• MCPS Gifted Education
    Creating Opportunities to Engage, Enrich, and Extend Learning of High-Ability Students

    MCPS Gifted Education Plan

    Philosophy Statement

    Missoula County Public Schools recognizes that some students have exceptional, intellectual and creative abilities that vary from those of the general population.  We are committed to making the necessary accommodations for these exceptional students. 


    The term "gifted and talented" means children of outstanding abilities who are capable of high performance and require differentiated educational programing beyond those normally offered in public schools in order to fully achieve their potential contribution to self and society.  The children so identified include those with demonstrated achievement or potential ability. 

    Professional Development

    Professional Development for MCPS staff will focus on instructional management, instructional delivery and curriculum modification. These are the three key components of the gifted education delivery system and will be aligned with MCPS Core Values.


    The evaluation of Gifted Education Services will include the following areas:  identification of gifted students, program options, and teacher training and support.  In order to improve services, input from teachers, parents and students will be included in the evaluation process when appropriate.


  • What can I do to support my gifted learner?

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    Students identified as exceptional and gifted are eligible to receive individualized supports aimed to keep them excited in their learning experience. One avenue is through Defined Learning, a Project-Based Learning platform that extends applicable learning tasks in an exciting way for students. 

    Students, teachers, and families can also check out resources from the district Gifted Education Library in Admin Building B. Here, there are many exciting options to support students, ranging from texts to help you understand a gifted learner better, to activities geared toward student's individual interests. These resources can help direct student learning in an exciting, enriching way.

    Parents are welcomed advocates for their gifted child's appropriate placement, curriculum and social and emotional needs. Check with your school if you are interested in volunteering with small groups of students for challenging activities.  Relevant materials and books are available for parents through the Gifted Education Library, as mentioned above.
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  • What is Defined Learning?

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    Defined Learning's mission is to drive student engagement and achievement through real-world Project-Based Learning. Defined Learning's digital platform allows students to extend their mastery and understanding of standards within their own classrooms.

    MCPS identified gifted students can engage with Defined Learning and Defined Careers.

    "Defined Learning provides K-12 teachers with an online library of engaging standards-aligned interdisciplinary projects. Students develop critical future-ready skills as they apply their knowledge and skills to solve real-world challenges. 

    Defined Careers is a K-12 college and career readiness platform that provides students with the opportunity to explore and experience careers across all pathways through PBL."


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  • I suspect my student is an exceptional learner. What do I do?

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    First, you should check in with your student's teacher and open the dialogue. Bring up any questions or concerns you may have, and if you want to move forward with an assessment, you should reach out to your child's building principal and request an evaluation.

    In MCPS, every student takes the COGAT in 2nd grade as a metric to initially assess high-ability giftedness in learners.


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  • For more information, please contact:

    Shirley Lindburg, Gifted Education Coordinator at 728-2400 ex. 1057 or salindburg@mcpsmt.org

    Braelynne Shell, Gifted Education Teacher at blshell@mcpsmt.org