Talent Development and Acceleration Services
Our goal at Horace Mann is to offer enrichment opportunities to every student. Our teachers meet a variety of learner needs. They do so by maintaining a high level of instruction and expectations for student performance. For example, there is lesson acceleration, dividing students into flexible groups (math and reading) at their instructional level, and incorporating gifted instructional strategies into their everyday teaching. Individual teachers or grade levels also design activities to provide enrichment and challenge. Additionally, our PTA helps in sponsoring enrichment experiences such as artists-in-residence, business partnerships, and performers.
Our goal is to meet student needs. Every teacher assesses their students continuously to decide what to teach and how to teach the material. They are well-versed at identifying students who need something new and different. Many teachers use adult volunteers to help extend enrichments. There are volunteers providing math enrichments, Art Adventure, book talks, and competitions like the Spelling Bee and the Junior Lego League.
At the end of 2nd grade, students are assessed to determine if they are eligible to subject skip in Math. A qualified candidate will exceed standards in all 2nd grade assessments and do the same with the end-of-the-year 3rd grade assessment. The family and the teacher have to believe that the student will be successful working with peers one year older. When all conditions are met, the students begin 4th grade Math while they are in 3rd grade.
Important Note: The department for Talent Development and Acceleration Services (TDAS) within the Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) coordinates the testing of all kindergarten and 2nd grade students in the district using the CogAT7 (Cognitive Achievement Test, Version 7). This test determines whether students are identified for gifted and talented services within SPPS. If your child has been identified for gifted and talented services, his/her homeroom teacher can answer specific questions you may have about how he/she is being challenged at school. If your child is not in kindergarten or 2nd grade and you would like him/her to take the CogAT7, talk to your child’s teacher in early fall to learn about the nomination process.