Talent Development


Mission Statement

The mission of the School District of Elmbrook is to educate and inspire every student to think, to learn, and to succeed. Central to this mission is our commitment to developing talent, promoting achievement, recognizing and supporting the needs of advanced learners, and teaching / reinforcing skills and habits (foster a culture) to promote social-emotional wellness.



All schools are dedicated to providing inclusive programming that fosters talent development in all students. The School District of Elmbrook focuses on talent development programming rather than a talent development program. The aim and intent of programming is broader and more powerful than a program, and is based on student need, readiness, interest, and learning profiles/individual differences. Appropriate programming also requires ongoing assessment of student needs, progress, and skill development. We are committed to developing, implementing, and monitoring programming and supports necessary to fully develop students’ identified capabilities, needs, and potential in one or more of the following areas: specific academic, intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership.

Our philosophy moves beyond the concept that students are either gifted or not gifted, that they are either “in” or “out” of a gifted program. Instead, our philosophy embraces the reality that children develop at different rates, and that potential and ability are dynamic. It further focuses on determining and programming for student needs that cannot be met in the regular classroom.


Talent Development Handbook

At the December 5, 2017 Board Meeting, the Board approved the GT/Advanced Learner procedures. The updated Policy, Practice Statement and Talent Development Handbook will serve as the District's gifted/advanced learner/talent development plan. The Handbook is scheduled to be reviewed annually through Board Committee structure.

6142.1 Policy: Gifted/Advanced Learning Needs Identification and Procedures - Practice Statement and Talent Development Handbook are linked with the policy.

In the spring of 2016, the Gifted & Talented/Talent Development Coordinators proposed creating a Talent Development Handbook to the Teaching and Learning Committee (TLC) to support state statute and recommendations from the Gifted & Talented program evaluation by Dr. Scott Peters. Since that discussion, the District received further guidance from the Wisconsin Association of School Boards (WASB) policy consultants recommending changes to the policy and practice statement with the recommendation of moving away from practice statement toward the creation of a handbook. An audit shows that nine of Elmbrook’s ten benchmark districts have a handbook to address advanced learners.

In addition, the proposed Handbook reflects the Department of Public Instruction’s philosophy of gifted education in the state of Wisconsin as being dynamic, inclusive and responsive. The Handbook represents efforts to address our district identification gap in relation to underrepresented groups, and embodies best practices as gleaned through UW-Stevens Point, UW-Whitewater, Dr. Scott Peters, local professional affiliations, and colleagues in this field. The combination of this Board Policy, Practice Statement and accompanying Talent Development Handbook serves as the District’s gifted/advanced learner/talent development plan. The Handbook shall be reviewed annually through the Board Committee structure, with input from district stakeholders.

Elementary TD

Monthly Newsletters

October 2017

Elmbrook Reading and Writing Workshop

- Summary of Elmbrook's reading and writing workshop, K-8.

Bridges in Mathematics

Bridges in Math logo

On Wednesday, November 9, 2016 the Elementary Teaching and Learning Specialists presented to the GT PAO on our new K-5 math resource. View the GT PAO Bridges Presentation.

Middle School TD

Monthly Newsletters

November 2017

What's Going On Around the District...Spotlight:


October 2017

- Summary of Elmbrook's readers and writers workshop, K-8

September 2017

Why did my child’s MAP score decrease from Spring to Fall?

- This may help to explain why some students experience a dip in MAP scores from spring to fall

High School TD


Talent Development Coordinator Contacts

Talent Development District Contacts


stack of books

Lending Library! Please contact Dr. McClain at mcclainr@elmbrookschools.org if you are interested in borrowing any of the following GT/Talent Development books. And please check back regularly - I hope to keep adding to the list.

TED Talk: As discussed at the GTPAO 9/18/17, here is the link to the TED Talk: How to raise successful kids - without over-parenting, by Julie Lythcott-Haims. Julie served as Dean of Freshmen and Undergraduate Advising for more than a decade at Stanford University, and wrote the best-selling book: How to Raise an Adult.Quote by Julie-Lythcott Haims


  • GAMES Picture that reads: Game Time- We talked about the power of playing games for improving executive functioning skills. Here is the start of a list of games for all ages - I'm sure it is the tip of the iceberg! Know of a game that should be on this list? Email me at mcclainr@elmbrookschools.org
  • APPS for Improving Executive Functioning - Picture of 12 phone apps side by side Here is a listing of apps that can help with executive functioning. It is arranged alphabetically; categories are embedded. If you come across a new one, please let me know: mcclain@elmbrookschools.org


Talent Development Parent Advisory Board (G/T PAO)

The Talent Development Parent Advisory Organization (G/T PAO) serves as a communication link between parents of identified children and the School District of Elmbrook. The District sponsors four GT PAO meetings per school year. They are held at the Central Administrative Office (CAO) from 9:30-11:00:

September 18, 2017

November 13, 2017

February 19, 2018

April 16, 2018

Please visit the GT PAO webpage for more information, meeting dates and G/T PAO family representative contact information for each school.


Elmbrook school district belongs to Partners for the Advancement of Gifted Education, an active committee of parent volunteers and educators collaborating to provide educational and enrichment opportunities in the greater Milwaukee area. All parents and children of member districts are welcome to attend their events.

District Documents

  • Parent Teacher Conference Suggestions (updated 10/09) - This document lists potential questions and topic areas to help everyone get the most from parent/teacher conferences.
  • District Policy 5127, Graduation Separation
  • District Policy 6142.1, Gifted and Talented Identification Procedures

Gifted Learning Links offered through Northwestern University, are enrichment courses offered throughout the year. Students have the opportunity to interact with online instructors and other students to complete collaborative projects and online discussions. Classes are offered in many subject areas. Click here to visit the Gifted Learning Links website.http://www.ctd.northwestern.edu/gll/

MAP Local Norms

Elmbrook local Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) norms start on page 5. Kindergarten is referred to as grade "0." Scores are available in reading and math - please refer to the appropriate time of year: fall, winter, and spring.