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 Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), which are nationally normed achievement tests. 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 130 or above, 90% or above on MAP reading and math tests.
Out-of-district students are identified using their current achievement testing data on a case by case basis. A measure of school ability such as the CogAT, OLSAT, or an individual intelligence test is required.
The CogAT will be administered to all second grade students currently enrolled in the Prior Lake-Savage School District during the week of January 7-11, 2019. 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 will be tested on January 11, 2019 (please view the CogAT Registration Form). To qualify for testing, students must show proof of high achievement through report cards, other achievement testing or teacher recommendation.
CogAT retests are available for current third and fourth grade PLSAS students who meet the MAP requirements on a case by case basis. Please contact your students current gifted and talented teacher and principal to learn more about your students achievement and if they qualify for testing. Once qualified for testing, complete the CogAT Registration Form and return to the WestWood office for consideration.
All PLSAS district students in grades 2-5 will take the MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) test in the fall, winter and spring. MAP testing for students who are district residents in grades 2-5 not currently enrolled in PLSAS schools and out-of-district students will be tested on two dates. To qualify for testing, students must show proof of high achievement through report cards, other achievement testing or teacher recommendation. Please see the MAP Testing Registration Form for dates, times and location of MAP testing.
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. All eligible in-district and out-of-district students were offered placement in SAGE Academy for the 2018-19 school year.
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. The district supports intermediate class sizes of 28-31 and multi-age classrooms.
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 all qualifying students who wish to attend SAGE Academy. For the 2018-19 school year, all eligible district and open enrolled students were offered placement in SAGE Academy classes. We will evaluate 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 Karen Zwolenski 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 February 23, 2018 provided CogAT test results are returned to the district. 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.