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Speak Up FAQ

Speak Up FAQ


Why now? As the 2015-2016 school year began, Stillwater Area Public Schools welcomed new district leadership and new changes in oversight for gifted (GT) services. In May 2015, voters passed a bond measure that will add a new elementary school and introduce a new grade configuration for elementary (PreK-5), middle (6-8), and high school (9-12).


Also in May, St. Croix Valley Gifted collected community survey responses to ten questions about local gifted services and school support for K-12 students. See below for examples of what people asked for in their survey responses.


District newcomers, administrators and building principals alike, as well as established contributors, bring experience with strong K-12 gifted programming to the table. Data-guided best practices and learning growth targets have necessary roles to determine the future of GT services across K-12, including the identification process, teacher supports, coordinating student transitions, and programming extension.


What about my students who attend private or charter schools in the area? In support of gifted learners at all St. Croix Valley area schools — public, charter, private, parochial — we encourage you to reach out during November to school leadership wherever your students are enrolled. Please contact St. Croix Valley Gifted with questions, resource requests, or to draw our attention to specific advocacy needs at your school location.


How will you know this effort is worthwhile? We have two metrics. One, please let us know that you’ve taken action. The number of people who reach out matters. We also will monitor district actions taken in the next 6, 12 & 18 months to communicate decisions and follow through. This means continuing conversations with local MCGT members and others to know where there’s a match between what’s promised and actual experiences.


Feedback from our 2015 Community Input Survey

Community remarks you see below are from one of the 10 questions posed as part of the Spring 2015 input survey and tie directly to the November Speak Up effort. Each set of quotes can attached to a unique response, with no duplication.


We already have used feedback from other survey questions to prioritize this year’s meeting topics and board efforts. It’s our goal to report on additional survey feedback in the near future.


Q: What actions would you like St. Croix Valley Gifted to take to address and/or provide relevant support for the top issues you identified are facing area GT students?

“Help create a combined stronger channel for advocacy within the Stillwater district for positive changes.”
“Some sort of plans/structure for advocating within the district as a group.”

“Research and advocate for change for these students. Many of these students disengage and go out of the district for their education.”


“Advocate for GT programming continuing through K-12.”


“Continue partnering with school district so families of newly identified and identified not being served can come together.”

“More advocacy efforts to improve the situation–take a stand. Make suggestions/requests of district.”
“Keep engaging in conversation about GT learning needs with leadership and educators at area schools. Keep providing resources for parents and teachers.”