Gifted & Talented

Gifted and Talented Education at Navajo Preparatory Education

Navajo Preparatory School, Inc. is a college preparatory school with a mission to educate students of exceptional talents, abilities, and leadership skills.  The school’s mission criteria provide for a higher enrollment of students who have the desire to succeed in post-secondary educational life.  Admission to Navajo Preparatory School is based on a personal essay of 200 words or more, three (3) letters of recommendations from instructors, evaluation of state assessment scores/levels, minimum of a 3.0 GPA, and finally a student interview with a faculty member.

The purpose of the Navajo Preparatory School Gifted and Talented Program is to identify highly gifted Native American youth in grades 9-12 and provide them with a greater depth of enrichment opportunities.  The Gifted and Talented Program is designed to address student specific services in the five (5) areas of giftedness as outlined in the Bureau of Indian Education Rules and Regulations 25CFR.  It is our belief that by assisting these students in developing and strengthening individual skill they will be leaders in their communities and subsequently in society.

The Gifted and Talented Programs for the school year focus on the following areas:

  1. The International Baccalaureate Programme Philosophy and Learner Profile
  2. Program Enrollment Administration
  3. Compliance and Accountability

International Baccalaureate Programme Philosophy and Learner Profile

The International Baccalaureate is a recognized worldwide as an organization that promotes the highest level of standards in education. The philosophy incorporates students to be lifelong learners and to be productive global citizens throughout their lives. All Gifted and Talented Programs will incorporate the IB’s Learner Profiles to enhance and align with the IB philosophy.

The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world. As IB learners we strive to be:

  • Inquirers -We nurture our curiosity, developing skills for inquiry and research. We know how to learn independently and with others. We learn with enthusiasm and sustain our love of learning throughout life.
  • Knowledgeable- We develop and use conceptual understanding, exploring knowledge across a range of disciplines. We engage with issues and ideas that have local and global significance.
  • Thinkers -We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyze and take responsible action on complex problems. We exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions.
  • Communicators -We express ourselves confidently and creatively in more than one language and in many ways. We collaborate effectively, listening carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and groups.
  • Principled -We act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere. We take responsibility for our actions and their consequences.
  • Open-minded -We act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere. We take responsibility for our actions and their consequences.
  • Caring -We show empathy, compassion and respect. We have a commitment to service, and we act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and in the world around us.
  • Risk-takers -We approach uncertainty with forethought and determination; we work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas and innovative strategies. We are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenges and change.
  • Balanced -We understand the importance of balancing different aspects of our lives—intellectual, physical, and emotional—to achieve well-being for ourselves and others. We recognize our interdependence with other people and with the world in which we live.
  • Reflective -We thoughtfully consider the world and our own ideas and experience. We work to understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to support our learning and personal development.

The IB learner profile represents 10 attributes valued by IB World Schools. We believe these attributes, and others like them, can help individuals and groups become responsible members of local, national and global communities.

Program Enrollment and Administration

Prospective Gifted students are selected by instructors, parents, or can be self-nominated.  Candidates for the Gifted and Talented Program are identified utilizing the Gifted and Talented Evaluation Scales (GATES).  If the prospective student shows giftedness, the Gifted and Talented Coordinator in conjunction with the multidisciplinary team will convene to discuss the needs of the identified students.  Parents and students are notified timely and a conference is set up to develop the students IEP.

Students participating in the Gifted and Talented Program have a variety of programs to enhance and enrich their area(s) of giftedness. The following programs are offered throughout the school year:

Native Voices Debate Team

This program will provide opportunities for students to compete in Speech and Debate events. These opportunities will help students develop a sense of poise and confidence when speaking in front of an audience. As members of the New Mexico Speech and Debate Association, the New Mexico Activities Association, and the National Forensic League, students can compete in 12 different events that span the areas of debate, public speaking, literature interpretation, and humorous interpretation. These events help improve a student’s skills in research, analysis, critical reading, thinking and writing, organization, creativity and analysis and interpretation of literature. NFL points, pins, awards and scholarships may be earned by competing in official events. Instructor is Ms. Allison Henry and students meet on Wednesdays at 6:30pm to 8:00pm.

Native Voices Debate Team Objectives:

  • To understand and communicate various forms of argument effectively in a variety of contexts.
  • To develop the ability to analyze controversies, select and evaluate evidence, construct and refute arguments.
  • To learn theories that seek to explain the process of communicating arguments with people.
  • To clarify one’s personal and social values through confrontation with the value judgements of others.
  • To participate effectively in situations where decisions must be made.
  • Promoting school and community relations through participation in an intellectual activity.
  • Meeting and interacting with students from other schools in the context of a social and intellectual activity.
  • To realize the simultaneous opportunities for leadership and group participation.

Naataani Youth Council

In this program, students will serve as active and outgoing youth leaders for Navajo Preparatory School. This program will utilize a curriculum developed by Futures for Children.  The curriculum emphasizes a “Self-Help” philosophy that guides students through a series of team-building activities.  These activities promote education, teamwork, and community service.  The “Self-Help” philosophy encourages critical thinking, problem solving, and communication that are specific to Native American High School students.  In addition, participants will also serve as members of the United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. and apply leadership training to the program. Participation in this G & T will help students prepare for their future through planning for education and careers.  Instructor is Mrs. Denise Yazzie and students meet on Mondays at 7:00pm to 8:00pm.

Naataani Youth Council Objectives:  Students who participate in Youth Leadership will be able to:

  • Identify and justify the importance of cultural values.
  • Demonstrate good decision-making skills.
  • Develop positive communication skills.
  • Participate and lead team building activities.
  • Recognize the importance of post-secondary education planning & career development.
  • Identify the importance of having and being a good role model.
  • Complete community service projects that emphasize the importance of: culture, environment, and healthy lifestyles.

Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA)

NM MESA is a pre-college program that prepares students for college and careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. NM MESA students participate in a variety of enriched STEM activities including field trips, speakers, workshops, regional and statewide academic competitions, and community service and leadership development projects. Instructors are Mrs. Donna Fernandez and Mrs. Mavis Yazzie.  Students meet on Mondays from 7:00pm to 9:00pm.

MESA Course Objectives:

  • Students will participate in all workshops/speakers/service learning projects offered by MESA
  • Students will compete in at least one competition, STEM, non-MESA
  • Students will demonstrate teamwork and creative problem solving skills by working collaboratively to complete short answer and multiple choice questions that pertain to brain anatomy and its functions.
  • Students will demonstrate their ability to program using the Codebender application which is used to program an Arduino board.
  • Students will build a low-cost Prosthetic Arm for use by a classmate who recently lost part of their arm below the elbow. The device should be designed to allow them to complete daily tasks in school and at play.

Reading & Cooking Across the Continents

Reading and Cooking Across the Continents is designed to offer advanced reading students the opportunity to invest in challenging literature, engage in lively debates, and produce cuisine from cultures other than their own. In this G&T Advanced Reading Group, readers will be given the opportunity to connect with a wide-range of titles from around the world. Students will begin to build a life-long book shelf for themselves and learn to respect and admire authors of differing world backgrounds. There will be in depth research into not only literary elements such as plot, character, setting, theme, irony and symbolism but also cultural history and cuisines that will help students develop an awareness of the world. Students will identify recipes and prepare meals that are described in the literature read. They will experience foods that are not native to their own backgrounds and culture. Instructor is Mrs. Lesley Tohtsoni and students meet on Monday and Wednesday from 7:00pm to 8:00pm.

Reading and Cooking Across the Continents Objectives:

  • The student will read college level books and discuss them openly in formal and informal settings.
  • The student will read and discuss literature on the literal, figurative, and thematic level.
  • The student will research, make, and eat dishes associated with the settings in the selections we read.
  • The student will participate and attend events emphasizing reading (field trips to bookstores, libraries, and book fairs).
  • The student will create visual representations of various characters in the books read.
  • The student will be able to cite outside examples to illustrate their points and observations.
  • The student will make cultural connections via food, music and media.
  • The student will make relevant connections to their life through the reading.


The Science Gifted and Talented Program is designed for students who have met the criteria as gifted and talented student and who want to explore and enhance their talents and skills along the areas of science, math, engineering and technology. This program promotes a strong academic foundation in mathematics and science as key to college admission and success. The program will give the students the opportunity to explore college majors and career interests with a group of peers interested in attending college. Hands-on activities and team competitions focused on mathematics, engineering, technology and science are highlighted in order to increase student’s confidence and mastery in these areas. Instructor is Mrs. Yolanda Flores and students meet on Tuesday evenings from 7:00pm to 8:00pm.

Science Course Objectives:

  • The student will develop realistic concept of self and work cooperatively with peers and adults.
  • The student will create original projects that reflect critical thinking skills as supplemental learning to regular classroom curriculum to showcase their independent research as they compete for awards and scholarships.
  • To introduce, encourage and accelerate the gifted students into the world of science, engineering, math and technology by enabling and integrating their participation and membership into the social, cultural and scientific activities of different Science Associations, Organizations, Symposia and Conferences.
  • To allow students to experience the world of scientific research firsthand.
  • To explore college majors and career interests with a group of peers interested in attending college.
  • Encourage the students to participate in community service and in turn, encourage a dedication to the pursuit of scientific knowledge that benefits humankind.

Program Compliance and Accountability

The Gifted and Talented instructors are expected to develop and maintain a challenging course with two (2) hours of service weekly.  It is expected that the course prepares students to achieve in a variety of competitions, produce projects for exhibition, and be positive leadership role models.

Instructors in collaboration with the Gifted and Talented Coordinator will be responsible for the development and progress monitoring of Individualized Education Plans for each identified student.   Documentation of attendance and progress of the students’ goals is required as well as working with Navajo Preparatory School Administration to exit students when necessary.

A Gifted and Talented Coordinator will oversee the overall program to ensure that all regulations and criteria are implemented for a successful audit by the BIE.


Parent Permission

Download the parent permission form