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SPARKS is a program created to provide learning opportunities for the gifted student in grades 3-8. These opportunities will exist as a supplement to the general classroom program within the regular school day.

The objectives of the program are as follows:

  • Develop the student’s intellectual and creative abilities through challenging instructional activities.
  • Provide  learning  activities  to  promote  the  development  of  critical  thinking,  higher thinking  levels,  independent  research  methods  and  investigations,  and  advanced communication skills.
  • Assist students to become more independent and effective learners.
  • Nurture personal growth and skills of interaction, including leadership.
  • Promote a lifelong love of learning.


Entrance into the program is to meet two of these four criteria:

  • Total English Language Arts (ELA) score of 90% or above on the ITBS Test
  • Total Math 90% or above on the ITBS Test
  • Total Science score of 90% or above on the ITBS Test
  • Total Social Studies score of 90% or above on the ITBS Test


Only the IOWA Test of Basic Skills given at St. Ann School will be used to determine giftedness.
New students to St. Ann must wait until testing at St. Ann to gain acceptance into the program, unless they have already been in a gifted program in another school and they receive a recommendation from their teacher to remain in a gifted program.
All students must re-qualify each year into the program in grades 3-7 (7th grade students are exempt if the student was in our program in the 7th grade)
The program concentrates in the areas of Math/Science
If a student is removed from the program due to poor grades, falling behind in regular classes, etc., student must wait until yearly testing at St. Ann to re-enter the program, provided they qualify.