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Gifted and Talented

We believe that all students can learn at high levels and gifted students are individuals with potential who require guidance in discovering, developing and realizing their potential as individuals and as members of society.

According to the National Association for Gifted Children, gifted individuals are those who demonstrate outstanding levels of aptitude or competence in one or more areas. Big Lake uses a variety of assessments to identify gifted and talented students including, but not limited to, NWEA-MAP scores, CogAT scores, and teacher, parent and self nominations.

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What Gifted and Talented Opportunities are Available?

Early Entrance

Children who demonstrate social/emotional maturity, academic motivation and superior intellectual ability may qualify for early entrance into kindergarten or first grade.

To qualify, a student must turn 5 years old by November 1 of the school year they wish to enter. A parent must make initial contact with the school district and hold an interview by mid-April prior to the school year of entrance. 


Full Grade Acceleration: students are moved ahead one grade level for their entire schedule.

Single Subject Acceleration: Students move ahead one grade level in a subject area, but remain at the regular grade level for most of their schedule.

Higher Level Thinking

Higher-level thinking assignments or activities require students to operate at the levels of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.

The activities may be enhanced by teaching students the differences between the levels of thinking and by discussing the thinking levels/skills used in various activities.

Independent/Research Projects

Through Independent/research projects, students explores a topic of personal interest.

They must narrow the focus of study, gather resources, and locate information through reading or other means to create a product or presentation.

Alternate Assignments

assignments given to a particular student or small group instead of the assignment given to the rest of the class. The assignments are designed to be more challenging and/or capitalize on a student’s special interests or skills.


Allowing students to spend less time learning a topic, chapter, or unit by either:

  1. Pretesting for mastery so some material can be eliminated, or
  2. Creating a study guide or other procedure for students to cover material at a faster pace or in less time than the rest of the class.

The purpose of compacting is to move on more quickly to new material or to create class time for more challenging enrichment or accelerated activities.