Gifted Services

Spring Lake Park Schools' mission statement is “High Expectations, High Achievement for All. No Excuses.” This includes our gifted learners! Gifted Services seeks to identify these learners and provide services to maximize their potential by providing educational challenges appropriate to their needs.

Gifted Services supports:

  • High Potential
  • Talent Development
  • Gifted Education

To meet the needs of our unique learners we provide different levels of service and a variety of possible service options tailored to the needs of our students.

More on Gifted Services

Click on the links below to access additional Gifted Services information on the district website:

•  Levels of Service
•  Resources
•  Early Entrance to Kindergarten
•  Embedded College
•  Lighthouse School


What is the definition of gifted?

The National Association for Gifted Children definition states:

“Gifted individuals are those who demonstrate outstanding levels of aptitude (defined as an exceptional ability to reason and learn) or competence (documented performance or achievement in top 10% or rarer) in one or more domains.  Domains include any structured area of activity with its own symbol system (e.g., mathematics, music, language) and/or set of sensorimotor skills (e.g., painting, dance, sports).

The development of ability or talent is a lifelong process. It can be evident in young children as exceptional performance on tests and/or other measures of ability or as a rapid rate of learning, compared to other students of the same age, or in actual achievement in a domain. As individuals mature through childhood to adolescence, however, achievement and high levels of motivation in the domain become the primary characteristics of their giftedness. Various factors can either enhance or inhibit the development and expression of abilities.”

The Minnesota State definition is:

“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 and/or services beyond those provided in the general school program.

Students capable of high performance include those with demonstrated achievement or potential ability in any one or more of the following areas: general intellectual, specific academic subjects, creativity, leadership and visual and performing arts.”

What is the purpose of identification?

As stated in the the Minnesota definition of gifted and talented, Spring Lake Park identifies students to ensure that gifted learners receive differentiated and challenging educational services that meet their academic and affective needs. Spring Lake Park schools utilize a Levels of Service model to personalize learning opportunities for all students. Click here for more information on Levels of Service. 

How are students identified?

A profile of students is created using multiple criteria including:

  • Achievement data (NWEA MAPS)
  • Ability data (Cognitive Ability Test)
  • Teacher and parent rating scales
  • Anecdotal evidence
  • Student work

An identification committee reviews the profiles and makes recommendations regarding levels of service. Click here for more information on Levels of Service. 

When are students identified?

Students are formally identified in the fall of third, fourth or fifth grade. Students in grades K-2 are informally identified using anecdotal evidence to participate in appropriate levels of service. Click here for more information on Levels of Service. 

Contact Us

Lindsay Johnson
Angell Pearson
Desiree Gillis
Kevin Koch
Curtis Horton
Jan Burda
Amanda West