MMSD Advanced Learning Department

Advanced Learning is a continuum of advanced instruction and learning opportunities that broaden, deepen or stretch beyond grade level expectations when students are ready for this next level of challenge.

Focusing on both talent development and the needs of students already achieving highly is the core of what we do. This is anchored in the belief that recognizing, supporting and developing academic talent within our diverse school communities is the responsibility of our school district. We work to reduce barriers to access and opportunity that have in the past limited the reach of Advanced Learning across schools and communities.

What we do

Our Advanced Learning Specialists are each assigned a half-time position at one or two elementary or middle schools. Their role includes partnering with classroom teachers and other school staff to guide Advanced Learning implementation as well as providing direct instruction to students. Our Advanced Learning Director works with high school principals, counselors and teachers to address Advanced Learning at this level.

More about our role in the schools

  • We assist all schools at every grade level to identify student academic talent and potential for students who are bright, hardworking, and/or Gifted. This is done by reviewing multiple data points with teacher teams, observing students, connecting with families and making recommendations for classroom placement and instructional grouping.
  • We provide expertise in both content and methods so that every school can provide advanced instruction and comprehensive student supports.
  • We increase student preparedness for and access to advanced academics by helping them to continue to grow their academic skills at every grade level.
  • We help every school community to challenge misperceptions about talent and potential that are based on income level, race, ethnicity, language background or disabilities.
  • We work with schools to provide structured guidance for the social-emotional health of advanced learners who are bright, hardworking, and/or Gifted. These students can have issues with anxiety, perfectionism, intensity of emotions, peer relationships, underachievement, and concerns with identity and finding a place to fit in.