Middle School Gifted Education Services

Gifted Education services are provided at all 833 middle schools through the Levels of Service approach (Treffinger, 1998).  These levels are based on the individual programming model developed by Dr. Donald Treffinger of the Center for Creative Learning, Inc. in Sarasota, Florida.  For more information about Middle School Levels of Service please click here.

Levels of Service Programming is:

  • Flexible: Programming includes many different people, places, and kinds of activities. It does not follow one formula, single curriculum, or set program of activities or services.

  • Inclusive: Programming that is appropriate, challenging, and developmental can be available to anyone. Programming includes a broad range of talents and does not serve just one fixed group of students.

  • Responsive: Programming responds to the positive needs of students. It guides planning and decision making and leads to modifications of instruction. The mission of programming is to design and deliver instruction through which we can bring out the best in every student.

  • Proactive: Programming challenges the teacher, school, district, parents, and community to take constructive actions for talent development. Taking initiative for talent development becomes everyone's business.

  • Unifying: Programming provides a structure and terminology for communicating effectively about talent development within and among home, school, and community.

Teachers do not assume that students who have a great deal of potential in one area have a high level of potential in all areas. Sometimes, students with high potential for math may not have high reading ability and vice versa. High ability in one area does not equate with high ability in other areas. LoS provides a framework for planning, delivering, and managing a wide range of responses to the needs of students. (Selby & Young, 2001)

Edwin C Selby, & Grover C Young. (2003, October). The Levels of Service approach to talent development: Parallels with existing programs. Gifted Child Today, 26(4), 44-50,65.

Grades 6-8 Cluster Classrooms

Gifted learners in grades 6-8 are placed together into cluster classrooms for their core classes: language arts, social studies, science & math with teachers who have been identified and specifically trained to meet the needs of a gifted young adolescent. The classroom teacher has the skills necessary to meet the needs of gifted learners. The size of the cluster may be as few as two or as many as ten students. The rest of the cluster classroom is composed of students of varying ability, not everyone in a cluster classroom has gifted identification. For information about Gifted Education in 833 Middle Schools please click here for the Gifted Education Middle School Brochure. 

To learn more about our district middle schools, see the school website, contact the building gifted education coach or the principal of your child's middle school.

Middle School Gifted Education Coaches

Each middle school has a teacher responsible for being the coach for gifted students in their school to support students and families. This staff member is available to focus on students’ progress, identify key adult advocates, meet with the students periodically throughout the year and create a foundation to embed gifted education services within the context of middle school philosophy. Each Gifted Education Coach has extensive training in gifted education and expertise on the unique needs of high ability and gifted students, effective learning environments, instructional strategies, and content design. For information specific to your child's middle school, please see your contact person below.

Cottage Grove Middle School:
  Jillian Nordstrom
Lake Middle School:  Anne Bleyl
Oltman Middle School:  Brianne Anfinson
Woodbury Middle School:  Elizabeth Kopacek


The amount of time this staff member has allocated for student case management varies by site as some are also classroom teachers. Middle school counselors are also available to support students and parents.