PAALs – Minneapolis is now MCGT – Minneapolis!

A welcome letter from our new co-presidents:

Hello families of Minneapolis Advanced Learners,

Welcome to a new school year! We are pleased to officially introduce Minneapolis MCGT PAALs (Parents Advocating for Advanced Learners). We are a parent group from various Minneapolis Public Schools, and have recently become a chapter of the Minnesota Council for the Gifted and Talented.

Our mission is to engage and support families of advanced learners in Minneapolis, and to advocate and collaborate with MPS to ensure the needs of all advanced learners are consistently being met.

As a chapter of MCGT, we provide opportunities to network and share resources, to work with the schools, to hear speakers on various gifted and talented issues, and to generate and promote enrichment activities for gifted children.  

PAALs started in 2017 as a small group of parents concerned with the lack of programming for advanced learners in MPS.  We quickly discovered that, for many families, it means tough choices about where to send their children to school. We want to help make MPS the best option for Minneapolis families. A district-wide, fully functioning K-12 AL program is critical to meeting that goal.  

Over the past year, PAALs reached out to MPS leadership and engaged in several productive meetings and conversations with MPS leadership. MPS is taking steps to address the gap in AL programming, and PAALs will continue to work with the district to ensure the needs of advanced learners are being met in all schools.  

Minneapolis MCGT PAALs will host events throughout the upcoming school year, such as speaker events, meetings, and networking opportunities. Stay tuned for the announcement of our first speaker event!

In November, Minneapolis is hosting the NAGC Annual Convention (National Association for Gifted Children).  Visit for more information and to register. This is an enormous opportunity for Minneapolis families of gifted children to connect with experts and families from all over the state and country to discuss and learn about topics relevant to gifted children.

Finally, please consider joining MCGT, and the Minneapolis PAALs Chapter – it is a wonderful resource for families! Visit to sign up. Family membership is $35 annually, and a portion of your membership fees go directly to support chapter programming.

Here’s to a great year!

Minneapolis MCGT PAALs

Jess Khan & Tyra Zuchowski, Chapter Presidents

Email: [email protected]

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Chapter Meeting Jan 28, 9:30-11:00 am: 2E Movie

Join us for the January MPLS Chapter Meeting January, 29, 2017, 9:30-11:00 am, Nellie Stone Johnson Meeting Room, Sumner Library, 611 Van White Memorial Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55411


  1. Review of chapter mission
  2. Update on parent groups and state legislative activity
  3. Watch the movie, 2E-Twice Exceptional (:50 minutes)
  4. Brainstorm on topics for future meetings

We hope you’ll join us!

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MPS Advanced Learner Program and Self-Advocacy: How to get your child the help they need

MPS Advanced Learner Program and Self-Advocacy: How to get your child the help they need
Join us for the first MPLS chapter meeting of the 2016-17 school year.
Saturday, September 24, 9:30-10:30 a.m.
Sumner Library, 611 Van White Memorial Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55411
If you have a child in MPS who has been identified as an Advanced Learner, please join to learn more about the program, teacher training, and who to contact in your community school for more information
Carol Muleg, President of Minnesota Council of the Gifted and Talented and SENG facilitator, will be joining us to discuss strategies for self-advocacy. It is within this context of self-advocacy that we will also be discussing the MPS Talent Development and Advanced Learner program. 
Theresa Campbell, middle grade talent development and academic district program facilitator, and Alyssa Polack, elementary grade talent development and academic district program facilitator, from the MPS Talent Development and Advanced Learner Department will also be joining us. Theresa and Alyssa will describe the program, the identification process, service levels, teacher training, and who to contact to see how the program is implemented in your community school.  If you have questions about the program, about how it is structured, and who oversees it in your community school, please join us.
Childcare will not be provided at this event, but kids are welcome. I’ll have games, and drawing materials, and they can always browse the library stacks upstairs. The room is quite large.
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Northwestern University Midwest Academic Talent Search (NUMATS)/Center for Talen Development (CTD) will be giving four presentations in the Twin Cities area the week of October 26, 2015

Tammie Stewart from the Northwestern University Midwest Academic Talent Search (NUMATS)/Center for Talent Development (CTD) will be giving four presentations in the Twin Cities area.  Tammie is the Outreach Manager for the CTD at Northwestern University. Tammie will provide information on exciting opportunities for Minnesota and Wisconsin youth in grades 3-9 through the NUMATS academic talent search program, plus need-based scholarships for high ability learners in grades 7 -13.  The presentation will provide information on the NUMATS program, including a description of the program’s specialized enrichment and resources available for advanced learners, above-grade-level testing, benefits of the program, how to register for the program and scholarship opportunities.  The Jack Kent Scholarship program, the Young Scholars Program which accepts applications from high achieving 7th graders and the College Scholarship program which accepts applications from high achieving 12th graders.  New deadlines and related information for 2015-2016 will be shared at these events. Discover the many advantages NUMATS kids experience as they progress through middle school, high school and apply to college.

There will be four presentations by Tammie Stewart hosted by MCGT Chapters.  The schedule is below:

When: Monday, October 26, 2015; 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Where: Twin oaks Middles School Auditorium, 15860 Fish Point Rd. Prior Lake, MN 55372
Hosted by the Prior Lake/Savage MCGT Chapter

When: Tuesday, October 27, 2015; 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
Where: Lake Elmo Elementary, 11030 Stillwater Blvd North, Lake Elmo, MN 55402
Hosted by the St. Croix Valley and Mahtomedi MCGT Chapters

When: Wednesday, October 28, 2015; 7:00 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Where: Fridley Community Center, 6085 7th St. NE, Fridley, MN 55432
Hosted by the Homeschool Chapter MCGT Chapter

When: Thursday, October 29, 2015; 6 p.m.- 7:30 p.m.
Where: Washburn Library, 5244 Lyndale Ave. South, Minneapolis, MN 55419
Hosted by the Minneapolis Chapter of MCGT

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Gifted 101 Mini-Conference
9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m
Edina Community Center
5701 Normandale Road, Edina, MN 55424

Register here:

Parenting gifted children often presents unique challenges. Frequently, social/emotional issues intertwine with educational issues. So then, what are the characteristics of the gifted? How should we interpret testing, assessment and identification of the gifted child? This conference will address these questions and many more.

If you suspect your child is gifted or has been been identified by a school staff person or another professional person, come to increase your understanding of giftedness, to discover ways to find the support you and your child need, and to network with other families with gifted children.
This mini-conference will be offered in three one-hour sessions. Each of the six speakers will present their topic twice. The schedule with topic descriptions and presenter information will be posted on the website,
Additionally, books will be available for purchase at the MCGT Book Table. Choices include a variety of topics about gifted kids and families, their education, and parenting.

Orders for sandwiches from Jimmy Johns will be taken at the registration table or bring your own.


  • Andrea Johnson
  • Melissa Malen
  • Mary Wandrei
  • Kathy Geary
  • Martha Palm
  • Carol Malueg


  • The Social and Emotional Well-Being of Gifted/Talented Children
  • Harnessing your Child’s Energy (Movement and Behavior Management)
  • Ability and Achievement Testing
  • Advocating for your Gifted/Talented Children
  • Planning for the Future – Educational Options for Gifted/Talented Children
  • Characteristics of Gifted Children

The Day’s Schedule
9:00 –  9:30 Check-in and On-Site Registration
9:30 – 10:30 Session I
10:45 – 11:45 Session II
11:45 – 12:30 Lunch Break
12:30 -! 1:30 Session III
9:00 – 2:30 MCGT Resources & Book Sales Available
9:00 – 2:30 Networking Opportunities

Cost & More Information
$10 suggested donation for members,
$15 suggested donation for non-members*
$ 5 suggested donation for second adult in the
same family
$ 5 for sandwich from Jimmy Johns
Registration is available on the MCGT website,
*pay the member rate if you join MCGT with your

Register here:

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Chapter Meeting: Summer Activities for GT Kids, Feb 25, 6:30 p.m.

Join us Wednesday, February 25, 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Hosmer Library to find out about GT summer fun and learning.

Karl Bunday, Interim Vice President and Publicity Director for MCGT, will share his extensive knowledge of state, national and international summer programs for GT kids of all ages. Program topics are broad, include a number of known and unknown organizations, and many offer scholarships. Summer is not that far away – get a jump start on your plans!

Hosmer Library is located at 347 E 36th Street, MPLS, 55408.

Everyone is welcome to join us! For more information, email [email protected].


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How some of America’s most gifted kids wind up in prison

Interesting article on what could happen when gifted kids’ needs aren’t met:

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Why math might be the secret to school success

Fascinating story about the outcomes of students in Building Blocks program, which emphasizes math. They found that early math proficiency was a better indicator of graduation than reading. Here’s the link:

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MEGT Fall Newsletter link

The Minnesota Educators of the Gifted and Talented fall newsletter is available here. Several interesting articles that may be of interest to parents:

  • Total School Cluster Grouping: Practical Application with a Research Base
  • Perfectionism: What is a teacher to do?
  • The wonders of math

Along with upcoming conferences and other opportunities for educators.


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Sunday, December 7, 11:00-Noon: MCGT MPLS Chapter Coffee Chat

Sunday, December 7, 11:00 am-Noon. Location -Sister Sludge Coffee shop, 4557 Bloomington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407 to address chapter organizational topics, including:
1. School board engagement as follow-up to election meet & greet session held last month
2. Advanced Learn proficiency scores 2014. What does it mean?
3. School specific parent groups: what support can the chapter provide?
4. Outreach to families of Advanced Learners in underrepresented MPS schools
5. Survey of all MPLS schools to understand G&T services
6. Chapter meeting topics
7. Other items?

Hope you can make it! Questions, comments or suggestions, please contact Rebecca Kane, president, MPLS chapter, [email protected]

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