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Lakota Gifted Services Update

Lakota Gifted Services Update

Please see important message below from Interim Superintendent, Elizabeth Lolli, Ph.D.

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I am writing to follow up on the community conversation we held in the fall about gifted services at Lakota. Our team has been working diligently to review how services are currently offered to both identified gifted and accelerated students, and how the program can be improved.

The Lakota Board of Education has approved the hiring of five additional teachers to support our expansion of services. Four additional gifted intervention specialists (GIS) will be added to support our students in grades 3-6 and one additional gifted support advisor (GSA) will support those in grades 7-12. This means that each elementary school will have its own dedicated GIS at the start of the 2024-2025 school year.

Additionally, the following changes will be implemented in our elementary schools beginning in August:

  • We will continue to serve students who are math accelerated in the same manner, meaning the GIS will push into the classroom and students will be pulled out for additional support.
  • Teachers will still be providing instruction for the math and ELA Plus class, but there will also be weekly dedicated time for the GIS to push into the class to work in small groups with the math and reading gifted students.
  • Superior cognitive identified third through fifth-grade students will be pulled out by the GIS for services two times per week.
  • In addition to receiving advanced coursework, superior cognitive identified sixth grade students will be pulled out by the GIS for services at least once per week.

The secondary grades will also see an increase in support through the GSAs.

  • The primary goal of the GSA in junior high will be to work on increasing leadership skills, improving executive functioning strategies and connecting students to extracurricular opportunities. 
  • The GSA will provide weekly small-group pullout sessions for students who are cognitively gifted at each junior school. 
  • In addition, the GSA will be pushing into the 7th and 8th grade advanced classes for support for students and small group instruction.  

The GSA will also be key in supporting the honors, advanced placement (AP) and college credit plus (CCP) courses for students in grades 9-12. This support will include small-group pullout sessions that will focus on service learning opportunities, guidance on internships and scholarships, and improving post graduation outcomes. The honors, AP and CCP level courses will be key in providing gifted services to students in all four academic areas. 

The curriculum for gifted services will include a focus on creative thinking, problem solving, project centered and spatial reasoning math, in addition to our current offerings.

Furthermore, we are pleased to announce that our elementary GISs will travel to early childhood schools once a week to provide services for all gifted-identified second grade students.

Thank you to everyone who attended our community conversation and provided such valuable feedback. If you have any questions about the expanded offerings, please contact Wyetta Hayden, interim executive director of pupil personnel services, or Lauren Webb, director of gifted services.


Elizabeth Lolli, Ph.D.
Interim Superintendent

  • gifted