Gifted & Talented Program
The focus of our gifted and talented programming is to discover and nurture students' gifts and talents with the ultimate goal to maximize achievement and support students in their unique growth trajectory. Gifted & talented program services are aligned to our Multi-tiered Systems of Support.
Counseling, social-emotional support, and collaboration with parents is provided at all tiers of identification.
- What does the gifted & talented identification process look like?
- When do services begin?
- What if my child is an advanced student but has not been identified yet for gifted & talented services?
- How are gifted students' needs met in the classroom?
The identification process begins in 3rd grade. All 3rd graders, 6th graders and students new to the district in grades 4, 5, 7 and 8 take the Otis Lennon School Ability Test, or OLSAT, before the end of October. Students identified with a score of 95% or higher on the composite and/or subscore on the OLSAT will be identified for MTSD's gifted & talented services. Parents are notified of the identification via mailed letter. The OLSAT takes approximately 75 minutes to complete.
In addition, NWEA Measurement of Academic Performance, or MAP, scores are also reviewed in the identification process.
Parents of students new to the district should contact Nicole Brown (grades K-5) or Robin Schlei (grades 6-12) regarding identification. A student who was identified for gifted & talented programming in another school or district is not automatically identified in the Mequon-Thiensville School District, but parents may have cognitive ability test scores from the other district's identification process that would qualify the student. If a parent has no cognitive ability score to provide, the student will be tested with the OLSAT (grades 3-8) during the OLSAT testing window.
Advanced indicates that the child has not yet met all the criteria (the cognitive ability score) necessary to be identified as gifted or talented. However, they have shown via MAP scores and other data that they are advanced in relation to other students at their age level and therefore need more challenge. Advanced students receive differentiation in the classroom; gifted & talented personnel support teachers in this endeavor. Advanced students who are ready for challenge may be grouped with gifted & talented students for those learning opportunities.