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Talent Development and Advanced Academics
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Talent Development and Advanced Learner Education

Talent Development and Advanced Learner Education
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MPS is committed to finding and nurturing Advanced Learners of all cultural and socioeconomic groups, recognizing that this has not always been the case. 

When screening all second graders for Advanced Learning services, MPS uses two methods, one technical and the other adaptive, to ensure diversity in student identification:

  1. Two screening tests (FastBridge and CogAT7), comparing student test results against peers, not district, state or national results. 
  2. Teacher and parent input in order to look at the child as a whole, rather than as a test result.

Because of these combined efforts, our percentage of students of color within students identified for Advanced Learning has increased from 30% to 51% over the past 7 years. Schools across the state and country struggle with this same issue and have used the MPS model of identification to improve their own practices. 

MPS has worked so hard to integrate its Advanced Learning participants. Because research shows that all students – including students with average or below average academic achievement – benefit when students are clustered for Advanced Learning programming, we have chosen as a District to support this format. MPS data shows that schools who cluster show more gains on the MCA testing than those who do not cluster. All children do not learn in the same way and at the same pace. Our goal is that teachers differentiate instruction to meet all students where they are in ability and aptitude. 

Why Talent Development?

Children come to school with unique strengths and talents. While some students may show a readiness for a high level of academic challenge, all students deserve and need learning opportunities that help them discover their unique interests and strengths. Our talent development model provides differentiated learning experiences to challenge and engage all students across our system, including our most advanced learners. 

How is Talent Developed?

In Minneapolis Public Schools, our vision is that all students recognize and develop their talents as a result of enrichment and appropriately challenging learning opportunities. We recognize that talent is developed through a process that begins with exposure to many areas interests, building skills and providing learning matched to the increased intellectual demand necessary for advanced achievement. Our K-12 talent development model is structured to nurture academic talent in all children through a continuum of services.

Read more about our approach to enrichment for all learners, services for advanced learners in grades kindergarten through eight, and our advanced academics opportunities in high school.

Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) Notification
Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) is a program that allows 10th-, 11th- and 12th-grade students to earn both high school and college credit while still in high school, through enrollment in and successful completion of college-level, nonsectarian courses at eligible participating postsecondary institutions. Most PSEO courses are offered on the campus of the postsecondary institution; some courses are offered online. Each participating college or university sets its own requirements for enrollment into the PSEO courses. Eleventh and 12th-grade students may take PSEO courses on a full- or part-time basis; 10th graders may take one career/technical PSEO course. If they earn at least a grade C in that class, they may take additional PSEO courses.

There is no charge to PSEO students for tuition, books or fees for items that are required to participate in a course. Students must meet the PSEO residency and eligibility requirements and abide by participation limits specified in Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.09. If a school district determines a pupil is not on track to graduate, she/he may continue to participate in PSEO. Funds are available to help pay transportation expenses for qualifying students to participate in PSEO courses on college campuses. Schools must provide information to all students in grades 8-11 and their families by March 1, every year. Students must notify their school by May 30 if they want to participate in PSEO for the following school year. For current information about the PSEO program, visit the Minnesota Department of Education’s Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) webpage.

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