning community) teams and individual teachers
- Empower collaboration among classroom teachers, GTD teachers, content coaches, parents, students, and community
Flexible and Fluid Service Model:
District 196 elementary schools cluster identified gifted students in grades 3-5. GTD specialists support cluster classroom teachers with differentiating for advanced academic needs in core instruction and in guided groups.
Students whose advanced academics needs extend beyond what can be provided in a cluster classroom may be referred for single subject and/or grade level acceleration.
Gifted and talent development services in District 196 is an inclusive, flexible and fluid model. A student does not need to be formally identified as gifted to receive support for their high academic and learning ability needs. GTD services are provided through flexible grouping based on formative and ongoing assessment of student learning in the classroom based on the content and standards being presented at that time.
Screening and identification process
District 196 conducts universal screening at a district level to identify students who are demonstrating outstanding abilities and are capable of higher performance when compared to their grade level peers at their school. We use multiple criteria for a strengths-based identification.
We screen and identify students annually in grades 2 through 5.
- All second and fourth grade students enrolled in District 196 are universally screened.
- Students in grade 5 who are not previously identified but are demonstrating outstanding abilities may be identified by school request following a data collection process.
The identification process begins in October and ends in March. There is no screening available outside of this process. Notification will be mailed to the families of newly identified students in March. An appeals process will be available. Information about the appeals process will be posted in March.
Currently enrolled students
Gifted identification for currently enrolled District 196 students considers the following multiple measure criteria:
- Assessment of cognitive abilities (Cognitive Abilities Test- CogAT 8)
- Assessment of academic achievement in reading and math (MAP)
- HOPE rating scale (Having Opportunities Promotes Excellence - HOPE)
- All data is locally normed for each school and grade level. District 196 uses local norms for identification.
If a student has been identified in another district or state, contact Teri Emery, K-8 GTD District Program Facilitator, Teri.Emery@district196.org, for information about documentation for identification in District 196.
A cluster classroom is a regular grade level class with a small group of identified GTD students together in the same class. The cluster classroom teacher receives additional training to meet the learning needs of advanced students in math and/or literacy in their class. GTD cluster classrooms in 3rd-5th grades is an efficient way to provide gifted education strategies to students throughout the school day.
Every District 196 elementary school has cluster classrooms in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade. Many schools have more than one GTD cluster classroom in each grade level. Cluster classrooms in each grade level have the same number of students as all other classes in the grade level. A cluster class includes identified GTD students and students with a broad range of abilities. The number of identified GTD students in a cluster class varies. It is recommended that the number of identified GTD students in a cluster class not exceed one fourth of the class.
GTD cluster classrooms seem like the other classrooms in the grade level to the students and to an outside observer. Each elementary school principal selects the GTD cluster teachers in each grade level on a yearly basis.
Gifted and Talent Development services in District 196 are curriculum based. The curriculum for students in the cluster classroom is the district's core curriculum for the grade level based on our state’s academic standards. The curriculum is differentiated to meet the needs of all learners. A primary objective of the cluster classroom is to place greater emphasis on high level abilities and go deeper with the curriculum with depth and complexity.
The role of the elementary GTD specialist is to support cluster classrooms by working closely with the classroom teacher. GTD specialists provide instructional support within the classroom environment based on classroom and student needs, as well as offering enrichment opportunities that are available to all students in their school community.
District 196 recognizes that students with superior abilities may have their needs best served by grade acceleration or single subject acceleration. Grade acceleration or single subject acceleration will be recommended only after other appropriate program changes or modifications have been deemed inadequate to meet the academic and emotional needs of the student in the student's current grade placement. This determination will be made by an assessment team.
Grade Acceleration (grade skipping)
Single Subject Acceleration
- Single Subject Acceleration of Students in Grades K-8
- Request for Consideration of Single Subject Acceleration Form
Early Entrance to Kindergarten
- Are students identified gifted in middle school?
- Are students younger than 2nd grade identified?
- What are local norms?
- Why use local norms during identification?
- What if my child has an IEP?
- What is the HOPE teacher rating scale?
- What if a student moves in from another district or another state?
- Why is my child taking the CogAT if they are already identified?
- What are the services in middle school and high school?
- If my child is already identified, will they need to be reassessed?
- Who do I contact for more information?
No, District 196 formally identifies in 2nd-5th grades. Gifted identification does remain with a student through middle school. District 196’s middle schools use a variety of a data beyond a student’s identification to determine appropriate instruction and class placement. Students who demonstrate advanced achievement do not need formal identification for advanced learning opportunities.
No, District 196 formally identifies in 2nd-5th grades. Kindergarten and 1st grade students who demonstrate advanced learning needs compared to their peers do not need formal identification for services. Classroom teachers use formative assessment to respond to advanced learning needs of students in their grade level. Kindergarten and 1st grade teachers communicate and collaborate with GTD specialists.
Local (or school) norms identify students within a local population who are demonstrating a need for additional services when compared to their same age peers in the same learning environment. Gifted services are designed and implemented at the school level. Schools and their student populations in District 196 are diverse and have individual needs. National norms compare student test results to same age peers across the nation. Recent national studies have found that the exclusive use of national norms leads to over-identification of certain demographic groups and under-identification of other demographic groups.
The HOPE (Having Opportunities Promotes Excellence) scale is research-based and has been through five validity studies across the nation since 2009. The HOPE scale was developed to identify academic and social/affective strengths of students from low-income and culturally diverse populations. The scale is part of multiple measures and pathways to identify diverse students for gifted services. Some students demonstrate strengths in the classroom but do not perform as well on standardized tests. Teachers will receive professional development on the HOPE scale before they assess students.
If a student moves into District 196 from another district or another state with a GT identification, then contact the district GTD Program Facilitator to share the student’s records that are appropriate to the gifted identification criteria. Gifted identification and criteria vary by state so it is not a reciprocal identification. Minnesota is a local control state so each school district determines their criteria and identification process for gifted. A student who is identified gifted in one school district will not necessarily be identified gifted in another school district.
District 196’s middle schools and high schools use a variety of a data beyond a student’s identification to determine appropriate instruction and class placement. Students who demonstrate advanced achievement do not need identification for advanced learning opportunities. For more information contact your child’s middle school or high school.