Middle School

Dimensions Academy

Informational Meeting


  • Dimensions Academy Program Overview
  • Program Components
  • Advanced Math Options
  • Criteria and tests used for placement
  • Program expectations
  • Application information
  • Question & Answer

Bloomington Gifted & Talented Programs

Our primary goal is to provide in-depth, complex and rigorous instruction to intellectually and creatively gifted students.


Elements/DA is one type of gifted program and addresses the overall high intellectual abilities of students. That said, the G.T. Dept. supports all schools and gifted and talented students attending those schools. And at the middle school level we have Dimensions Academy and also a newer program called Nobel. Nobel takes a humanities approach and focuses on growing students creativity.

Dimensions Academy Highlights

  • Trained teachers
  • Curriculum with depth & complexity
  • Enrichment units & academic competitions
  • State standards met & exceeded
  • Social and emotional support (team effort: teachers, counselors, coordinator)

Dimensions Academy (DA) Structure

  • Middle school DA students travel together for ⅔ of the school day:
      • DA Social Studies
      • DA Language Arts
      • DA Science
      • DA Seminar (Reading w/ a twist of philosophy)
  • DA students mix with other students for ⅓ of the day: Math and “Exploratories”

How do the schedules compare?

DA Schedule

Typical Schedule

A Focus on Research

Knowledge Consumers

Knowledge Producers

Academic Competitions!

  • National MN History Day (6th & 7th Grade)
  • MN ArcGIS Online (8th) Mapping Competition
  • NEW! Civics Bee (7th)

National Winner

Unique Enrichment Units!

  • Ecology field research projects
  • High altitude balloon unit
  • Community Partnerships (Richardson Nature Center & U of MN)

Themed Interdisciplinary Units

  • Integrated units from The College of William & Mary curriculum
  • DA Seminar has humanitarian themes:
      • Gr 6 - “Great Minds”
      • Gr 7 - “Great Acts”
  • Fantasy fiction novel study in LA
      • Gr 6 - Midsummer’s Night Dream
      • Gr 7 - The Neverending Story
  • Students must maintain a “B-” average in DA classes
  • Students are expected to demonstrate behaviors that contribute to a positive learning environment for everyone

Students who are not meeting these expectations will be warned, placed on probation, and possibly exited from the program

Advanced Math Options

  • Placement in appropriate math level happens in late May/Early June (Often later for open-enrolled families)
  • Placement based on Measurement of Academic Progress (MAP) math test scores (including spring)
  • Online summer courses or “Boot Camps” are used to cover the required standards if students will be accelerating to higher math

Advanced Math

Target: 99%


Target: 95%


The Exploratory Classes

  • Tech Ed (STEM-focused)
  • Music (choir, orchestra, band)
  • World Language (Spanish & French)
  • Art
  • FACS (Family & Consumer Science)
  • Health & Phy Ed (gym)


  • Open-enrolled families are responsible for providing all transportation to and from school and/or after school activities (no earlier than 7:15 am)
  • Bloomington families have some options:
    • Students living in the VVMS boundary area can be bussed to & from OGMS before and after school
    • Galaxy/Activities bus available (4:45 pm) but ONLY for students living in that attendance area
    • It is possible to attend DA at one school & participate in activities at boundary school

Application Process

  • Informational meetings in fall (Oct 14 & 21) for following year
  • Online application is used for both Bloomington residents and out of district families.
  • Out of district families must provide additional documents to the GT department
    • Teacher recommendation
    • Testing data (Reading & Math achievement plus CogAT/IQ)
    • Any special ed documentation
  • Application deadline is November 1st
  • Placement decisions made by January 1, 2020

Building tours are available

  • Primarily for prospective open-enrolled families
  • Student privacy laws prohibit classroom visits during school day
  • Must be scheduled individually with Coordinator
    • Mr. Sean Hildebrandt
    • Email: shildebrandt@isd271.org
    • Phone: 952.681.665

Thank you for coming!

Do you have any questions?

2019 MS DA Parent Info Night - Google Slides