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RAMS Talent and Advanced Academics Groups

If you have questions about advanced academics and talent development at RAMS, please contact Ursala Pankonin, at sends e-mail) or 651-724-6650

RAMS offers enrichment groups called TAAG (Talent & Advanced Academics Groups, pronounced like “tag”). Identified GT students are invited to participate in TAAG, and these groups are open to all RAMS students. Feel free to encourage your student to invite a friend.

Most of these groups will meet during STAR, our advisory period. Not all groups will run each trimester. Groups are scheduled based on the number of students who sign up for them.

  • Future City(link is external) --Future City is a competition where teams work together to engineer a virtual city. They build a model, write an essay, and give a presentation about their city. Teams work on their project until the competition in January. This group meets before school. RAMS won the 2021 regional competition! 

  • Stock Market Game(link is external)--Teams of students work on investing virtual money into the stock market, New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. Students get real time results to monitor their investments!

  • National History Day(link is external) --This is a project where students research a historical topic that focuses on a theme. After researching, students put together a project that demonstrates what they have learned. Students who advance from the RAMS competition will go to the regional level to compete for the opportunity to present at the state level. This may be done alone or with a group. Most of the work is done outside of class. 

  • Creative Writing--This group will focus on helping students express their creativity through writing. Students will share their work with one another and offer opinions and perhaps collaboration. We have also had students enter the Scholastic Writing Competition.

  • Rubik’s Cube Club--In the past, we’ve had a variety of skill levels in this group. Some students solve the cube well under a minute and others are just learning to solve it. 

  • Knitting Club--Students learn to knit, continue building their skills, or help others as they learn. Materials will be provided for those who need them. 

  • Book Club--During the course of the year, the students will have opportunities to read a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts in book clubs.The students read independently and come together to discuss what they’ve read. 

  • Chess/Board Game Group--This group allows students to challenge their peers to fun and intellectual board games. Classic games like Chess and Scrabble will be available as well as more modern games like Anomia. Practice skills like solving disagreements, working together, and including others. 

  • Social Justice Group--Last year students organized a schoolwide food drive to support RAMS families. They also worked to provide a platform for RAMS students to speak and educate the community about social justice concerns. 

Our district Advanced Academics and Talent Development coordinator is Trina Hira. If you would like to get signed up for her monthly newsletter, use this link(link is external).

How can parents/guardians support Advanced Academics and Talent Development at RAMS?

  • Connections—One year we were able to invite a local author to talk to the book club and creative writing students. Do you have any connections to local authors or people who would be inspiration or our students? We’d love to meet them! 

  • Encouragement—Sometimes middle school students are hesitant to participate in TAAG. Encourage them to give it a try. If a group isn’t a good fit for students, they do not have to continue attending. Also, students may bring a friend, even if the friend didn’t get an individual invite.

  • Book Clubs--Occasionally, there may be book clubs offered for parents of our gifted and talented students. Parents of identified GT students will be contacted via letter or email when these are offered.

  • Keep Informed—Sign up for the newsletter on the district Advanced Academics and Talent Development page and/or participate in AATDAC (description below).

Are you interested in the Advanced Academics and Talent Development Advisory Council (AATDAC)?

The Advanced Academics and Talent Development Council (AATDAC) reviews and advocates for advanced academic and talent development (AATD) services. The AATD lead teachers from each building, along with a parent representative from each school, comprise the council. The purpose of AATDAC is to:

  • Review and learn about advanced academic and talent development program options.

  • Provide feedback on program ideas and implementation.

  • Advocate for advanced academic and talent development programming in the schools and community.

  • Serve as a liaison and information resource to their school's parent or school organizations.

  • For the 2021-22 school year, the council will meet from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. on the following dates and are open to the public.

    • 10/28, 1/20, and 3/24

If you have questions about advanced academics and talent development at RAMS, please contact Ursala Pankonin, at sends e-mail) or 651-724-6650.