Elementary Services, grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Osseo Area Schools provides differentiated learning experiences to challenge and engage students across our system. Students deserve and need challenging learning opportunities that help them discover their unique interests and strengths. Our programming is designed to meet the needs of all students including those who have demonstrated high performance or show the potential for high performance relative to others of their age, experience or environment. In order to provide the right services at the right time for each student, students are identified for services using multiple measures including the CogAT 7 (Cognitive Abilities Test) and the NWEA/MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) Reading and Math assessments, teacher recommendation and student interest. Student programming needs are reviewed yearly.

Levels of Talent Development, Academic Challenge and Gifted Support

Level One - All students

Enrichment opportunities are provided for all students. Level One opportunities may include classroom lessons, makerspace, Genius Hour, engineering projects, guest speakers, community building or community service events. Lessons are focused on creative thinking skills, analogies, growth mindset, mindfulness are a few possibilities for whole classrooms to work with the TAG (Talent Development, Academic Challenge and Gifted Support) Specialist at each site. The goal of this level of service is to provide rigorous and enriching opportunities for all students.

Differentiated support is provided by the TAG specialist to classroom teachers in order to support all students with challenging learning opportunities that help them discover their unique interests and strengths.

All students are placed in heterogeneous classrooms. “Clustering” is used to create instructional groups in each third through fifth grade classroom. This practice will reduce the range of the instructional groups within a classroom, allowing the teacher to better provide a differentiated learning experience for each student. This “clustering” approach is based upon the Total School Clustering Model developed by Marcia Gentry at Purdue University.

Level Two - Some students

Enrichment and enhancement opportunities are provided through pull-out classes. These sessions focus on Verbal, Non-Verbal and Quantitative skills. Level Two services, while targeting specific ability areas are designed to introduce and build 'How to Learn' skills in our students.  These skills include, but are not limited to, becoming creative thinkers, problem solvers, strategic researchers and skilled communicators, while efficiently using technology, as well as determining how to best share information with a targeted audience producing a desired result.

Level Three - Some students

Extension and challenge is provided through pull-out sessions. Sessions may include a more rigorous version of Level Two programming. Additional core course extensions such as Continental Math League and Word Masters may also be provided.

Level Four - Few students

Students are involved in independent investigations which are designed to provide opportunities to investigate a special area of interest. Students will develop a project and share their findings. These independent study projects will be facilitated by the TAG Specialist. In addition to independent investigations, the following may be an option for some students:

  • Full grade acceleration
  • Single subject acceleration
  • Participation in advanced coursework through university partners or other agencies

In addition to the TAG services offered during the school day. Afterschool enrichment options are available at many of our sites. These options may include:

  • Math Masters
  • Destination Imagination
  • District 279 Children’s Chorus
  • Wordmasters
  • Community Education classes

Middle School Programming: grades 6, 7, and 8

The middle school approach for high-achieving students blends differentiation, rigorous curriculum and acceleration.

Differentiation: Differentiating instruction means that teachers vary the delivery of curriculum to address the specific needs of learners. State standards and benchmarks tell us what students need to know. Through pre-assessment, the classroom teacher looks at each student’s readiness, interest and learner profile to determine each learner’s needs.

Cluster Classrooms: In order to facilitate differentiation, students in grades 6-8 are placed in classes with a cluster (core group) of students at their same instructional level with teachers specifically trained to meet the needs of gifted adolescent learners. This model narrows the range of instructional levels, allowing teachers to differentiate more effectively than they can in a classroom with a wide range of student abilities. Interdisciplinary teams will enhance the effectiveness of the cluster model. The small team of teachers works with the same number of students, allowing them to better know each student’s academic, social and emotional needs. In addition, every middle school has a differentiation specialist working with teachers to support effective differentiated teaching in every classroom.

Rigorous Curriculum and Acceleration: Offering rigorous curriculum means providing depth, flexible pacing, complexity, choice and increased student engagement and self-directed learning. The more challenging materials allow high-achieving students to go deeper with their learning than before. In every core class (English/language arts, math, social studies and science), teachers differentiate instruction so that students continue to go deeper to extend their mastery of the content they are expected to learn. Teachers identify students who can and should tackle more challenging work within a course.

Math: Students may qualify and elect to participate in the accelerated math course offerings. Students participating in some courses (Algebra I, Non-Linear Algebra, Geometry) may choose to earn high school credit.

World Language: Students who elect to participate in Spanish 1 or French 1 may choose to earn high school credit. Please consult with your middle school counselor for more information about earning high school credit in middle school.


Tammi Provart
TAG Coordinator