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 or services beyond those provided in the general school program. Students capable of high performance include those with demonstrated achievement or potential ability in one or more of these areas: general intellectual, specific academic subjects, creativity, leadership, and visual/performing arts.
Professional Learning Opportunities
Full-Time Gifted Programs Network
The network focuses on the unique needs of schools that have full-time programs for the gifted or are exploring the possibility of creating one. Full-time programs for the gifted include school-within-a-school models and gifted magnet schools. Each network meeting includes an invited guest speaker and the opportunity for leaders to discuss their roles and best practices on a variety of topics.
Hormel Foundation Gifted and Talented Education Symposium 2019
Tentative dates for the symposium are June 18-20, 2019. Our new three-day format addresses best practices on the identification of students for services, models of service, social and emotional needs, instructional strategies, underrepresented populations, motivation and engagement, integration of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and technology, and specific content area. Visit the symposium website for additional information.
National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Conference
The NAGC conference will be held in Minneapolis, from November 15-18, 2018. The event features 300+ content-rich sessions covering a full range of topics in gifted education. For information, visit the NAGC site.
Gifted and Talented Advisory Council
The Gifted and Talented Advisory Council is made up of representatives of stakeholder groups with interest and expertise in gifted education. The council provides valuable guidance and feedback to the department on gifted education issues. Council meetings are held at the Minnesota Department of Education, 1500 Highway 36 West, Roseville, Minnesota, Conference Center B, and are open to the public. View the 2018-19 Gifted and Talented Advisory Council Members. The 2019 school year meeting dates are February 11, 2019 and April 15, 2019. See the February 11, 2019 Agenda.
The Minnesota Scholars of Distinction program nurtures and recognizes distinguished achievement by highly motivated, self-directed students. Students may apply for Scholars of Distinction Awards in Leadership, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, STEM, and Theater Arts. All applicants must complete the Intent to Apply Form, available October 15 to December 15. For information about the criteria, timelines and application process for a 2019 award, visit the Scholars of Distinction webpage.
World’s Best Workforce: Gifted and Talented
Districts and charter schools are required to include information about three areas of their gifted and talented programs within their World’s Best Workforce plans:
- Process to assess and identify students for participation in gifted and talented programs.
- Procedures for the academic acceleration of gifted and talented students.
- Procedure for early admission to kindergarten and first grade consistent with Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.02, subdivision 1.
Visit the World’s Best Workforce webpage for additional information.
Identifying Underserved Population for Gifted Programs: Methods and Frequently Asked Questions
The under-representation of low-income, second language learning, and culturally diverse students in gifted and talented programs is a continuing issue. It is important that all educators of the gifted be familiar with best practices in the use of assessments to identify these learners. A new resource provides research-based recommendations to help you identify these learners: Identifying Underserved Student Populations for Gifted Programs: Some Methods and Frequently Asked Questions.
Self-Regulation for Learning
Learning is a complex process of interrelated dimensions. To be literate, students must not only possess academic tools and skills, they must also be confident in the learning environment, resilient to adversity, understand the effect of behavior, be self-reflective, value learning activities, and have motivation and interest to achieve. These interactive dimensions all collaborate to produce what is known as self-regulation. A new resource provides research-based recommendations that help students learn, practice, and appropriate self-regulation strategies to attain success: Self-Regulation for Learning: Balancing the ABC of Success.
Parent Information TIP (Timely Information for Parents) sheets are available from the National Association for Gifted Children in four areas: Assessments for Identification, Asynchronous Development, Classroom Advocacy, and Early Childhood. View the TIP sheets.
In the United States, centers for talent development are organized by region. Minnesota is located within the region served by the Center for Talent Development (CTD) at Northwestern University. One of the services offered by the nonprofit center at Northwest University is the Midwest Academic Talent Search (NUMATS). NUMATS is a research-validated program that uses above-grade-level assessment, as a means of gifted testing, to help parents and educators better understand their students’ educational needs. NUMATS allows eligible students to take internationally recognized tests before the grade levels at which they are normally administered. Learn more about opportunities for out-of-level testing through CTD.
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 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.
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. The Institute for Research and Policy (IRPA) Guidelines for Developing an Academic Acceleration Policy contains a checklist to guide policy development. Visit the IRPA website.