Gifted Education

Gifted & Talented Education

Gifted & talented children and youth are those students with outstanding abilities, identified at preschool, elementary, and secondary levels. The potential of gifted & talented students requires educational programs and/or services beyond those provided in the general school program.  


In Minnesota, each school decides their own criteria for identifying gifted & talented students and the model they will use to serve those students. The Pre-K-12 Gifted Education Programming Standards provide the basis for design and review of most district and school site programming and services for gifted & talented learners by articulating student outcomes and evidence-based practices. 

Understanding Educational Options in MN

School within a school: These are public schools that have been divided into smaller subunits, within one building. These subunits cater to meeting the academic needs of the gifted & talented. Though each school building approaches this differently, typically, the identified gifted & talented students join the rest of the school for general classes like phy-ed and lunch.

Full-time gifted schools: These are self-contained schools focused on serving the needs of advanced learners. Each school has its own model that determines curriculum and instruction, grades served, and admissions criteria. For information about full time gifted schools in MN visit our full-time gifted schools list

Non-traditional educational options:  There are many nontraditional educational options available in MN ranging from substituting curriculum within your child’s school day to full-time home schooling. Find more information on the MN Dept. of Education website and/or connect with the MCGT CHOICES chapter. Members of the CHOICES chapter offer information, support, resources, and “been there, done that” stories to help you navigate the options. 

Online education: While not all of these have gifted programming specifically, the flexibility built into many of these programs provides opportunities for gifted kids to move at their own pace and pursue other interests. List of Minnesota Approved Online Learning Providers

Useful Resources

Information on the following websites can help you navigate the gifted & talented education path. They offer a variety of resource types that parents can use when learning about ways to meet their kids’ academic needs. Some also offer free activity and lesson plan materials. 

Full-time Gifted Schools List

NAGC Gifted Education Strategies

Mensa Gifted Youth Resources

MN Department of Education Gifted Education Resources

Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted Resources