Talented & Gifted Program
Mission, Vision, Philosophy


Foster a caring & safe environment for all to connect, learn, & grow.


Preparing all to value relationships, pursue excellence, & expand potential.


In accordance with the Grundy Center School District Mission & Vision statement, the gifted program accentuates the vision to connect, learn and grow. As appropriate to meet the needs of advanced level learners, increased attention and opportunity is offered to practice the value of relationships, pursuit of excellence, and expanded potential at a deeper level.

Talented and Gifted program services are designed to support a learning atmosphere and experiences that provide opportunities for growth and development. Achievement Standards are in place to guide students through enrichment activities and a personalized plan. Self understanding, creative thinking, critical thinking, leadership, collaboration, and complex communication, when pushed to an advanced level, are powerful competencies that cross all curricular areas and elevate potential for future success.

Iowa Code

Who is considered talented and gifted?

257.44 Gifted and talented children defined:

  1. "Gifted and talented children" are those children who are identified as possessing outstanding abilities and who are capable of high performance. Gifted and talented children are children who require appropriate instruction and educational services commensurate with their abilities and needs beyond those provided by the regular school program.

  2. Gifted and talented children include those children with demonstrated achievement or potential ability, or both, in any of the following areas or in combination:

a. General intellectual ability. b. Creative thinking. c. Leadership ability. d. Visual and performing arts ability. e. Specific ability aptitude.

89 Acts, ch 135, §44; 2010 Acts, ch 1069, §72

Who Participates?

Gifted services are in place for teachers and students, grades TK - 12.

At the Elementary, TK-4 TAG advisors are available to support classroom teachers through observation and offering higher level push-in activities for individual students or small groups. To continue to meet the needs of identified students, pull-out sessions are embedded into the schedule for grades 3 and 4 and as needed for grades 1st and 2nd.

At the Middle and High School, students identified for the program meet during WIN or another arranged time. Interest inventories are completed, goals are developed and individual plans are put in place. Alongside personal plans, students work to improve skills of logic, strategy, critical thinking, collaboration and leadership.

Identification is based on multiple criteria: Nominations (from teachers, parents, and/or students), Test Scores of 95% or above, Observations, and Teacher Surveys. Student participation will be reviewed throughout the year to determine if the program is appropriate for the student's needs. Rosters may change from year to year.

Nomination Form

Completing a nomination form begins the process of student identification for the Talented and Gifted Program at Grundy Center Community Schools. Nominations may be submitted by professional educators, parents, peers, or self. Nomination shows support for exceptional talent and/or potential to perform well above grade level. Nominations will be reviewed along with academic performance, assessment data, referrals, and other relevant data to determine eligibility.

Resources for Students

Summer 2024 - College For Kids, Grant Wood AEA

Belin & Blank Center - U of Iowa

Academic Decathlon has been a well supported and outstanding program for almost 30 years at GCCSD. Grundy Center AcDec is open to any high school student. With numerous state and national awards, the Grundy Center AcDec team continues to be an excellent way for students to become engaged, deepen personal knowledge, and collaborate with talented peers from around the state.

First Tech Challenge -**FTC is a robotics program that connects real world problem-solving, collaborative teamwork and the principles in engineering. FTC is a state, national, and international competition that truly engages the total mind. Marketed as a “sport for the mind,” the Grundy Center FTC team includes primarily advanced level who meet weekly. Competitions typically start in December and run through February. FTC students spend countless hours designing, building, and testing their robots.

First Lego League -**FLL is similar to First Tech Challenge, but on a smaller scale. Students in 6th through 8th build, design, and test small Lego robots as they compete against other FLL students from around central and eastern Iowa. Students also develop an in-depth research project and presentation. In addition, students are also judged on their teamwork skills. Registration is Aug - Sept. Championship competition is held in January.

Battle of the Books Students read a selected set of books and then compete against other schools as they challenge their reading comprehension. Working as a team, students strategically become experts on the required books and challenge their ability to recall specific details.

Google Science Fair: is a completely online science fair, where students create and share their science fair project by the creation of a short video project. This project is only available to students ages 13-18 years of age. Information https://scholarshiparena.in/google-science-fair/

National History Day: is a national competition that challenges students to explore various concepts within history and present research findings through one of the following: a documentary, display, written paper, performance or a website. Some options may be completed as a team. The theme for 2022-23 is ‘Frontiers in History: People, Places, Ideas.

National History Day information

Iowa NHD information

World Food Prize Youth Institute ‘The Iowa Youth Institute is a life-changing experience at Iowa State University where high school students engage with leading experts on critical global challenges, participate in hands-on activities, and explore exciting ways to make a difference in Iowa and around the world.’ Registration is in Feb-Mar and the event is in April.

River of Words® (ROW) conducts an environmental poetry and art contest for youth aged 5 to 19 in grades K-12 every year. The contest is designed to help youth explore the natural and cultural history of their own watershed, and to express what they discover through poetry and art. Each year, eight U.S. winners, one international winner, and a “ROW Teacher of the Year” are selected to be honored during National Poetry Month (April) at an Award Ceremony at The Library of Congress in Washington, DC. (ROW is affiliated with The Library of Congress Center for the Book.) Entries are due early December.

Check with TAG advisors for additional opportunities.