Elementary High Potential Services
Our District employs a full-time high potential (HP) specialist at every elementary school. The HP teacher leads the Wings and Independent Investigations programs in addition to team teaching and serving as a resource for regular classroom teachers.
Minnetonka High Potential Services offers three levels of service to elementary students and teachers.
Level 1 service is designed to provide differentiated experiences for intellectually gifted students, 1st through 5th grade. Small groups of identified students meet once a week for Wings. The interdisciplinary curriculum focuses on creative and critical thinking and 21st century skills. Wings also provides a safe environment where students feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and ideas.
Level 2 service is designed to offer enrichment to any student with specific talents and/or interests. High Potential paraprofessionals, under the supervision of HP staff, run this portion of the programming. Students participate in Independent Investigations, an enrichment program designed to provide opportunities for students to investigate a special area of interest. Students develop a project and share their findings.
Level 3 service is available to all teachers and students. Critical and creative thinking skills may be taught by the HP teacher in the mainstream classroom, and enrichment materials may be supplied to classroom teachers for further use with students.
Beginning in fourth grade, students who demonstrate high performance in math (based on NWEA Tests) may join an accelerated math class, which completes the fourth, fifth and sixth grade math curriculum during fourth and fifth grade.
Advanced reading opportunities are also available to students who demonstrate high performance in reading (based on NWEA Tests). Students may participate in Literature Circles including Jr. Great Books and The Classics. Literature circles provide individualized reading support and opportunities for students to read above their grade level and discuss projects. This is provided as part of Level 3 services.
We offer a language immersion option beginning in kindergarten at each neighborhood elementary school. Four schools offer Spanish and two schools offer Chinese. In an Immersion classroom, teachers provide all instruction in the target language; direct instruction in English begins in third grade. If learning a second language during elementary school is an important value for your family, consider enrollment in language immersion. For more information, visit www.minnetonka.k12.mn.us/immersion.
Extracurricular activities include Continental Math League, Young Scientists, Destination ImagiNation and Imagination Fair.
The Navigator Program is for exceptionally gifted students in 2nd through 5th grade. It serves a small, very unique group of learners with IQs of 145 and above. These students demonstrate high levels of:
- Focus in interest areas (long attention span for age)
- Intellectual curiosity
- Big-picture thinking
Identification for services
High Potential students are identified for service in 1st through 6th grade through an ongoing, multi-dimensional screening process, including teacher observation, parent input, student input, classroom performance, and standardized test information. In order to qualify for Level 1 services (Wings), students typically have NWEA achievement scores at or above the 95th percentile and must also score at or above the 98th percentile on an age-normative cognitive abilities (IQ) test. Parents/guardians who have questions or concerns about their child and services should call their school or our District Director of Advanced Learner Programs.