Wayzata Public Schools

Gifted & Talented

Our program is designed to meet the academic, creative and affective needs of gifted and talented students through a collaborative partnership between staff, students and families.


Brad Anderson
Q Comp Coordinator, Curriculum Support, Gifted & Talented

Demae DeRocher

K-1 Early Entrance Option

According to Minnesota law, children who are five years old by September 1 of any given year are eligible to begin kindergarten. Children who are six years old by September 1 of any given year are eligible to begin first grade. However, Wayzata Public Schools offers an early entrance evaluation option for kindergarten and first grade for children who live within the school district at the time of application and whose birthday falls between September 2 and October 15. Children who will reach the age of five by October 15 may be considered for kindergarten and those turning six by October 15 may be considered for first grade. Children who demonstrate intellectual ability, academic achievement and social/emotional development well-advanced for their age may be considered for early entrance.

If you would like your child to be considered for early entrance, please download an application. The application includes a letter explaining the Early Entrance Evaluation process.

The academic standards referenced in the Early Entrance Application are available below:

Applications will be accepted through May 1. District staff will evaluate eligible students from mid-May through early-June and will make a decision by June 30. Direct questions to Demae DeRocher at Demae.DeRocher@wayzataschools.org or 763-745-6016.

Elementary Schools

Our program offers challenging learning opportunities primarily in the area of Language Arts and/or Math to students who demonstrate outstanding academic ability. Students served by our program exhibit skills and understanding as measured by exceptionally high test scores and unique needs. Our students whose general ability and subject area achievement are at the top of the district will receive services. Since children grow and change, yearly they are assessed to determine current needs.

Our program uses a comprehensive identification process, which includes two or more standardized assessment measures.

The measures include:

  1. The CogAT (Cognitive Abilities Test)
  2. FastBridge Achievement tests in reading (aReading) and math (aMath)

You can find your child's FastBridge and CogAT results in Skyward Family Access under "Test Results."

If you have any questions about services, please contact your school's Gifted and Talented teacher.

Elementary Gifted and Talented Identification Criteria

Grade Reading Math
3 CogAT Screener 125 or higher
aReading Scaled Score 529 or higher
CogAT Screener 125 or higher
aMath Scaled Score 218 or higher
4 CogAT Verbal Score 132 or higher
CogAT Verbal Score 128 or higher
aReading Scaled Score 542 or higher
CogAT Quantitative & Non-verbal Score average 135 or higher
CogAT Quantitative & Non-verbal Score average 130 or higher
aMath Scaled Score 224 or higher
5 CogAT Verbal Score 132 or higher
CogAT Verbal Score 128 or higher
aReading Scaled Score 552 or higher
CogAT Quantitative & Non-verbal Score average 135 or higher
CogAT Quantitative & Non-verbal Score average 130 or higher
aMath Scaled Score 234 or higher

Middle Schools

The middle level Gifted & Talented coordinators provide or facilitate a variety of experiences to help meet the needs of high ability/high achieving students. Some of these experiences are available to all students while other experiences are for those who meet qualifying criteria.

If you have any questions about services, please contact your school's Gifted & Talented coordinator.

High School

Our program is designed to meet the advanced learning needs of gifted and talented students. Developing a class schedule to appropriately challenge a student and prepare the student for future educational goals requires careful planning. Sue Iverson, Gifted & Talented coordinator, is available to help students and/or parents create an academic pathway for the high school years. In addition to offering schedule guidance, the Gifted & Talented program also offers a variety of academic co-curricular activities such as 3-2-1 and curricular Olympiads, in addition to opportunities for research through Honors Mentor Connection or summer enrichment programs.

If you have any questions about services, please contact Sue Iverson at Sue.Iverson@wayzataschools.org.

West Suburban Summer School

West Suburban Summer School (WSSS) is a set of week long summer day camps that are put on through District 287. This is a program run by District 287 and not a program run by Wayzata Public Schools. Students must have a CogAT score of 120 or higher or both FAST Bridge tests in the 95% or higher nationally. Scores needed for the application can be found in Family Access under Test Scores. Wayzata first graders can not participate in WSSS because we do not test students until second grade.

Parents whose children attended in the past do not need to complete the form and will receive an email or a postcard in February with registration details.

First-time registrants, please read this Information Sheet about eligibility, to register complete the following steps:

  1. Fill out the application WSSS Nomination Form
  2. Write a letter of recommendation for your child or children.
  3. Send both the application and letter of recommendation to your student's Gifted and Talented teacher for their signature. The teacher will return the signed forms to you.
  4. Send both forms to District 287.

Intermediate District 287
Gifted Education Services
1820 North Xenium Lane
Plymouth MN 55441

Registration for West Suburban Summer School (WSSS) begins third week of February. Classes fill quickly so interested parents should gather the necessary information ahead of time.

Collaboration, Differentiation and Student Support

The Gifted and Talented coordinators' primary responsibility is to support the needs of our gifted and talented learners by working with classroom teachers in all content areas to help facilitate differentiated/more challenging tiered learning opportunities

Accelerated Math Student Profile

Mathematics Pathways Grades 6-12

English Language Arts Clusters

Students whose standardized test scores are in the 97th percentile or above on the Winter Reading Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) from 5th grade will be placed in cluster groupings within the regular English Language Arts classroom. The Gifted and Talented coordinator at the middle school collaborates with the English Language Arts teachers in helping to design differentiated/more challenging lessons and activities that are done within the English Language Arts classes. These activities are designed to meet the needs of our identified cluster students in addition to students who exhibit a strong talent or skill in a given lesson or unit.

Gifted Seminars

Students with a Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) composite score of 130 or above will be enrolled in gifted seminars. These seminars are separate from a student’s academic classes and are taught by the Gifted and Talented coordinator. Gifted Seminar Topics include:

  • Coping with Stress
  • Perfectionism
  • Relationships
  • Self-advocacy Leadership
  • Time Management
  • Organization
  • High school readiness

Optional Activities / Experiences

* Qualifying criteria may apply to competitions.

Activities/experiences for within the regular school day:

  • American Mathematics Competition *
  • Continental Math League competitions
  • Knowledge Master Open
  • National Geographic Bee
  • Spelling Bee
  • Young Authors Conference *

Optional activities/experiences available to all students outside the school day:

  • Destination ImagiNation (parent coach required, run through Community Education)
  • Future Problem Solving
  • First Lego League *
  • Honors Reading Program
  • Junior High Math League
  • Math Counts*
  • Math Masters (6th grade only) *
  • Northwestern University Midwest Academic Talent Search (7th and 8th grade only) *
  • Science Bowl *
  • Young Scientist Roundtable