Advanced Academics

This program provides resources for students who need instruction beyond current grade level standards. A mismatch between a student’s readiness and the pacing, depth and/or content of the instruction provided creates a need for intervention. A student may require intervention in one school, grade, class, year or subject, but not in another, depending on his/her environment.

Is this a Gifted and Talented Program?

The goal of Advanced Academics is not to label some children as gifted but rather identify which children have a need for specific educational material. Giftedness is not a permanent, easily defined trait. Discussions of meeting students’ instructional needs are much more beneficial than conversations about giftedness.

Is there testing involved?

The goal of any Advanced Academics testing is to gather data specific to an instructional option. We want to use multiple data points to identify readiness for challenging material. No certain test or score will label students as gifted and talented. High test scores will lead to discussions of “how can we meet this student’s needs?”

What is our focus?

District-wide programming, PreK-12
Options at all school sites

Community Involvement
Representation from staff, parent and student groups

Classroom Support
Teacher training and materials
Co-Teaching options
Special event organization

PreK-12 acceleration options
Continuous program improvements

Samantha Heitke

Titles: Advanced Academics Coordinator

Dayna Hillcrest

Titles: Spanish and English Language Teacher
Phone Numbers:
School: (763) 389-6028

Sarah Julson

Titles: Kindergarten Teacher / Literacy Coach
Phone Numbers:
School: (763) 389-6955

Cathy Nolte

Titles: 5th Grade Teacher / K-6 Math Coach
Phone Numbers:
School: (763) 389-6830

Andrea Preppernau

Titles: Assessment and Special Programs Coordinator
Phone Numbers:
School: 763-389-7271

Sonia Strickland

Titles: Technology / Teaching & Learning Secretary

Jessica Town-Gunderson

Titles: Director of Teaching & Learning
Phone Numbers:
School: 763-389-7278