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Gifted and Talented Pupils




9/2020 Wisconsin Gifted and Talented Students Education Program grant

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction awarded grants in early September to 11 agencies to support the education of gifted/talented students throughout the state. The purpose of the Gifted and Talented Student Education Grant is to provide gifted and talented pupils those services and activities not ordinarily provided in a regular school program, so they are able to fully develop their capabilities.

The grantees will be providing systematic and continuous learning opportunities for K-12 students with gifts and talents in one or more of the gifted domains: general intellectual, specific academic, creativity, leadership, and the visual and performing arts.

Grantees for 2020-21 include all of the following:

CESA 1 - $25,000;  CESA 4 - $8,570;  CESA 5 - $20,422;  CESA 10 - $5,000;  CESA 11 - $32,000;  CESA 12 - $35,000;  Elmbrook Schools - $18,430;  Fox Point-Bayside Schools - $18,476;  GSAFE - $20,000;  Milwaukee Public Schools - $24,715;  University of Wisconsin-Whitewater - $29,587

Resources for Students, Educators, Caregivers & Families

Regardless of where learning is happening--in-person, physically distanced, or virtual--the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s (DPI) vision for student learning remains unchanged. We want all learners in Wisconsin to be engaging with the skills, knowledge, and habits that will support them in graduating from high school academically prepared and socially and emotionally competent. In an effort to promote meaningful learning experiences in the gifted domains of creativity and leadership, linked are the Creativity and Leadership infographics with ideas and questions for how to promote learning in those two areas.

Scholarship/Internship/Miscellaneous Information

Student Video Contest for middle and high school students from World of 7 Billion - see Video Contest.

The Wisconsin Center for Academically Talented Youth (WCATY) "offers an array of day and residential precollege academic summer programs for students finishing Grades 1-12. Our classes provide ongoing engagement and academic challenges in a broad spectrum of disciplines." More information about the programs being offered, registration procedures, and potential financial aid/scholarship opportunities can be found at WCATY

The Wisconsin Association for Talented & Gifted has a number of different scholarship opportunities. More information about each one can be found at WATG Scholarships

Davidson Fellows Scholarship - "The Davidson Fellows Scholarship awards $50,000, $25,000 and $10,000 scholarships to gifted and high-achieving students, 18 years old or under, who have completed a significant piece of work. Application categories are Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Literature, Music, Philosophy and Outside the Box." More information can be found at Davidson Fellows

Wisconsin's Javits Project

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) was awarded a $1.1 million, three-year Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education grant from the U.S. Department of Education in 2015. The purpose of these grants is to support innovative strategies that build and enhance the ability of elementary and secondary schools to meet the needs of high-ability/high-potential students. The major emphasis of the program is on students traditionally underrepresented in gifted and talented education, particularly economically disadvantaged, limited English proficient (LEP), and students with disabilities, to help reduce the serious gap in achievement among these groups at the highest levels of achievement. Wisconsin received two no-cost extensions to this grant and the project officially ended in 2020. A more detailed summary of the project can be found at Javits Project Summary.

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA): What Does It Mean for Gifted Education?

Pamela Clinkenbeard, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Parents and educators all over the country are trying to understand the potential implications of the new federal education law.  The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA, formerly nicknamed “No Child Left Behind”) has been revised and reauthorized, and it was signed into law in December 2015.  What does the now-named Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) mean for the day-to-day life of schools and students?  How will it affect gifted education and students with gifts and talents?

Highlights. Advocates for gifted education are generally happy with the way that ESSA turned out.  Among other items, it makes it clear that Title I funds may be used to identify and serve low-income gifted students; it strengthens the requirements for teacher preparation in gifted education with use of Title II professional development funds; and it retains the Javits Grant program for research and dissemination of evidence-based practices.  In addition, both states and school districts will be required to report disaggregated achievement data for the advanced band separately, which Wisconsin already requires. This practice makes “excellence gap” data more readily available. Under ESSA, states have more flexibility with respect to the implementation of federal regulations than they had before. The 2016-17 school year will be a transition year before accountability plans go into effect in 2017-18.

Resources. The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) was instrumental in making sure that ESSA contains language that supports gifted education.  There are several resources on their website that can help you understand the changes. Here you will find a news release, a Q&A document, details of the specific ESSA provisions related to gifted education, and several other items, including a video of the one-hour December 17, 2015, webinar “NAGC Briefing on ESSA” (available on YouTube). 


Expanding the View of Giftedness

Jane Clarenbach, Director of Public Education at the National Association for Gifted Children, wrote an article titled Expanding the View of Giftedness for the American Association of School Administrators journal.  She states the ability of a significant number of K-12 students goes unrecognized because they may not be demonstrating high achievement. This results in undeveloped or underdeveloped talent, a loss not only for the students but for their communities and our nation, as well. Clarenbach provides examples of how five school districts are addressing this issue. Read the article


Gifted and Talented Teacher and Coordinator Licenses

Wisconsin offers add-on Gifted and Talented Teacher and Coordinator licenses. To receive either license, you must already hold a valid Wisconsin teaching license in another subject area. There are three approved programs at this time.  One is jointly offered through UW-Stevens Point and UW-Whitewater - see license program.  The other is offered through Concordia University - see license program



For questions about this information, contact Mark Schwingle (608) 267-9273