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Welcome to STAR!
STAR (Scholars Together Always Reaching) is a secular and inclusive group for the families of highly gifted children. Through classroom settings and the ever-important lunch and recess hour, highly gifted children interact with others who are closer to being both intellectual and social peers than they may find in settings geared solely to their age or academic level.
STAR began over ten years ago when a handful of local homeschooling parents joined together to provide enrichment opportunities for their highly and profoundly gifted homeschooled children. Over the years, STAR has continued on that mission and grown into a wonderfully supportive community for families raising these unique children. Most STAR families today homeschool some or all of their children part- or full-time, and STAR parents find themselves connecting over the intricacies of their experiences.
STAR meets on Wednesday days in the fall and spring for two thirteen-week semesters. Knowing that our parents are carefully curating their children’s dynamic and individualized core curriculum needs, STAR’s classes are instead inspired by topics that either are unique to the group’s interests or are enhanced when experienced in a group setting.
The STAR community is self-selected, meaning that it does not require proof of giftedness. Classes are designed for children aged 5-18 (plus limited preschool activities) who tend to succeed when working 2-3 grade levels ahead and moving through material more quickly than traditional classes.
We are always seeking instructors to create a positive and dynamic environment for this specific population of children. STAR families are encouraged connect us with mentors and subject matter experts they meet in their own communities, adding to our roster of adults who can come to STAR excited about their subjects, relate to the workings of a highly gifted child’s mind, and think quickly on their feet to out-of-the-box questions!
While operating in the spirit of a co-op, STAR operates with a volunteer administrative group that leases our facility (we are a secular group that rents space from a church in Bloomington), facilitates registration, and coordinates daily operations. The STAR administrative group seeks member input whenever possible, but is authorized to make decisions regarding STAR classes, policies, and procedures without member input if time and/or circumstances deem it necessary. Another distinction from co-ops is that STAR families write one check to STAR each semester to cover rent and administrative costs, but write checks to the instructors for classes and are empowered to address any concerns directly with their instructors. STAR provides the conduit and support system for this community.
Minnesota Council for the Gifted and Talented
STAR is a sanctioned activity of the Homeschool Chapter of the Minnesota Council for the Gifted and Talented. Membership in the MCGT Homeschool Chapter is required for STAR families. MCGT is a statewide non-profit support and advocacy organization of parents, educators, and other professionals who live or work with gifted children and are interested in their education and well-being. The MCGT mission is to promote better understanding of, and educational services for, gifted and talented children and their families. MCGT is a registered 501(c)(3) organization and was established in 1946. http://mcgt.net.