Advanced Learner Identification

Who is an advanced learner? 

MPS screens students at a district-level in order to find:

  • students who perform at an advanced academic level when compared with others of same age, experience or environment,
  • students who show the potential for performing at an advanced academic level, and
  • advanced learners representative of all of our diverse student body, including those who are culturally, linguistically and economically diverse (CLED).

MPS currently screens and identifies students yearly in grades K-4:

  • All 2nd grade students who are enrolled in any MPS school universally screened
  • Kindergarten, 1st, 3rd and 4th grade students who are not previously identified may be referred by a teacher or parent

Students may be screened yearly.  Once a student has been identified as an advanced learner in MPS, they do not need to be evaluated again.  The process begins in November with final decisions made by the end of March each year.

How are advanced learners identified?
Decisions about advanced learner identification for currently enrolled MPS students will consider the following multiple-measure identification criteria:


  • Assessment of cognitive ability (Cognitive Abilities Test - CogAT7) 
  • Assessment of academic achievement in reading and mathematics (MAP)
  • Information from rating scales from teachers and parents about demonstrated advanced learner characteristics in and out of the classroom (e.g., motivation, leadership, creativity, and learning)

Students Not Currently Enrolled in an MPS School
At this time, there are no MPS schools that require advanced learner identification for entrance requirement or placement purposes. MPS does not administer individual intelligence tests for the identification of advanced learners.  However, MPS will accept a full scale score of 130 or above on an IQ test administered in the last two years by an approved, licensed psychologist/psychiatrist.  Contact the Office of Talent Development for more information. Once a student is enrolled in an MPS school, he/she may be evaluated to determine the appropriate level of service.  Screening will take place yearly.

Information about advanced learner identification as well as a form to nominate students for advanced learner screening in grades K, 1, 3, and 4 will be sent home in late October. We will be giving the CogAT7 assessment to all 2nd graders (unless parents/guardians opt out) and nominated students in grades K, 1, 3, and 4 between November 28th and December 9th, 2016. 


Read more about the identification process and the CogAT7 specifically on the district website