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Bloomington Public Schools
Gifted & Talented Newsletter
Fall 2021

Please click at the bottom to expand this newsletter in its entirety.
Annual Survey Results
So sorry! We forgot to include this summary in the last newsletter.

Every spring the GT Dept. conducts an annual survey of our families. Thanks to the 110 families who responded last May! The results and comments are very important for us as we use them to craft our goals for the next school year. Given the difficulty of a pandemic year, we are proud of our incredible teachers who managed to deliver a quality experience for our students as reflected by these results. 

2021 Parent/guardian survey results
Bloomington Public Schools
Gifted/Talented programs
Back to school picnic
A great turn out for our back to school GT picnic. A beautiful evening and happy students enjoying their classmates in person
Families Unite!
If you would like to collaborate with other GT program families, click on the appropriate link and add your contact information to this directory. Parent efforts are being made to create small "base groups" so students can have personal interaction with a few classmates on a regular basis to do homework or other school projects. Feel free to use this directory to reach out to one another for support and to plan activities this school year! Please know that this is optional and it is up to parents to monitor and manage.
Testing information for 2021-22 GT Programs
No need to apply!
The GT Dept. will be looking at MAP data for all first, fifth, and eighth grade students to determine who is demonstrating a need for advanced programming at the next level of their schooling. Parents and guardians will be notified regarding having their child tested for a gifted program. Testing will take place sometime between October 25 and December 10 (elem. and ms) at their school during the day. A similar process will be conducted for 8th graders with the Pre AP test being offered for free on February 21, 2022.

While not required for program placement, we are asking parents to complete the nomination form linked below. This will help us to determine which specific programs you are most interested in having your child considered for and reduce unnecessary testing. Thank you! The nomination form is very short and should not take more than a few minutes to complete.

Students interested in DAHS STEM or DAHS Humanities will also need to submit this narrative essay.
Upcoming Informational Events
Tuesday, October 26- Elementary GT Programs Informational Mtg.
Elements (Grades 2&3) & Dimensions Academy (Grades 4&5) 6:30-7:30p.m.
Join virtually:
Please note that you will need a gmail account in order to participate.

Thursday, October 28 - Middle School Nobel Program Informational Mtg.
6:30-7:30p.m. Join virtually: ​​ 
Please note that you will need a gmail account in order to participate.

Thursday, November 4 - Middle School DA Program Informational Mtg.
6:30-7:30p.m. Join virtually:
Please note that you will need a gmail account in order to participate.

Thursday, December 9 - DA STEM and DA Humanities Informational Mtg.
7:00-8:00p.m. Virtual Meeting Link:
Meeting ID: 971 7281 134
Passcode: 2iz1sb

Tuesday, December 19 - High School Nobel Informational Mtg.
7:00-8:00p.m. Virtual Meeting Link:
Meeting ID: 976 1614 8795
Passcode: P1hWq0

These meetings will also be recorded for later viewing. Please look on our website for the recordings and copies of our presentations.
Educational Opportunities for GT Families

MCGT Bloomington Chapter
MCGT Bloomington Chapter
The Bloomington Chapter of the Minnesota Council for the Gifted & Talented organizes events and provides resources to connect and support Gifted & Talented families.

Monthly Virtual Coffee Talks provide parents and caregivers with an opportunity to connect with other parents, speak with a BPS GT representative and share resources and information. All dates and Zoom links are on this MCGT Bloomington Chapter Flyer. On November 9, we will begin by discussing the BPS elementary and middle school GT programs and enrollment process. On December 7, we will begin by discussing the BPS high school GT programs and enrollment process. We will also host a CHAT Night later this school year with Anne Tyler, MS, LMFT of

BPS GT Program Playdates will be on Saturday, October 23, 2021 to provide BPS GT kids/families with an opportunity to connect and get to know one another better. Click the BPS GT Program Playdates link for your child's location and time (organized by GT Program). All are welcome - you do not need to be an MCGT member to attend.

Book Clubs will begin this winter. Kids enjoyed participating in Bloomington Chapter virtual book clubs last year and we plan to continue the fun this winter. We also hope to add a parent/caregiver book club. More information will follow about book clubs.

All Bloomington Chapter events will be posted on this MCGT Bloomington Chapter Flyer throughout the year - check back for updates.

MCGT membership provides benefits such as reduced fees for MCGT events such as this year's MCGT 2021 Virtual Annual Conference that will be held Saturday, Nov 6, 2021 from 9am - 12:30pm via Zoom, access to MCGT's CHAT night events, and more. If you become an MCGT Member, please designate Bloomington as your Chapter.

View the MCGT Bloomington Chapter Flyer for more information.
MCGT 2021 Virtual Mini-Conference: Raising Critical Thinkers - and Curious Adults
Saturday, November 6
9am - 12:30pm

Keynote Speaker: Colin Seale, 
founder and CEU of thinkLaw
Colin Seale was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, where struggles in his upbringing gave birth to his passion for educational equity. Tracked early into gifted and talented programs, Colin was afforded opportunities his neighborhood peers were not. Using lessons from his experience as a math teacher, later an attorney and now a keynote speaker, contributor to Forbes, The 74, and Education Post and author of Thinking Like a Lawyer: A Framework for Teaching Critical Thinking to All Students (Prufrock Press, 2020), Colin founded thinkLaw, a multi-award-winning organization to help educators leverage inquiry-based instructional strategies to close the critical thinking gap and ensure they teach and REACH all students, regardless of race, zip code or what side of the poverty line they are born into. When he’s not serving as the world’s most fervent critical thinking advocate, Colin proudly serves as the world’s greatest entertainer to his two young children.

The Question is the Answer: Unleashing Critical Thinking Through At-Home Discussions 
We know the ability to ask and answer good questions is a crucial real-world skill. We also know that people do not apply their critical thinking skills without critical thinking dispositions. Critical thinking dispositions are the habits and mindsets that trigger the use of critical thinking skills across different contexts. Inquisitiveness, truth-seeing, and self-confidence can be developed using great discussion questions. After this workshop parents and caregivers will walk away with a better understanding of the power of questions, multiple quick question frames to use with their children, and tips for how to harness the power of follow-up questions.   

Why is Milk in the Back of the Supermarket: Practical Strategies to Support Critical Thinking at Home
Parents and caregivers are uniquely qualified to teach their children essential critical thinking skills, mindsets, and habits children need for 21st century success. But too often, families undervalue the tremendous critical thinking assets they bring to the table in managing a household and performing basic "adulting." This session equips parents and caregivers with concrete tools they can use on a regular basis to support their child's critical thinking development and understand the limitations of the phrase “full potential” when it comes to their children.   

Defeating I Don't Care Syndrome: Using Critical Thinking as a Tool to Motivate 
There are few things more frustrating than children who have unlimited potential, but struggle with underachievement and a lack of motivation. This session helps parents and caregivers win the motivation battle by understanding intrinsic motivation and exploring ways of preventing and defeating "I Don't Care" Syndrome. Participants will leave with a concrete plan for helping children fulfill their true promise.

*Registration Required

$20 MCGT Members (includes access to video recordings for four months)
$40 Non-Members (Become a Member)
Now Accepting Applications!
Minnesota Institute for Talented Youth is offering engaging in person and online learning experiences for gifted and talented students in grades 1 – 12. 
These classes have been specifically designed for bright, motivated and curious students. Each course will provide an intensive, inquiry-based curriculum that challenges students to explore new topics, generate creative solutions to real-world issues, and apply their knowledge in unique ways. MITY’s programs will also enable students to meet like-minded peers and socialize through non-academic fun activities. To learn about specific opportunities and how to apply, click on the program below that matches your student’s current grade level.
Middle School Gifted Programs Welcome New Faces!
Adele Binning
7th grade DA science OGMS
Jenny Johnson
7th/8th grade Language Arts
Kelly Marr
7th grade DA Language Arts
Patti Lang
6th grade DA Social Studies
Chris Carufel
8th grade DA Science
Grace Diaz
6th/8th Nobel Social Studies
Elementary News
Elementary DA classes learn productive habits!
16 Habits of Mind
According to Kallick and Costa
A “Habit of Mind” means having a disposition toward behaving intelligently when confronted with problems, the answers to which are not immediately known. When humans experience dichotomies, are confused by dilemmas, or come face to face with uncertainties–our most effective actions require drawing forth certain patterns of intellectual behavior. When we draw upon these intellectual resources, the results that are produced through are more powerful, of higher quality and greater significance than if we fail to employ those patterns of intellectual behaviors.
Habits of Mind Station Rotation
Students at OGE engaged in 16 different stations over several days as they explored the Habits of Mind.

Left: Habit: Thinking and communicating with clarity and precision. Sitting back to back, player #1 makes a design and then tries to explain it to his partner in a clear enough way for player #2 to build the exact same design.
Habit: Creating, Imagining and Innovating
Habit: Taking Responsible Risks
Habit: Gathering Data Through all of the Senses
Habit Hats at Ridgeview!
Dot Day
International Dot Day is a global celebration of creativity, courage and collaboration which began when teacher Terry Shay introduced his classroom to Peter H. Reynolds’ book The Dot on September 15, 2009.

The Dot is the story of a caring teacher who dares a doubting student to trust in her own abilities by being brave enough to “make her mark”. What begins with a small dot on a piece of paper becomes a breakthrough in confidence and courage, igniting a journey of self-discovery and sharing, which has gone on to inspire countless children and adults around the globe.

Oak Grove students joined this movement and created some beautiful poetry using "the dot" as inspiration. Read two student samples below. Then, both second and third graders participated in a math lesson on fractions in which their final fraction quilt illustrated both their individuality and connectivity to one another.
Middle School News
Meeting of Minds in Mankato
The Nobel 7 field trip to observe the Mankato city street sculpture collection and the observe the monuments at Reconciliation Park. With a theme of “Forgive Everyone Everything,” Reconciliation Park in Mankato was dedicated in 1997 to promote healing between Dakota and non-Dakota peoples. The park sits near the infamous site of the 1862 hanging of 38 Dakota. Surrounded by prairie grass and flowers, the monument lists the names of the 38 whose lives came to an end here. The park also boasts a large buffalo monument carved by artist Tom Miller from local Kasota limestone symbolizing the heritage and survival of the Dakota people.
Greenspace Golf Challenge
Lori Bohn (DA SS) had her students map out the "newly freshened up" greenspace at Olson Middle School. The challenge was to map out the courtyard to scale and then design a miniature golf course that could be incorporated into the space. There is no word on whether these designs will come to fruition or not...but it was a great example of practicing map-making skills while participating in an authentic design challenge. 
Research at Richardson
Academy students in 7th Grade Science have been busy doing authentic field research at Richardson Nature Center. The gifted & talented department partnered with staff at Richardson to teach students about authentic research and conducting work in the field. Students visited the center twice this fall learning various data collection techniques, formulating research questions, and collecting original data. Students will return to Richardson Nature Center one more time in the spring to collect final data. Student findings will likely be shared at a public viewing sometime in May. 

Congratulations to staff and students
Distinguished Educator Award
Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium Distinguished Educator Award is being given to Jim Hanson, Bloomington Public Schools – retired teacher. The award is given by his peers in the geospatial community. 

Mr. Hanson continues to support our 8th grade GT social studies teachers through the Esri GIS enrichment contest.
High School

A big shout out to these four students who have been selected as National Merit Semifinalists! All four of these students participated in various GT programs throughout their years in BPS. Congratulations and best of luck!

Isaac Stein, KHS
(Pictured right)
Alexander Kiner, JHS
Jamie Melville, JHS
Joseph Shetaye, JHS

Left: Students busy with a lab in their computer science course

DA HS STEM Grade 10
Right: Mr. Foley helps students works through a problems in his Calculus class.

Family Fun Twin Cities Resources
Free Public Concert
Chadwick Phillips is the founder of The Avant Garde music, entertainment and production company which is a Twin Cities based company that puts on concerts and curated events that feature local artists within the lanes of R&B, Soul, Funk, Jazz, Hip-Hop and Spoken Word. They have also done curated events for US Bank, Target, Ameriprise Financial and other companies. On November 6th The Avant Garde will be putting on an outdoor concert that is free to the public featuring the MPLS band at the Bloomington Center For The Arts amphitheater. 
MPLS is a Twin Cities premiere funk, soul & hip-hop band who is managed by Stokley Williams (From Mint Condition). They are also his official touring band. One of the members is Jesse Larson, a vocalist/guitarist who made the final 4 on "The Voice" Season 12. 

Don't miss this great opportunity!

Free Family Fun Days at Richardson Nature Center
Sign up to enjoy these great opportunities!
November 7: Nature Treasure Hunt
November14: Forts and Free Play
November 21: Turkey Talk
November 28: Squirrels

More each month. Don't miss out!

Free Admission to the Hennepin History Museum through 2021!

The Hennepin History Museum is located near the Minneapolis Institute of Art and across Third Avenue from Washburn Fair Oaks Park. The museum's mission is to bring the diverse history of Hennepin County and its residents to life through exhibitions, library, collections, public events, and educational programs.

For more information

Erin Boltik - Director of Gifted Talented K-12
Phone: 952-681-6497
A big shout out to these three students who have been selected as National Merit Semifinalists!
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