Student Support Services
Committed to fostering the success of all learners.
We value all aspects of student development, including personal, social and academic growth. The goal of Student Support Services department is to equip students, parents, and school staff with the skills, tools, and services necessary to foster the environment needed for students to find personal success.
- Coaches/Interventionists/Reading Recovery
- English Learners
- Gifted and Talented Development
- School Social Worker
- School Psychologist
Coaches/Interventionists work in collaboration with classroom teachers to support students' academic needs.
Reading Recovery is a program for first graders who are in need of extra help in learning to read and write. Selected students have 30 minutes of individual instruction each day. Reading Recovery teachers have received special training to help children who are beginning readers and writers. The components of the Reading Recovery program are: fluent reading and writing, letter and word recognition, hearing sounds in words, and reading and writing strategies. Parent involvement with the program is critical. Parents must help their children with homework each night.
The English Learner (EL) program supports multilingual learners in acquiring the English they need in order to succeed in the classroom and beyond, in accordance with the State of Minnesota Guidelines and English Language Proficiency Standards. Incoming students are tested for English proficiency when entering District 196 schools, as well as periodically throughout the school year to determine progress and eligibility for continued instruction.
In EL settings, English learners are part of an English language learning experience where students engage in content study and English learning simultaneously. Students are grouped by proficiency level at the elementary through high school level and may or may not share the same native language.
Gifted and Talented Development
Gifted and talented children are those students with outstanding abilities and capable of higher performance when compared to others of similar age, experience and environment. They have significantly different educational needs from their peers and require educational differentiation as a regular part of their school day to ensure they reach their full potential. These services are available at all elementary and middle schools.
District 196 uses multiple criteria to help identify gifted and talented children.
For more information, see policy 610 under Board Policy.
2020-21 Identification Process Update
Due to the circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic, District 196 will delay screening and assessment for gifted identification until 2021-22. Gifted and talent development services continue to be available to all elementary and middle school students. Students do not need to be identified as gifted to participate in enrichment opportunities and to receive differentiated instruction for their advanced learning needs.
When will students be tested for gifted identification?
All 2nd and 3rd grade students will be tested through the universal screening process in the fall and winter of the 2021-22 school year. A process for referring 4th and 5th grade students for gifted identification screening will be developed for fall 2021.
What does this mean for students who are already identified as gifted and talented?
Students who are currently identified for gifted services in District 196 will continue to receive those services through gifted and talent development.
If I feel my child needs gifted and talent development (GTD) services, but they are not identified, what can I do?
Start by sharing your concerns about your child’s learning needs with your child’s teacher. GTD teachers partner with classroom teachers to offer enrichment and extension opportunities based on student learning needs and interests. These opportunities are available to all students who demonstrate a need or desire.
What happens if we return to in-person instruction before the end of the 2020-21 school year?
Since the process of formal gifted and talented identification occurs over multiple months of the school year and given the changes in learning models due to Covid-19, District 196 is delaying the screening and assessment process for formal gifted and talented identification until the 2021-2022 school year.
What are some resources I can access to support my advanced child during this time?
NAGC Parent TIP Sheets
Students in grades K-5 may be selected to participate in enrichment groups with other students of high ability (those performing above regular expectations) at their grade level. Teachers may select students for these groups based on test scores and/or classroom observation. Content covered in these groups may be subject-specific (i.e., math or reading), or in areas such as research or problem solving.
These groups are flexible so that some students may be part of one or two during the year, while other students may be included in groups throughout the year. Enrichment groups usually meet once or twice per week for 30-45 minutes.
GT Parent Resources
Do you know about the Minnesota Council For the Gifted and Talented? It is a nonprofit organization of parents and professionals dedicated to promoting better understanding of, and curriculum for, gifted and talented children. The MCGT office is an important source of information on gifted and talented topics in Minnesota. The MCGT provides bimonthly newsletters; participates in a national network through its affiliation with the National Association for Gifted Children and other organizations; sponsors an annual state conference with a special children's program; offers information, literature and referral services; and is active in legislative efforts on the state level in collaboration with the Minnesota Educators of the Gifted and Talented (MEGT).
You can receive information about membership to MCGT by writing to:
Minnesota Council for the Gifted and Talented
5701 Normandale Road
Minneapolis, MN 55424
or by calling: (952) 848-4906
Minnesota Council for the Gifted and Talented
National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC)
Minnesota Educators of the Gifted and Talented
GT Student Links
Educational Games for Children http://www.funbrain.org
KIDLINK is a non-profit grassroots organization aimed at providing life skills training to children and youth through secondary school age. http://www.kidlink.org
Homework Helper is a comprehensive research sites maintained by a kid. http://www.bjpinchbeck.com
ReadWriteThink: Homepage http://www.readwritethink.org
Writing Resources for Children
National Geographic website http://www.nationalgeographic.com
School Social Worker
The overall goal of the elementary school social work program is to work directly with students, their families, school staff, and the community to provide guidance, support, and nurturance so essential to academic success and sound life decisions.
School social workers are licensed mental health professionals trained to provide support and interventions to children and families proactively and in times of emotional/mental health crisis. They do this by providing individual, small group and family support.
Your school social worker helps:
School psychologists work with a team of people to help students succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. School psychologists are trained in both education and mental health to know how to identify and lower barriers to learning.
For more information about school psychology, visit the National Association of School Psychologists website.
Resources for families are also available through the National Association of School Psychologists.