Advanced Academics and Talent Development
Coordinator of Advanced Academics and Talent Development
Office of Educational Equity
Inspiring High Intellectual Performance and Developing Talents
Roseville Area Schools is committed to equity, anti-racism, inclusiveness, and asset-based practices for the success of all students in our racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse student population. We believe in developing the interests, talents and strengths of all students, with an assurance that historically underserved groups, namely American Indian, Asian, Black, Hispanic, English Learners, and students who qualify for free and reduced meals, are equitably served within talent development and advanced academic programs and services.
We offer two programs:
- Talent Development includes services that mitigate opportunity gaps
- Advanced Academics includes services and extensions not offered in core academic programming
We use a variety of frameworks, curricula, and competitions to support what students need to be challenged and successful in school. As part of its framework, Advanced Academics has comprehensive early entrance and grade promotion procedures. The School Board's acceleration policy guides those actions.
- Goals of Advanced Academics and Talent Development
- Advanced Academic Services
- Talent Development Services
- Twice Exceptional (2e) Learners
- AATD Advisory Council
- Summer Academy
- Resources and Websites
- Identification Process
- Extending Opportunities Beyond the School Day
- Powerpoint Presentations & PDFs
Our priorities within talent development and advanced academics include:
- Finding and developing the interests and strengths of our students
- Advancing critical and creative thinking skills of students
- Honoring student experiential knowledge and giving students opportunities to play an active role in their own learning
- Increasing complexity of instruction and depth of content to fit students' needs
- Providing accelerated learning opportunities
Advanced Academics services are available for elementary, middle school, and high school students. At the elementary level, students are grouped together so teachers can readily meet their advanced learning needs. In grades 7-8, courses in math and world language offer high school credit, and other courses offer advanced options to deepen and extend learning. At the high school level, students may take Advanced Placement courses, college classes offered at the high school (CIS) or at neighboring colleges (PSEO).
- Elementary Student Groups
- Acceleration Options
- Enrichment Options
- Elementary School AATD Lead Teachers
- Roseville Area Middle School Student Services
- Parkview Grades 7-8 Student Services
- Roseville Area High School Courses & Activities
Whether informally or formally identified, elementary students who are identified as needing advanced academic services are grouped together in a classroom with a teacher who has received training to meet most needs of the students. All elementary teachers in the district receive specific training in advanced academics and talent development. They are skillful in meeting their students' needs while differentiating curriculum and instruction for all students. For more information on differentiated instruction, please download our Differentiated Instruction for Advanced Students fact sheet.
Informally in grades 1-3, and formally in grades 4-6, identified students are intentionally grouped together in classrooms. These groups typically include 4-8 students identified as needing advanced academics within a classroom of students with varying ability levels. Besides addressing their intellectual needs, this intentional grouping also helps students meet their social and emotional needs as they work with their academic peers.
Each of the district's elementary schools has a lead teacher who coordinates building enrichment opportunities and staff training. The lead teacher also organizes differentiated materials for classroom teachers to use with students during the school day.
There are many ways to accelerate learning for students who are academically, intellectually, socially, and emotionally ready to learn at a faster pace or before the expected age for learning.
1. Early Entrance to Kindergarten or First Grade
2. Grade or Subject Acceleration:
These options require a formal request and have a set process to follow. See the attachments above for more information on these procedures. The Request for Acceleration Form allows parents/guardians, teachers, or students to begin the process. Note that teachers also accelerate learning in more informal ways in the classroom, such as compacting the curriculum and differentiating instruction, and these informal procedures do not require a formal request form.
For more information on these options, please contact your child’s teacher, the school Advanced Academics and Talent Development lead teacher, or the district coordinator.
Elementary students have a variety of enrichment opportunities available to them. Those opportunities include:
- North Suburban Summer Academy
- Young Authors Programming for talented writers
- Math Masters
- Continental Math League
We also sponsor our district's student publication,Voices, which is published each summer, highlighting the artwork and writing of our talented students from preschool through high school. Click on the "Enrichment and Resources" tab in the menu on the left side of this page for more information on other quality enrichment programs.
Teachers strive to advance academics and develop talents of students in the classroom. The lead teacher supports and assists the teachers in providing differentiation in the classroom, coordinates enrichment opportunities, and is an advocate for advanced academics and talent development in the school.
Brimhall Elementary School • Lorna Plana • 651-638-1938
- Central Park Elementary School • Dan Church • 651-481-9951
- Edgerton Elementary School • Sheila McCormick • 651-772-2565
- Emmet D. Williams Elementary School • Cameron Radke • 651-482-8624
- Falcon Heights Elementary School • Ann Lundy • 651-646-0021
- Little Canada Elementary School • Krysta Doughty and Natalie Van Der Wal • 651-490-1353
- Harambee Elementary School • Jessica Morgan • 651–379–2500
- Parkview Center School • Erin Anderson • 651-487-4360, ext 130
Roseville Area Middle School (RAMS) courses embed Advanced Options (AOs) in classes so students are prepared to take Advanced Placement (AP) courses in high school. AOs are accessible to all students and offer (1) an accelerated pace, (2) more depth by deepening the discipline knowledge and practices, and/or (3) more complexity by using sophisticated levels of advanced thinking.
In math, students have the opportunity to take accelerated classes that earn high school credit. Intermediate Algebra, typically a grade 9 course, and Geometry, a grade 10 course, are offered to students as early as grade 7.
Ursala Pankonin, lead teacher for advanced academics and talent development, supports the students and teachers at RAMS. She offers a variety of morning groups such as book clubs, creative writing, Future City competition, Stock Market Game, and more. Information about these groups is communicated to students and parents through the RAMS school newsletter. Individual support for students, if needed, can be requested.
Please visit the RAMS Site or contact Ursala Pankonin at firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail) or 651-482-5280 for more information on programming at RAMS.
Parkview middle school courses embed Advanced Options (AOs) in classes so students are prepared to take Advanced Placement (AP) courses in high school. AOs are accessible to all students and offer (1) an accelerated pace, (2) more depth by deepening the discipline knowledge and practices, and/or (3) more complexity by using sophisticated levels of advanced thinking.
In math, students in grades 7-8 may take accelerated math classes and earn up to two high-school credits (Intermediate Algebra and Geometry).
In addition to a rigorous curriculum, students have the opportunity to participate in several academic competitions and groups such as Science Fair, Spelling Bee, Jaguar News, Mathcounts, AMC 8 and St. Cloud Math Contest.
Please contact Erin Anderson at email@example.com(link sends e-mail) for more information on advanced academic and talent development programming at Parkview Center School.
Students at Roseville Area High School (RAHS) have an array of course electives and accelerated options to meet their needs and interests. They may take advantage of Pre-Advanced and Advanced Placement courses, college classes offered onsite (College in the Schools or CIS) or at neighboring colleges (Post Secondary Enrollment Options or PSEO), and an expanse of enrichment opportunities. For more information on these options, please contact the RAHS counselors.
The Advanced Academics and Talent Development Advisory Council (AATDAC) reviews and advocates for advanced academic and talent development (AATD) services. The AATD lead teachers from each building, along with a parent representative from each school, comprise the council. The purpose of AATDAC is to:
- Review and learn about advanced academic and talent development program options.
- Provide feedback on program ideas and implementation.
- Advocate for advanced academic and talent development programming in the schools and community.
- Serve as a liaison and information resource to their school's parent or school organizations.
- More information
For the 2021-22 school year, the council will meet from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. on the following dates. These meetings are open to the public:
- October 28, 2021
- January 20, 2022
- March 24, 2022
ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBER
RAS Student Representatives
Lead Teacher Representatives
School Board Representative
- All Things Gifted: The all-things-gifted site is full of resources, articles, books, and links to help and support parents, teachers, and gifted children alike. It's a great site to explore.
- AP Central, College Board: Information on AP (Advanced Placement) courses and exams.
- Center for Gifted Education: William and Mary's Center for Gifted Education site
- Center for Talent Development: Northwestern University's Center for Talent Development site has links for students, parents, and educators
- Institute of Talent Development: Davidson's Institute for Talent Development has a mission to recognize, nurture, and support profoundly intelligent young people and to provide opportunities for them to develop their talents to make a positive difference.
- Minnesota Council for the Gifted and Talented: The Minnesota Council for the Gifted and Talented (MCGT) is a support and advocacy organization for parents and educators of gifted children. This organization sponsors an annual state conference and monthly CHAT nights around the Twin Cities.
- Naeg Center for Gifted Education & Talent Development: The University of Connecticut has a Gifted Education and Talent Development Center that researches ways to meet the unique needs of gifted and talented children.
- National Association for Gifted Children: The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) has links for educators, students, and families. Click on the site's Teaching for High Potential for great articles and resources.
- Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted: SENG's mission is to empower families and communities to guide gifted and talented individuals to reach their goals intellectually, physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.
- Twice Exceptional Newsletter: This bimonthly electronic publication promotes an understanding of twice-exceptional children and what they need to reach their potential. The newsletter features articles, news, events, book reviews, resources, etc.
- Uniquely Gifted: This website contains information for families of students who are both gifted and have special needs.
Our process for identifying students for advanced academics services within Roseville Area Schools incorporates the screening of all students, teacher observations and input, parent perspectives and input, classroom performance assessments, and ability testing.
In grades K-2, teachers use an informal identification and screening process that considers learning behaviors of all of their students. Using a teacher-nomination scale, they observe social and academic behaviors that are known to lead to high achievement levels or indicate the potential for high achievement. For more information on the informal identification process, download our Informal Identification fact sheet.
In December, all students in grade 4-6 take the CogAT (Cognitive Ability Test). This test measures students’ ability to reason and problem solve in verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal domains. Teachers, lead teachers, and other relevant staff meet to review CogAT results and to consider the results of the grades K-2 informal screening and classroom assessments. The team uses these assessment results to identify students needing advanced academics.
- CLICK HERE to view a recording on "Understanding CogAT Results"
- CLICK HERE to read more information about CogAT
The Twice-Exceptional Group
Some students who are gifted may also have autism spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, behavioral or emotional disorders, or related challenges. We have a twice-exceptional learning(2e) group to address the unique needs of multi-exceptional students and their families. If you are interested in learning more about twice-exceptional (2e) students, please join our 2e learning group. To join or for more information, please contact Trina Hira.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
How do I know if my child is identified as gifted?
The Minnesota Department of Education definition of giftedness focuses on " those students with outstanding abilities....(and) students capable of high performance." However, capability is not always apparent nor can it be easily measured, especially in young children. Also, performance alone is not an indication of giftedness. A student who is not identified as gifted but highly motivated could easily outperform a child who is identified as gifted but lacking motivation or opportunity. A child who comes from an enriched home environment could also show more advanced performance.
Some believe that a child who has an IQ of 130 or higher is gifted. But giftedness is also more than an IQ score. Giftedness is actually a combination of personality and intellectual traits that lead to increased sensitivity and aptitude in a number of areas.
Contrary to what many people think, the gifted child is not destined for success. Many gifted children have social, emotional, and educational needs that are not easily met in the normal school setting.
How will I know if and when my child has been identified?
Informal assessments and classroom grouping occur in grades K-3. Information and placement at this level is used solely for talent development purposes. No formal identification or notification occurs at this time. In the winter of fourth through sixth grade, the CogAT scores of all students are reviewed as part of a formal identification process.
The coordinator of Advanced Academics and Talent Development sends a letter (usually early in the spring) to parents of identified students that confirms and explains the types of services the student will receive.
What can I do if I believe my child is gifted and should be identified for service?
Start with your child's teacher and ask about your child's abilities in the classroom. Share with the teacher information about your child's abilities, interests, and achievements outside of school. Ask what the process is for identifying gifted students and whether the teacher believes your child would qualify for gifted services. The school's Advanced Academics and Talent Development lead teacher is another resource who can answer questions about the identification process.
When do you identify students and start service?
Student information is reviewed periodically throughout the child's school career, starting during kindergarten and then whenever new information becomes available (or at the request of a teacher or parent).
Informal services begin in grades 1-3 for students who show a need for differentiated curriculum due to high reading and math abilities. During these grades, a committee of educators reviews student profiles and screens all students for gifts and talents.
By grade 4, enough information has been gathered to make a sound decision about the child's educational needs. In the winter of that year, we review the results of CogAT , which is a strong indicator of a child's ability.
Formal service begins in grade 4.
My child has been in a gifted program in another school district. Does this guarantee placement in Roseville Area Schools' Advanced Academics and Talent Development Program?
Participation in a gifted program in another school district does not necessarily qualify a student for services in Roseville Area Schools. Be sure to share your child's gifted identification data with the Advanced Academics and Talent Development coordinator, and we will review the records to determine how to best serve the student in our district.
Talent development and advanced academic opportunities extend beyond the school day and school year. The North Suburban Summer Academy and many other enrichment opportunities exist to meet those needs. Resources to help guide parents are also plentiful. Below is a list of those opportunities and resources.
- Get Ready for College: Up to $1000 is available to students on free/reduced lunch in grades 3-11 to take one summer enrichment class or camp.
- Minnesota Institute for Talented Youth: The Minnesota Institute for Talented Youth offers spring and fall classes for students in grades 1-4 and summer camps for students in grades 4-12. Financial aid is available.
- Northeast Metro 916: 916 lists enrichment opportunities for students in arts and academics.
- North Suburban Summer Academy: Summer Academy is a 2 ½ week program that takes place in June for students in grades 1-11. The academy was created through a partnership between 12 Minnesota school districts, including Roseville Area Schools. Students must be recommended by their district to attend. Partial scholarships are available.
- Roseville Area Community Education: Roseville Area Community Education provides Academic All-Stars and Talent Development courses that are designed to extend learning and provide enriching experiences. Creativity and critical thinking are infused into learning activities.
- Science Museum of Minnesota: The Science Museum of Minnesota offers Saturday and summer classes in science and technology.
- St. Thomas University's Science, Technology & Engineering Camps: The University of St. Thomas offers a FREE day-long summer camp (STEPS – Science Technology & Engineering Preview) for students in grades 6-8 via a random lottery selection (applications open January through mid-March).
- Star Tribune Summer Camps Guide: Each spring, the Star Tribune publishes a summer camp guide that lists a huge range of opportunities for kids.
- Talent Development Testing: The Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University offers above-level testing information for kids (e.g. third grader taking the EXPLORE test or 7th grader taking the ACT), as well as online enrichment, honors and AP courses.
- University of Minnesota Children's Math Programs: The U of M offers several math programs for children: UMTYMP as well as Saturday and summer enrichment opportunities.
- University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering: STEM summer camps for juniors and seniors through the U of M College of Science and Engineering. Fees are reasonable due to donations, and scholarships available.