Full time gifted school programs

Please note that MCGT does not endorse any of these programs. Parents are encouraged to talk directly with the administrator of the program to determine the fit between your child’s needs and the specific program. Many of these programs provide tours and allow students and parents to sit in on classes. In addition, MCGT members are reminded to make use of the MCGT members-only Facebook group as a source of information from other MCGT members who have personal knowledge of these programs.


1. Capitol Hill Magnet School (St. Paul) – Full-time program for academically gifted and talented students in grades 1-8. Housed in its own building. Admission to grades 1-6 based on gifted/talented status, with admission to grades 7-8 through open enrollment. Originally began as Nova in 1978, moved and renamed J.J. Hill Gifted and Talented Magnet School in 1985, and in 1991 moved again and renamed Capitol Hill. http://capitolhill.spps.org/

2. Brainerd Enrichment Program (Brainerd) – School-within-a-school model at Lowell Elementary School for grades 1-4 (5th grade is included in their middle school), followed by intensive (honors and advanced) courses at the middle school level in all academic subjects. Program originated in mid 1970’s. Website is currently under development but does contain contact information http://www.isd181.org/education/dept/dept.php?sectionid=1209

3. Atheneum (Inver Grove Heights) – For grades 2-5, located in Salem Hills Elementary, started in 2002. At the middle school level, gifted students attend honors classes in all academic subjects. www.invergrove.k12.mn.us/atheneum.html for elementary program and  www.invergrove.k12.mn.us/ablelearnerprogram.html for middle school program.

4. Lighthouse Program (Spring Lake Park) – Program began 2003. Located at the Spring Lake Park School 4 District Facility. Children as young as age 6 may be admitted. This program is unique, with non-graded, multi-aged grouping. www.springlakeparkschools.org/schools/la/la_lighthouse.asp

5. Dimensions Academy and Elements (Bloomington) – Dimensions, grades 4-5, began in 2004. Elements, grades 2-3, started in 2009/10. At the middle school level, grades 6-8, students are placed on a team and take the four core courses as a class, with teachers teaching “the Dimensions Academy curriculum.” www.bloomington.k12.mn.us  At top of page, click on Academics and Student Services, then click on Gifted & Talented

6. Gateway (Woodbury) – For highly gifted students with exceptional abilities in grades 3-5 at Bailey Elementary, started 2006/07. www.sowashco.k12.mn.us/Departments/Gifted/gateway.asp

7. Friedell Middle School Highly Gifted & Sunset Terrace Elementary FT GT Program(Rochester) – Middle school program, grades 6-8, began 2007/08. Will be expanding their FT GT program to elementary students (grades 3-5) in 2011/12. http://www.rochester.k12.mn.us At top of page, click on Academics, then click on Gifted Services.

8. GATE (Stillwater) – Highly gifted learners in grades 4-6, located at Oak Park Elementary, started 2008/09. www.stillwater.k12.mn.us/GATE.html

9. Harriet Bishop Gifted and Talented Elementary and Eagle Ridge Jr. High Gifted and Talented Program (Burnsville/Eagan/Savage) – Gifted magnet schools for grades K-6 and grades 7-8 respectively (not a school-within-a-school program), started 2009/10. www.isd191.org  At top of page, click on Schools, then click on Magnet Schools, at the left of this page, click on Gifted.

10. SAGE Academy (Prior Lake/Savage) – grades 3-5, housed at WestWood Elementary, started 2009/10. www.priorlake-savage.k12.mn.us , at top of page select Services, then click on Gifted and Talented

11. Navigator Program (Minnetonka) – grades 2-5, highly gifted program for students with an IQ of 145 and over. Located in Excelsior and Scenic Heights Elementary Schools. Started 2009/10.  www.minnetonka.k12.mn.us/academics/NavigatorProgram/Pages/default.aspx

12. Pinewood Elementary Gifted Program (Rosemount/Apple Valley/Eagan) – Self-contained classroom for identified gifted/talented students in grades 4 and 5. Started 2010/11. https://sites.google.com/apps.district196.org/pwces/classroom-connections/gtys

13. Quest Program (Buffalo/Hanover/Melrose) – Opened 2010-11.  The Quest program is a tuition-free school within a school located at Parkside Elementary (grades 2-5, full time/multi-aged), Buffalo Community Middle School (grades 6-8), and at Buffalo High School (grade 9). Students in grades 10-12 participate in over 25 college credit earning courses. Siblings of students in the elementary program may choose to open-enroll at Parkside as well.

14. Ignite! (Lakeville) – Opening 2011/12, full-time gifted program for highly gifted learners in grades 3-4, with possible extension to grade 5 in the future. www.isd194.k12.mn.us/pages/Lakeville_SD/Departments/Teaching_and_Learning_Services/Departments/Gifted_Education/What_s_New

15. Mosaic (Eden Prairie) Eden Prairie Schools strives to ensure that each student reaches his/her full potential by working to meet the unique educational needs of every student. We offer a full-day gifted program for grades 3 through 6 called Mosaic, which provides challenging curriculum at an accelerated pace while meeting the unique academic and social/emotional needs of highly gifted learners in a supportive educational environment. www.edenpr.org/Mosaic

16. Odyssey (Blaine, Centerville, Centennial, Lino Lakes, Lexington and Circle Pines) Odyssey full-time gifted programming (a school-within-a- school) began in the Centennial School District in 2014. The classrooms for grades 3, 4 and 5 are located at Rice Lake Elementary School. Programming at Centennial Middle School began for grade 6 in the fall of 2016 and expands to grade 7 in 2017 and grade 8 in 2018. Additional information is available at http://www.isd12.org/academics-activities/gifted-services/gifted-services/gifted-services.

17. Anoka-Hennepin (Coon Rapids) Anoka-Hennepin’s school within a school gifted program will be at Eisenhower Elementary School for grades 3, 4, and 5 beginning the fall of 2019. Additional information is available at Anoka-Hennepin.


1. Arete Academy (St. Louis Park) – Arete Academy of Exceptional Education is committed to partnering with parents to educate and support Twice-exceptional students – gifted students who also have learning disabilities – so they can learn the academic, social and emotional skills needed to overcome their disabilities, reach their full potential and apply their gifts to make lasting contributions to the world. https://www.areteacademymn.org

2. Cyprus Classical Academy (Burnsville) – Provides customized education for ages 4-11 by placing children in small classes with peers of similar age, ability, and achievement levels. http://www.cyprusclassicalacademy.com