Gifted Services

Offering a wide range of learning opportunities to support gifted students in grades K-12 during the school day.

Courses and learning experiences are to provide opportunities to deepen learning and develop creativity.

In addition to the comprehensive offerings detailed below, enrichment opportunities are offered during and outside of the school day. White Bear Lake students take part in additional enrichment and extra-curricular programs such as Continental Math League, Word Masters, Knowledge Bowl, Speech and numerous other academic clubs and experiences like Summer Academy which encourage extended learning.

Elementary

Levels of Service

Level 1: Services for ALL Learners

Appropriate content and process in response to the unique and varied learner characteristics for Grades K-5.

  • Differentiation of curriculum focusing on learning opportunities in the regular classroom for all students
  • These options are implemented within the school district's curriculum and are delivered by the classroom teacher
  • Gifted staff offers resources for differentiation and instruction

Level 2: Services for MANY Learners

Learner participation is based on data and teacher recommendation. Offered for Grades 1-5 (K students exhibiting uniquely high academic needs will be considered individually for programming).

  • Enrichment and extensions focusing on expansion of experiences beyond regular classroom curriculum
  • Enrichment groups and accelerated or advanced classes
  • Gifted staff offers resources and instructional support

Level 3: Services for SOME Learners

Learner participation is based on clearly defined data and evidence of student programming needs.  These students will be placed in a cluster classroom.

  • Cluster grouping
  • Subject or grade acceleration
  • Independent studies
  • Gifted Coordinator offers resources and instructional support

What is Cluster Grouping?

Cluster grouping is the practice in which a small group of identified intellectually gifted students is intentionally clustered in a mixed-ability classroom with a teacher who has the desire and expertise to provide a supportive and challenging environment for this population of learners.  Cluster grouping is done in all elementary buildings. Cluster teachers receive extensive training in working with gifted learners.  

Eligibility for the cluster program is based on Cognitive Abilities Test scores, MAP scores, and teacher and parent input.  General guidelines are a Cognitive Abilities Composite score of 132 or higher or a Cognitive Abilities subtest score of 132 or higher with at least two MAP scores of 90% or higher.  

 

Level 4: Services for FEW Learners

Learner participation is based on clearly defined data indicating that the learner is in need of specialized programming.  These are students whose academic needs are significantly different from their peers and their needs are not met by Levels 1, 2, or 3 and Grades 3-5.

  • School-Within-a-School for the Exceptionally Gifted
  • Began in school year 2015-16

Students who meet Level 4 criteria but do not wish to attend the Explorations Program will receive Level 3 programming (Gifted Cluster) which is offered at all elementary buildings.

The Explorations Program

The Explorations Program is a School-Within-a-School for the exceptionally gifted that provides in-depth, rigorous instruction at an accelerated pace while meeting the unique social and emotional needs of exceptionally gifted learners.

Eligibility for the Explorations Program is based on academic ability and achievement. Placement criteria have been established using the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) and the NWEA Measures of Academic Performance (MAP).

Eligibility criteria for the Explorations Program includes:

  • A CogAT score of 140 or higher on any one of the subtests OR
  • A CogAT score of 99% (135 or higher) with a MAP score of 96% or higher in reading or math with 90% or higher in the other subject

Parents of students currently enrolled in White Bear Lake Area Schools who meet the eligibility criteria for the Explorations Program will be notified and invited to attend an informational meeting in January.

The Explorations Program is located in Lincoln Elementary School, 1961 6th Street, White Bear Lake. It includes grades 3, 4, and 5. 

 

Middle School

White Bear Lake Area School's middle schools offer high school credit and enriched courses designed for students who have demonstrated strong interest and ability in the course content area.

Enriched Courses

Enriched classes use an accelerated curriculum. Students are placed into advanced math classes using a variety of data, including test scores, grades, and teacher recommendations. Students are able to choose enriched Language Arts in sixth grade, and enriched Social Studies and Language Arts in seventh and eighth grade.


Grade 6

  • Enriched Language Arts
  • Advanced Math 6 (Invitation only)
  • Algebra I (Invitation only)

 


Grade 7

  • Enriched Language Arts 
  • Algebra I 
  • Geometry (prerequisite Algebra 1)
  • Enriched US History 

 


Grade 8

  • Enriched Language Arts
  • Geometry (prerequisite Algebra 1)
  • Algebra II  (prerequisite Geometry)
  • Enriched World Geography

High School Credit Courses

White Bear Lake Area School's middle schools offer opportunities to earn high school credits in specific math courses.  Students may re-enroll in these courses at the high school to achieve mastery but will only receive credit for the course once.  

High school credit courses:   

  • Geometry 
  • Algebra II

The Gateway to Technology (GTT)

The Gateway To Technology® (GTT) cutting-edge program is part of the nationally adopted Project Lead the Way (PLTW) curriculum. This program addresses the interest and energy of middle school students while incorporating national standards in mathematics, science, and technology. GTT is “activity oriented” to show students how technology is used in engineering to solve everyday problems in units of study. There are currently five instructional units that excite and motivate students to use their imaginations and teach them to be creative and innovative, while gaining the skills they need to develop, produce, and use products and services. White Bear Lake schools were recognized as a PLTW school of excellence by the State of Minnesota.


6th Grade 

  • Design and Modeling I

7th Grade 

  • Design and Modeling II

8th Grade

  • Automation and Robotics 
  • Manufacturing Education 

Middle School Subject Acceleration

Acceleration in a subject area is the act of moving a student at least one grade level above his/her general grade level placement in a selected subject.  The acceleration process should be a collaborative effort between the student, parent, classroom teacher(s), and building principal.

Students may request acceleration in middle school in a subject currently offered by completing an application.  

Criteria

Students being considered must demonstrate high levels of proficiency in the grade-level subject matter.  The following criteria should be considered:

  • A demonstrated need based on documented interventions tried in the regular classroom

  • Standardized testing results

  • Evidence of mastery of current grade-level subject matter

  • A solid foundation of conceptual understanding to do well in the next level of the curriculum

  • Student should also exhibit strong work habits, study skills, and the desire to be accelerated

Assessments

For students meeting the above criteria, the school will administer assessments that address the most essential standards included in the course.  The format may include a formal written test, performance-based assessment, demonstration of skills, interview, presentation, portfolio, etc. For year-long courses, there may be separate assessments for each semester or the assessment(s) may be cumulative and cover both semesters.

Students who receive a score of 80% or higher on the assessment(s) will be considered for subject acceleration.

Family responsibilities:

  1. A student’s family must submit an application for subject acceleration by the end of quarter 3 for the upcoming fall semester, and by the end of quarter 1 for the upcoming spring semester. Applications will be available through the counseling office.

  2. The student will have a maximum of four hours for the assessment(s) and must complete all portions of the assessment(s).  During the assessment, the student may request clarification of items or project instructions from the assessment proctor.  

  3. A student with an IEP or 504 plan will receive necessary accommodations, per their plan.

  4. The student and his/her family needs to understand that if the student accelerates into a high school course and takes a course at WBLAHS that is not offered at the middle school, this will initiate their high school experience at that time. The grade for that course will be figured into their high school GPA.

School responsibilities:

  1. The school will provide the student with a course syllabus to help prepare for the assessment(s).

  2. A teacher of the course will submit the end of course assessment(s) for review. A team comprised of a teacher of the course, curriculum or building leader, principal or principal’s designee, along with additional members as necessary, will confirm the assessment or set of assessments. Modifications, additions or deletions may be made to an assessment to ensure the essential standards for the course constitute the focus of the assessment.

  3. Teachers will be compensated for time outside their normal duty day spent modifying, proctoring and/or evaluating the assessment.

  4. The proctor of the assessment(s) will score the assessment(s) and report the scores to the team identified above in step 2.

  5. The team identified in step 2 will evaluate the scored assessment(s) and will inform the student’s family of the result. The decision of the team is final.



 

High School

White Bear Lake Area High School (both North and South Campus) offers a range of courses appropriate for the student interested in pursuing advanced study at a college or university.

Advanced and Honors Courses

These courses are designed for students who have demonstrated strong interest and ability in the course content area.

  • Honors Language Arts 9
  • Honors Language Arts 10
  • Honors Language Arts: American Experiment
  • Honors Language Arts 11
  • Accelerated Geometry & Algebra
  • Accelerated Algebra 2
  • Honors Algebra 2 
  • Honors Pre-Calculus with Trigonometry
  • Honors Physical Science
  • Honors Biology
  • Honors Chemistry
  • Honors Physics 
  • Honors American History: American Experiment
  • Honors World History A & B

Advance Placement (AP) Courses

The College Board's Advanced Placement Program (AP), is an opportunity for students to pursue college-level courses while in high school. Through this program, students may earn credit, advanced placement, or both, for college. Participating colleges grant credit and/or advanced standing to students who have done well on the AP exams. Students participating in the AP Program are eligible for AP Scholar Awards. Over 90% of the colleges and universities in the United States use AP grades. White Bear Lake Area High School is one of about 50% of the nation's 21,000 high schools to offer AP coursework. The number of college credits awarded based on student AP test scores varies by university. Students should contact their college of choice to obtain specific information regarding the school's Advanced Placement Policy. 

  • AP American History
  • AP Biology 
  • AP Psychology
  • AP Human Geography
  • AP World History
  • AP European History
  • AP Macroeconomics
  • AP Microeconomics
  • AP English Language & Composition
  • AP English Literature & Composition
  • AP Calculus AB
  • AP Calculus BC
  • AP Statistics
  • AP Chemistry with Biochemistry
  • AP Physics
  • AP Studio Art
  • AP Art History
  • AP Music Theory

College in the Schools (CIS)

College in the Schools classes are introductory-level college courses offered by the University of Minnesota, and in the case of Sign Language, through Minnesota State University Mankato that are offered at South Campus.  CIS courses are tuition free (paid by the Post Secondary Enrollment Options Act) and students earn credits from the associated university upon successful completion. Each course has specific criteria for admission and interested students should speak with a counselor to determine eligibility. 

  • eCIS Basic and Applied Statistics
  • eCIS Writing Studio 1201 and CIS Writing Studio 1301
  • eCIS Mathematical Modeling and Predictions
  • CIS Advanced Sign Language 207
  • CIS Advanced Sign Language 208
  • CIS American Democracy in a Changing World 1001
  • CIS Authority and Rebellion: American History to 1865
  • CIS Modern Chinese 1011
  • CIS German 1003
  • CIS German 1004
  • CIS German 1003/1004
  • CIS French 1003
  • CIS French 1004
  • CIS French 1003/1004
  • CIS Spanish 1003
  • CIS Spanish 1004
  • CIS Spanish 1003/1004

Project Lead the Way

The Project Lead the Way program at White Bear Lake Area High School has been awarded site certification by the national PLTW organization, which is a leading provider of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs. Students who successfully complete PLTW courses and pass the online end of course exam may obtain 3 credits from participating colleges and universities.  Many colleges and universities in Minnesota and nation-wide accept these credits, but students should contact their college of choice to obtain specific information regarding the school's policy of PLTW college credit.

  • Introduction to Engineering Design (articulated with Century College)
  • Principles of Engineering
  • Digital Electronics
  • Civil Engineering and Architecture
  • Biotechnical Engineering

Credit By Assessment

Credit by Assessment is a process by which students may demonstrate proficiency of standards of a course in order to earn credit for that course.  High school students may request Credit by Assessment for any grade 9-12 course currently offered by completing an application.

For Credit by Assessment requests, the school will administer assessments that address the most essential standards included in the course.  The format may include a formal written test, performance-based assessment, demonstration of skills, interview, presentation, portfolio, etc. For year-long courses, there may be separate assessments for each semester or the assessment(s) may be cumulative and cover both semesters.

A score of 80% or higher on the assessment(s) will grant the student credit for the course.  A passing notation of P will be marked on their transcript.

Student responsibilities:

  • A student must submit an application for credit by assessment by the end of quarter 3 for the upcoming fall semester, and by the end of quarter 1 for the upcoming spring semester. Applications will be available through the Gifted and Talented Coordinator at District Center and students should return their application to the Gifted and Talented Coordinator.
  • The student will have a maximum of four hours for the assessment(s) and must complete all portions of the assessment(s).  During the assessment, the student may request clarification of items or project instructions from the assessment proctor.  If the student does not complete the entire assessment during the designated time, the student will not receive credit.
  • A student with an IEP or 504 plan will receive necessary accommodations, per their plans.

School responsibilities:

  • The application will be made available from the Gifted and Talented Coordinator; applications will then be forwarded to the principal.

  • The school will provide the student with a course syllabus to help prepare for the assessment(s).

  • A teacher of the course will submit the end of course assessment(s) for review. A team comprised of a teacher of the course, curriculum or building leader, principal or principal’s designee, along with additional members as necessary, will confirm the assessment or set of assessments. Modifications, additions or deletions may be made to an assessment to ensure the essential standards for the course constitute the focus of the assessment.

  • Teachers will be compensated for time outside their normal duty day spent modifying, proctoring and/or evaluating the assessment.

  • The proctor of the assessment(s) will score the assessment(s) and report the scores to the team identified above in step 2.

  • The team identified in step 2 will evaluate the scored assessment(s) and will inform the student of the result. The decision of the team is final.

Parent Resources

Contact
If you would like more information about Gifted and Talented programming, please contact:
David Lamwers, Gifted Coordinator, or Sara Paul, Assistant Superintendent.