Dr. Michael Thomas has been unanimously chosen to lead Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools.
The School for the Advancement of Gifted Education (SAGE) Academy at WestWood Elementary is a full-time program for Gifted students in grades 3, 4 and 5 who qualify.
Teachers are well-versed in curriculum differentiation for high-ability learners and are advocates for student needs in all areas of social and emotional development.
SAGE is designed to challenge, support and inspire learners through rigorous, developmentally-appropriate curriculum that emphasizes critical and abstract thinking and logical reasoning skills, all in an environment that celebrates curiosity, self-direction and a love of learning.
- What Makes Us Unique
- Important Dates
- Application & Other Forms
- CogAT Practice Activities
- Frequently Asked Questions
SAGE offers full-time programming to gifted students in grades 3-5, in a school-within-a-school setting. As part of the public school system, there is no tuition cost to parents.
Located within WestWood Elementary, SAGE students experience accelerated core curriculum during the school day, as well as physical education, art and music classes with students from their respective grade level. Students also participate in buddy classroom activities and field trips with their WestWood peers.
Classroom groupings are determined by our enrollment, with students instructed primarily in grade level groups with some departmentalization of subjects. This allows our staff to teach in an area of expertise while providing consistent curriculum, experiences, rigor and expectations.
March 18, 2022 – Application deadline for out-of-district/non-PLSAS students
April 11-April 22, 2022 – Testing for students not enrolled in PLSAS; By appointment
April 29, 2022 – District families will be notified regarding qualifications as soon as possible
May 18, 2022 - Virtual Meeting SAGE Academy Student & Parent Curriculum Night (2021 Presentation: https://youtu.be/SGo-9yt6yTA)
May 27, 2022 – SAGE Academy commitment forms due for in-district and out-of-district students
This application is for students not currently enrolled in a Prior Lake-Savage Area school. This includes students currently living within the Prior-Lake Savage Area Schools attendance area, but not currently attending PLSAS.
Please complete this application prior to March 22, 2021 for consideration for the 2021-2022 school year. Applications received after that date will be reviewed, however, class space in SAGE Academy classes may be limited. Students who live outside of the PLSAS attendance boundary who are accepted into SAGE Academy must also apply for open enrollment.
Students currently not enrolled in PLSAS are identified for SAGE Academy using their current standardized achievement testing data. Measures of academic achievement may include the NWEA MAP assessments, FastBridge Learning assessments, or other academic assessments for reading and math. A measure of school ability such as the CogAT or an individual intelligence test (IQ test) with a licensed psychologist is also required. Students must also submit a current report card. If your student does not have evidence of standardized academic and ability measures, you may request testing as part of this application.
A $40 testing fee is due at the time of testing for each assessment administered. Testing will be scheduled based on the availability of testing administrators. Students may be required to attend more than one testing session to complete the assessments. If you indicate a need for testing, you will be contacted after submitting this form.
LEVEL 8 (2ND GRADE)
LEVEL 9 (3RD GRADE)
LEVEL 10 (4TH GRADE)
1. Where is SAGE Academy located?
SAGE Academy is a school-within-a-school providing full-time gifted instruction for students in third, fourth and fifth grade. SAGE Academy is located at WestWood Elementary School (5370 WestWood Dr. SE) in Prior Lake, MN.
2. What is the relationship of SAGE Academy with WestWood Elementary?SAGE Academy is a school-within-a-school, and is integrated into the WestWood community. Students share the same specialists (art, music, media and physical education) and have the same principal. Students have recess and lunch with grade-level peers as well as participate in grade level events such as programs and field trips. This includes the 5th grade outdoor education week at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center. The parents of SAGE students are a part of the WestWood PTC which works to benefit all students in the building.
3. Who is eligible to attend SAGE Academy?
Students qualify for SAGE Academy based on their scores on the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) or an individual measure of intelligence and the FastBridge Learning assessment, which are nationally normed curriculum-based measures. Teacher observations using the SAGE Academy Student Assessment Form are also used to determine eligibility for SAGE Academy for district residents. In-district students are identified by a CogAT composite Standard Age Score of 129 or above, 95% or above on FastBridge Learning reading and math tests.
Out-of-district students are identified using their current achievement testing data and a measure of school ability such as the CogAT or an individual intelligence test is required.
The CogAT Screener is administered to all second grade students currently enrolled in the Prior Lake-Savage School District. Students who are district residents in grades 2, 3 and 4 not currently enrolled in PLSAS schools and students who reside out-of-district boundaries can request testing (See SAGE Application Form).
CogAT retests are available for current third and fourth grade PLSAS students who meet the academic requirements. Please contact your school's principal to learn more about your student's achievement and if they qualify for testing.
All PLSAS district students in grades 2-5 take standardized assessments (FastBridge Learning) in the fall, winter and spring. Students who are district residents in grades 2, 3 and 4 not currently enrolled in PLSAS schools and students who reside out-of-district boundaries can request testing (See SAGE Application Form).
4. How are eligible students accepted into SAGE Academy?
Qualified Candidates are accepted into SAGE Academy until classes are full. There is a two tier placement procedure with the first tier of accepted students being the Qualified Candidates who are district residents. The second group of students accepted is made up of the Qualified Candidates who meet eligibility criteria but are not district residents.
5. How is instruction enhanced for gifted learners?
Instruction for gifted learners includes investigative, hands-on science; problem-based mathematics; novel-based language arts; and simulation learning and application. Programs such as WordMasters, Math Olympiads, News Currents Online and The Stock Market Game are integrated into the regular curriculum. Specialized curriculum such as Reading Units of Study, Mentoring Math Minds and those created by the Center for Gifted Education at the College of William and Mary are also utilized. Curriculum compacting, a faster instructional pace and greater rigor are characteristics of instruction in SAGE Academy.
6. Are gifted students assigned extra homework?
Teachers follow the homework guidelines of Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools. The emphasis is not on more work for gifted students but on varied types of assignments geared to student needs and to enhancing topics studied. Students receive guidance in developing self-directed learning skills, such as time management and planning for completion of long-term projects. Many students encounter more challenging work, which usually results in more homework than previously experienced. Resource time is often given during school to work on homework.
7. Are class sizes different in gifted education?
The number of students per class is comparable to the district’s class size in grades 3-5. District class size may vary between site and grade level.
8. Is there a cost to attend SAGE Academy?
No. As part of the public school system, there is no tuition cost to parents.
9. Is transportation provided?
Two-way transportation is provided to SAGE Academy students if they live within the boundaries of Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools. Families living outside of the district must provide their own transportation to WestWood or utilize the nearest existing district bus stop.
10. Is there a waiting list?
Our goal is to provide full-time gifted programming to qualifying students who wish to attend SAGE Academy. For the 2019-20 school year, all eligible district and open enrolled students in grades 3 & 4 were offered placement in SAGE Academy classes. There was a waiting list for enrollment in 5th grade. We monitor class size and make adjustments as needed.
11. Once enrolled, is continued enrollment guaranteed?
Once a student qualifies and is successful in SAGE Academy, he/she will remain in the program and does not need to reapply for subsequent years. Parents sign a Commitment Form which covers all 3 years of academy placement.
12. What if my child is accepted but decides not to attend this year, will he/she get first priority next year?
You may request a delayed enrollment for your child who qualifies for SAGE Academy. This allows a qualifying student to be placed on the class list for the following school year. Please contact Karoline Warner regarding such a request.
13. What about siblings?
Siblings may attend WestWood Elementary through open enrollment or in-district transfer when space is available in the receiving grade level.
14. When are parents notified whether their child is accepted to attend SAGE Academy?
District students and out of district applicants qualified to be offered enrollment in SAGE Academy will be notified by April 30, 2021. All eligible students from within the district will be given first preference for SAGE Academy. Candidates who are non-district residents and meet criteria are placed next. Assessments will be required and paid for by non-district applicants.
Enrollment is now open!
Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools (PLSAS) has again been issued a clean audit report from the Certified Public Accounting firm: Malloy, Montague, Karnowski, Radosevich & Co., (MMKR), which is the highest opinion an auditor can issue for school districts.
5370 Westwood Dr. SE
Prior Lake, MN 55372
Phone: (952) 226-0400
Fax: (952) 226-0449
Attendance: (952) 226-0401
Health Office: (952) 226-0406