Mission and Goals

MISSION
The mission of the West St Paul - Mendota Heights - Eagan Area Schools Gifted and Talented Program is to nurture exceptional abilities so that all Gifted and Talented students are provided with challenging and purposeful educational opportunities. 

Attract and support Gifted and Talented Students by providing high level, challenging curriculum and enrichment during and beyond the school day

    
  • Curriculum adoption process seeks high levels of rigor and challenge to provide pathways for students to excel and remain challenged.
  • Teachers are trained and supported in their implementation of differentiated instruction and developing differentiated learning opportunities. 

Provide an environment for students to experience positive interactions with intellectual peers

  • In order to ensure that our students consistently have positive interactions with intellectual peers, we employ a gifted cluster model that places identified students in regular classrooms with other identified gifted students.
  • The practice of clustering our identified students also allows teachers that serve the gifted clusters to be more intentional in their instructional design to better meet the need for increased rigor and challenge.

Provide opportunities, community, resources, and support for families of Gifted Students

  • Through the use of the West St Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan Area Schools Gifted and Talented webpage, information is posted for families to explore local opportunities and resources. Many schools also include information in newsletters. 
  • The Gifted and Talented Advisory Council (GTAC) meets several times each school year to explore a variety of topics that pertain to the gifted community. GTAC includes parents, teachers and administrators in the district.

Assist with smooth transitions for students from elementary to middle school and from middle school to high school

  • Through the relationships that are established between the Gifted and Talented Teachers in each Elementary and Middle School and our identified gifted student population, students have regular access to an adult in their educational lives that provides familiarity and serves as an advocate on their behalf during and beyond their transitions.

Teach and encourage gifted students how to negotiate and advocate for their academic needs

  • During opportunities to work with groups of our identified students, our teachers model this skill set to further equip students with the tools they need to respectfully request increased challenge and rigor. 
  • This is also addressed through the encouragement of project based and inquiry-based learning and the further development of higher order questioning skills.   

Employ a comprehensive and inclusive identification process that provides multiple entry points

  • Our identification process includes a variety of factors including both quantitative and qualitative measures.
  • We examine Cognitive Abilities Test scores as well as NWEA Measures of Academic Progress results and teacher checklists.
  • We consider parent, teacher, and student nomination through the use of our web-based survey options.

Offer best practices and research-based professional development for teachers in gifted education

  • The Gifted and Talented Coordinator facilitates monthly team meetings with the GT staff for professional development and curriculum planning.
  • The Gifted and Talented Coordinator identifies and communicates local and national training opportunities to better meet the needs of our gifted population. 
  • Teachers have regular access to the gifted and talented resource library housed at the District Office.
  • Attract and support Gifted and Talented Students by providing high level, challenging curriculum and enrichment during and beyond the school day
  1. Curriculum adoption process seeks high levels of rigor and challenge to provide pathways for students to excel and remain challenged.
  2. Teachers are trained and supported in their implementation of differentiated instruction and developing differentiated learning opportunities.
  • Provide an environment for students to experience positive interactions with intellectual peers
  1. In order to ensure that our students consistently have positive interactions with intellectual peers, we employ a gifted cluster model that places identified students in regular classrooms with other identified gifted students.
  2. The practice of clustering our identified students also allows teachers that serve the gifted clusters to be more intentional in their instructional design to better meet the need for increased rigor and challenge.
  • Provide opportunities, community, resources, and support for families of Gifted Students
  1. Through the use of the West St Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan Area Schools Gifted and Talented website, information is posted for families to explore local opportunities and resources. Many schools also include information in newsletters.
  2. The Gifted and Talented Advisory Council (GTAC) meets several times each school year to explore a variety of topics that pertain to the gifted community. GTAC includes parents, teachers and administrators in the district.
  • Assist with smooth transitions for students from elementary to middle school and from middle school to high school
  1. Through the relationships that are established between the Gifted and Talented Teachers in each Elementary and Middle School and our identified gifted student population, students have regular access to an adult in their educational lives that provides familiarity and serves as an advocate on their behalf during and beyond their transitions.
  • Teach and encourage gifted students how to negotiate and advocate for their academic needs
  1. During opportunities to work with groups of our identified students, our teachers model this skill set to further equip students with the tools they need to respectfully request increased challenge and rigor.
  2. This is also addressed through the encouragement of project based and inquiry-based learning and the further development of higher order questioning skills.    
  • Employ a comprehensive and inclusive identification process that provides multiple entry points
  1. Our identification process includes a variety of factors including both quantitative and qualitative measures.
  2. We examine Cognitive Abilities Test scores as well as NWEA Measures of Academic Progress results and teacher checklists.
  3. We consider parent, teacher, and student nomination through the use of our web-based survey options.
  • Offer best practices and research-based professional development for teachers in gifted education
  1. The Gifted and Talented Coordinator facilitates monthly team meetings with the GT staff for professional development and curriculum planning.
  2. The Gifted and Talented Coordinator identifies and communicates local and national training opportunities to better meet the needs of our gifted population.
  3. Teachers have regular access to the gifted and talented resource library housed at the District Office.