Serving Mahtomedi’s Gifted, Talented, and Advanced Learners

Our Beliefs about Gifted and Talented Students:   Mahtomedi Public Schools recognizes that some students have outstanding abilities that differ from others of their age, experience, or environment. Mahtomedi seeks to identify these students in order to provide services to meet their unique needs in accordance with our Strategic Plan to create a more inclusive learning community, provide an array of exceptional learning experiences, and create a culture of empathy that empowers the whole person.

Our goal is to appropriately challenge all learners, PreK - 12.  To do this, Mahtomedi School District uses a Levels of Service model which is represented below.  












Level I - Services for ALL students that provides foundational skills and tools, based on required MN State Standards and district curricula, and helps build personal strengths and talents.

Level II - Services for MANY students to further investigate standards, curriculum and personal interests through choice activities.

Level III - Services for SOME students may involve more formalized support for those who need additional support, or need additional challenge in the form of alternative curriculum or placement. For Math or Reading this may mean cluster grouping, compacted curriculum, and other opportunities.

Level IV - Services for a FEW students responds to the unique needs of individual students who have outstanding abilities and also may include students who also need support services.  For Math or Reading this may mean accelerated placement, compacted curriculum, and/or small group services.



SEPARATION OF GIFTED & TALENTED IDENTIFICATION from CLASS PLACEMENT

Formally Identifying Students as Gifted and Talented: 

Standardized assessments start in the early grades and formal GT identification occurs at the end of 3rd grade or later.  The district looks at  nationally normed data over time, as follows.

Various standardized assessments are given to students over several years that provide normed data on each student’s strengths and needs.  These include the aFAST, CogAT, MCAs, and/or other assessments as needed.

Students scoring 98% or above on the Cogat will be formally identified as gifted and automatically placed in advanced groups/classes:

  • Verbal Gifted (Literacy)   and/or
  •  Quantitative Gifted (Math)      

Communication of a student’s eligibility as a  formal GT student will be sent to families in the spring of third grade or beyond.  The communication will include class placement information and inform parents of additional learning opportunities outside the district.

 

Class Placement for High Achieving Students Not Formally Identified as GT:  

The district looks at data from nationally normed assessments over time to determine possible small group clustering for literacy and math (grades 1-5), and possible acceleration for math (4th grade and beyond).

Various standardized assessments are given to students over several years that provide normed data on each student’s strengths and needs.  These include the aFAST, CogAT, MCAs, and/or other assessments as needed.  Students scoring 95% or above on the Cogat or with multiple aFast scores at 95% or above will be considered for 

  • Clustered Reading Groups   and/or
  • Accelerated Math Placement      

For math acceleration, the student will also be given an assessment based on MN Math Standards for the grade level/s to be skipped.  This information will be used to

  • Evaluate learning gaps that need to be addressed

  • Create a learning plan if necessary

  • Provide information if a parent meeting is needed

  • Determine what resources will assist the student with the gap/s


Communication of a student’s recommendation for placement will be sent to families for  their support and/or a possible meeting.

 

PLACEMENT SUMMARY:

PROCESS

DATA USED

PLACEMENT

Formal GT Identification
For Verbal / Literacy



 

CogAT Verbal at 98%
and above




 

Clustered Reading Groups at the student’s instructional level using Balanced Literacy
and Guided Reading

 

Formal GT  Identification
For Quantitative / Math

 

CogAT Quantitative at 98%
and above


 

Accelerated Math class
(4th grade and above)


 

Advanced Literacy
placement for high
achieving students in
the 95-97%ile


 

Multiple scores in the
95-97% range on nationally normed tests (e.g. aFast, MCA, and
Verbal Cogat)

 

Clustered Reading Groups at the student’s instructional level using Balanced Literacy
and Guided Reading

 

Accelerated Math
placement for high
achieving students in
the 95-97%ile







 

Multiple scores in the
95-97% range on nationally normed tests (e.g. aFast, MCA, and
Quantitative Cogat)


AND

An initial standards test to
etermine Gaps and any
learning support needed

Clustered math groups at the student’s instructional level or possible Accelerated Math Class (4th grade and above)




 


MEETING THE NEEDS OF OUR STUDENTS

We help students succeed by determining accurate instructional levels and learning gaps to be filled and move the student forward from there with appropriate support and challenge.  We do this as follows:

  
MATH
 
  Grades K-2      Grade 3   Grades 4-5   Grades 6-8  Grades 9-12

Differentiation within the classroom, based on data / assessments, and supported by the GT Coordinator as requested.

Possible WIN (What I Need) Math activities.

















 

Compacting and differentiation within the grade-level math class based on pre- assessments and other data. Teacher support from GT Coordinator as requested for enrichment, rich tasks, etc.

Possible WIN Math activities.











 

Compacting &  differentiation within the grade-level math class based on pre-assessments and other data. Teacher support from GT Coordinator as requested for enrichment, rich tasks, etc.

OR

Accelerated math class with 4th graders using 5th grade Math standards, and 5th graders using 6th grade Math standards.

AND

Possible WIN Math activities for both groups.

Course selection and enrichment options that appropriately meet the needs of students as per course guides.  Can include Accelerated Math at the middle school and AP classes at the high school.  

Compacting & differentiation within the grade-level math classes based on pre-assessments and other data. Teacher support from GT Coordinator as requested for enrichment, rich tasks, etc.

Students self-select classes to meet their individual goals.

To enroll in advanced offerings such as AP, CIS, or PSEO courses, students must satisfy all pre-requisite courses and any other requirements expected by the instructor or the college.










 

 

LITERACY

 

Grades K-2

Grades 3-5

Grades 6-8

Grades 9-12

Teachers meet individual needs using Balanced Literacy and Guided Reading groups at the student’s instructional level.
.
Students read texts at their own instructional reading level.


Possible WIN literacy groups.


 

High-level readers and writers are clustered in classrooms where teachers meet individual needs using Balanced Literacy and Guided Reading groups at the student’s instructional level.

Students read texts at their own instructional reading level.

Possible WIN literacy groups.

Course selection that appropriately meets the needs of students.

Can include Honors English at the middle school and AP classes at the high school.







 

Students self-select classes to meet their individual goals.

To enroll in advanced offerings such as AP, CIS, or PSEO courses, students must satisfy all pre-requisite courses and any other requirements expected by the instructor or the college.


 

 

For More Information

Contact the District Gifted and Talented Services Coordinator

 



 

Our Mission

The mission of the Mahtomedi School District, the unified community of courageous hearts and curious minds dedicated to inspiring personal excellence, is to ensure that each student is a bold agent of learning who successfully pursues their passions while advancing the greater good, through a vital system distinguished by:

  • environments that inspire curiosity
  • an inclusive learning community
  • an array of exceptional learning experiences
  • teaching and learning that imparts a global view
  • culture of empathy that empowers the whole person
 









 
 
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