Student Support Services
- English Learner
- Family Support Staff
- Gifted and Talent Development
- Reading Recovery
- Special Education
The English Learner (EL) program supports multilingual learners in acquiring the English they need in order to succeed in the classroom and beyond, in accordance with the State of Minnesota Guidelines and English Language Proficiency Standards. Incoming students are tested for English proficiency when entering District 196 schools, as well as periodically throughout the school year to determine progress and eligibility for continued instruction.
In EL settings, English learners are part of an English language learning experience where students engage in content study and English learning simultaneously. Students are grouped by proficiency level at the elementary through high school level and may or may not share the same native language.
Schools are an ideal place for students to receive the social, emotional, and behavioral support that are needed to adaptively cope with challenges and engage with learning.
Our mental health and wellness support team works in collaboration with families, teachers, school administrators, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments that strengthen connections between home, school, and the community. Through our work, we support diverse learners, promote positive behavior and mental health, improve academic achievement, and work to maintain a safe and positive school culture. In essence, we support students’ ability to learn and teachers’ ability to teach.
Please reach out to connect with us. You can also find mental health and wellness resources by visiting our website.
- Parent Resources
- Gifted and Talented Advisory Council (GTAC)
- Service Model
- Gifted Identification
- Grades 3-5 Cluster Classrooms
- Frequently Asked Questions
Gifted and talented children are those students with outstanding abilities and capable of higher performance when compared to others of similar age, experience and environment. They have significantly different educational needs from their peers and require educational differentiation as a regular part of their school day to ensure they reach their full potential.
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 Tiered Service Model:
- Tier 1, Core classroom - Core classroom teacher, grade level PLC team, and GTD teacher
- Tier 2, Guided groups - Core classroom teacher, grade level PLC team, and GTD teacher
- Tier 3, 1:1 - Focused on individualized need - Core classroom teacher, and GTD teacher
- District 196 elementary schools cluster identified gifted students in grades 3-5. GTD teacher support cluster classroom teacher with differentiating for advanced academic needs in core instruction and in guided groups.
Students whose needs extend beyond the tiered service model 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 and/or high achievement needs. GTD services are provided through flexible grouping based on formative and ongoing assessment of student needs 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 find students who are demonstrating outstanding abilities and are capable of higher performance when compared to others of similar age, experience and environment. 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 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 will consider the following multiple measure criteria:
- Assessment of cognitive abilities (Cognitive Abilities Test- CogAT 7)
- 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 universal screening?
- How can I prepare my child for the CogAT7?
- What if my child has an IEP?
- What is the HOPE teacher rating scale?
- Why are there so many different pathways for identification?
- Is identification ongoing? What about students in other grade levels?
- 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 if a student is not identified gifted but still demonstrates high ability or achievement in the classroom?
- 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, ISD 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 outliers in their grade level. Kindergarten and 1st grade teachers communicate and collaborate with GTD teachers.
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. Using local norms have shown to bring identification for gifted services across demographic groups to better represent the school’s student population.
The grade level teachers collaborate with the GTD teacher to expose the students to practice items provided by CogAT. The Cognitive Abilities Test measures reasoning and problem solving skills in three different areas: verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal. Reasoning skills develop throughout a person’s lifetime and at different rates for each individual. CogAT7 does not measure academic learning such as reading comprehension, math computation, etc.
For more information visit the CogAT website link.
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.
Identified gifted students have diverse strengths and needs. Few identified gifted students are high ability and high achieving in all areas. Multiple pathways provide opportunities for students to demonstrate their areas of strength. Multiple pathways are needed to identify twice exceptional students who need special education in addition to gifted services as well as students receiving ELD services.
The identification process in District 196 is ongoing during the elementary years. The formal identification process occurs once per year. Students will be informally screened by their teachers for strengths areas and high achievement on a daily basis through formative and summative assessments. Teachers will respond to students’ advanced learning needs through flexible grouping with differentiation. GTD teachers provide resources, strategies and support to classroom teachers to meet the needs of high ability students.
If a student moves into District 196 from another district or another state with a GT identification, then contact the district GTD Lead Teacher 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. The student will need to demonstrate that he/she meets the school district’s criteria for gifted identification.
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 and/or high achievement needs. Gifted services are provided through flexible grouping based on formative and ongoing assessment of student needs in the classroom based on the content and standards being presented at that time.
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.
Reading Recovery is a program that helps first-grade students learn to read at the average level of their classmates within twenty weeks.
Students are selected on the basis of assessments given by classroom teachers the summer preceding first grade. These students receive daily 30-minute individual tutoring from a teacher specially trained in Reading Recovery techniques.