Exceptional Learners

CSCOE offers resources to help all students thrive

By Jim Thorp

Catholic schools work to meet the needs of all learners, including those who excel in the classroom. Gifted learners represented the focus of the Catholic Schools Center of Excellence summer conference, “A Place at the Table for the Academically Gifted Child,” hosted at St. Ambrose Catholic School in Woodbury.

Led by Dr. Janette Boazman, the conference provided teachers, principals and parents in the Archdiocese with knowledge and resources to support the intellectual, social and spiritual growth of academically gifted learners. This served as a complementary session to last year’s conference, which focused on meeting the needs of students facing learning challenges.

Talent development is not enough. According to Dr. Boazman, for students to develop lives of integrity, not only do they require great educational opportunities, but they also require strong friendships and spiritual growth. Too often the focus is only on academics, without helping students find meaningful relationships or a deeper sense of purpose.

“The needs of gifted and talented students are special needs,” Dr. Boazman said. 

“The teachers here have interest in figuring out how to better meet the needs of the gifted students they encounter in their schools.”

At the conference, CSCOE provided toolkits for participating schools, including teacher resources, games, activities, and strategies for all grade levels and subjects. It’s these strategies that will ensure all students in Catholic schools have the tools necessary to succeed.

“The toolkit and binder were the biggest highlights for me,” said Leah Perish, a fifth and sixth grade language arts teacher at St. Michael Catholic School in St. Michael.  “The toolkit is filled with excellent resources. I’m excited to share them with my colleagues and use them in my classroom. I also think the binder will be invaluable as we work to meet the needs of all learners.”

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Catholic Schools Center of Excellence