The Young Scholars Model

  • Identify; nurture, guide & support; prepareWhile our Discover and Ignite! programs offer a faster pace and increased complexity for gifted learners in grades 3-5, Young Scholars is about developing the talent of our K-2 learners, in the following ways:

    • offering rigorous opportunities for all students 
    • identifying and nurturing emergent talent through flexible small groups
    • facilitating advanced academic opportunities for high potential students from underrepresented groups


  • The Young Scholars model acknowledges that there are many ways students exhibit high academic potential, beyond just test scores. Young Scholars utilizes targeted creative and critical thinking lessons to identify historically underserved students exhibiting high academic potential. Once identified, the Young Scholars Specialist works with students in small groups, cultivating advanced thinking and scaffolding as needed. This will ensure high potential students from all backgrounds have advanced thinking opportunities to support their academic success.

    Data shows the demographic makeup of students in our existing elementary gifted programs does not yet match our overall district demographics. The Young Scholars Model addresses the following barriers to economically disadvantaged and culturally diverse students' participation in gifted programming, which are seen in public schools across the nation. Our Young Scholars Model is funded mostly through our district's Achievement and Integration Plan.

    If you would like to learn more about Young Scholars, please feel free to reach out to us:

    Nicole McKenzie
    Young Scholars Specialist--CHE & LME

    Jill Houghton
    Young Scholars Specialist--OHE


  • Lakeville Area Schools Leading the Way

    Young Scholars is an evidence-based talent development model that has been utilized nationally for over twenty years. It is an emerging model throughout Minnesota; many districts have adopted it, and others are looking to implement it in the near future. 

    Lakeville Area Schools began utilizing the Young Scholars Model during the 2020-21 school year at Christina Huddleston Elementary and Lake Marion Elementary. These schools were selected for initial implementation because they have a large number of students from historically underserved student groups.

Student smiling during a Young Scholars lesson
Whole group Young Scholars lesson
How the Young Scholars Model Addresses Barriers

How does the Young Scholars Model work?

  • Identify

  • Nurture, Guide, Support

  • Prepare