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Gifted & Talent Development

You are in luck! Black Hawk Middle School is home to some of the hardest working, highest achieving students in the state! We have students that earn excellent grades, high test scores, win contests and learn new and fabulous things every year. It is amazing to watch their growth from sixth to eighth grade.

Students will have the opportunity to join various activities, clubs and groups to enrich their daily learning. They will also be challenged right in their regular and elective classes. We have something for everyone at Black Hawk Middle School.

A lot of students will find new hobbies, interests and learnings in their middle school years. They will also have an opportunity to meet new people and find new best friends. Their chances of success will only grow as they learn new things and get involved.

More specifics about how the GT program works at the middle school level in ISD 196 can be found at the end of this page.

Thank you,

Mr. Herem

david herem

Gifted and Talent Development
Phone: 651-683-6969, ext. 85524

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Middle School GT

The middle school gifted and talented (GT) experience is different from the elementary school GT experience, and that is intentional. Students in the middle school GT programs start by being "clustered" in classes. This provides the students with groupings or whole classes of learners of similar abilities. However, we appreciate and value the uniqueness of each child. These "clusters" provides the teachers with opportunites to challenge students through adjusted lesson plans and differentiating curriculum. In District 196, this is called Levels of Service. Our GT teachers are experts in their subject areas.

What the District 196 middle school GT programs excel at is offering students choices and opportunities. We have a variety of enrichment opportunities at Black Hawk Middle School, and the offerings only continue to grow. Enrichment opportunities are open to any student, they do not need to be a GT-identified student. 

We have clubs for strong readers, writers and spellers, mathematicians, geographers, computer programmers, trivia buffs and artists, just to name a few.

Students choose what they want to be a part of and we believe that makes it much more enjoyable. That is part of growing up and maturing as a student is choosing what activities I want to participate in. Students receive passes from their GT coordinator to attend these opportunities, which usually take place during our Flex Time and do not take students out of class time. However, sometimes they might meet before, during or after school. We believe middle school is great time to expand curricular horizons and harness strengths as a leaner.

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.
These services are available at all elementary and middle schools.
All District 196 students will have access to Gifted and Talent Development (GTD) services in the hybrid learning model and in the Digital Academy. Each school’s Gifted and Talent Development teacher will provide GTD service to their school’s students in the hybrid model and Digital Academy. GTD teachers will communicate through classroom teachers and/or school communications how all students can access enrichment options and learning extensions.

2020-21 Identification Process Update

Due to the circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic, District 196 will delay screening and assessment for gifted identification until 2021-22. Gifted and talent development services continue to be available to all elementary and middle school students. Students do not need to be identified as gifted to participate in enrichment opportunities and to receive differentiated instruction for their advanced learning needs.
When will students be tested for gifted identification?
All 2nd and 3rd grade students will be tested through the universal screening process in the fall and winter of the 2021-22 school year. A process for referring 4th and 5th grade students for gifted identification screening will be developed for fall 2021.

Screening table for gifted identification

What does this mean for students who are already identified as gifted?
Students who are currently identified for gifted services in District 196 will continue to receive those services through gifted and talent development.
If I feel my child needs gifted and talent development (GTD) services, but they are not identified, what can I do?
Start by sharing your concerns about your child’s learning needs with your child’s teacher. GTD teachers partner with classroom teachers to offer enrichment and extension opportunities based on student learning needs and interests. These opportunities are available to all students who demonstrate a need or desire. 
What happens if we return to in-person instruction before the end of the 2020-21 school year?
Since the process of formal gifted identification occurs over multiple months of the school year and given the changes in learning models due to Covid-19, District 196 is delaying the screening and assessment process for formal gifted identification until the 2021-2022 school year.
What are some resources I can access to support my advanced child during this time? 
NAGC Parent TIP Sheets