807 East Avenue South | La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601 | 608.789.7600

High Performance Learning

High Performance Learning is performance by a student which is above and beyond usual classroom/grade level expectations. Keen interest, specialized talent, intellectual ability, strong task commitment and/or high motivation shown by a product, performance, or general awareness is recognized and supported by teachers.


Shelley Shirel  – Supervisor of High Performance Learning, 608-789-8942, sshirel@lacrossesd.org

Archie Barribeau – Coordinator of High Performance Learning, 608-789-8919, abarribe@lacrossesd.org

How are students identified for the High Performance Learning Program?

Students in grades K-2 are identified by classroom teachers in consultation with the district’s HPL coordinator based on curriculum assessments and classroom participation.

Students in grades 3-8 are recommended for the HPL program based upon assessment results, teacher recommendation, parent input and other testing.

What happens once my student is identified?

Once a student is identified as meeting the criteria for the HPL program a letter is sent home to the student’s parents/guardians.  The letter identifies the subject area or areas that the student has the opportunity to participate in HPL programming as well as outlines the expectations for participating.  Parents/guardians wanting their child to participate respond by signing the HPL agreement and returning it to school.

Once the signed agreement is received students begin working with their school’s designated HPL teacher.

Elementary Programming 

Students in grades K-2 are provided with extended activities and differentiated instruction within the classroom setting.

Students in grades 3-5 participate in a blended learning format that includes face-to-face and independent learning in math and language arts.  Program participants as well as other students have the opportunity to particpate in various nationl, regional, and district events that could include:

∗ Geography Bee (grades 4-5)

∗ Matt Hessel-Mial Writing Contest (grades 2-5)

∗ Vocabulary Showdown (grades 3-5)

∗ Battle of the Books (grades 4-5)


Elementary School Library/HPL Teachers:

Emerson – Lisa Altreuter laltreut@lacrossesd.org

Hamilton/SOTA I – Carrie Wuensch-Harden cwuensch@lacrossesd.org

Hintgen – Chris Prairie cprairie@lacrossesd.org

Northside/Coulee Montessori – Kristen Hoeth khoeth@lacrossesd.org

Northwoods – Nicole Ellefson-Johnson nellefso@lacrossesd.org

Southern Bluffs – Mary Fitzwater mfitzwat@lacrossesd.org

Spence – Shelayne Dunn sdunn@lacrossesd.org

State Road – Kristen Martin kmartin@lacrossesd.org

Summit – Darcy Maxwell dmaxwell@lacrossesd.org

Middle School Programming

Students in grades 6-8 participate in a a blended learning format that includes face-to-face and independent learning in language arts.  HPL math students are enrolled in advanced math classes during the registratoin process.  An advanced wirtring class is also available for 8th grade students.  Additionally, HPL students can enroll in online courses and receive support within their school. The following competitions may be available to HPL middle school students as well as other students: ∗ Geography Bee (grades 6-8) ∗ Spelling Bee (6-8) ∗ Battle of the Books (6-7) ∗ National History Day (6-8) ∗ Math and Science Expo (6-8) ∗ Global Awareness Competition (6-8)


Middle School Library/HPL Teachers:

Lincoln – Linda Watson lwatson@lacrossesd.org

Logan Middle – Kristina Moulton kmoulton@lacrossesd.org

Longfellow – Lila Planavsky lplanavsky@lacrossesd.org

More Information

Wisconsin Association for the Talented and Gifted

The Wisconsin Association for Talented and Gifted (WATG) is a non-profit organization of parents, students, educators, business and industry personnel, and other interested persons who are dedicated to fostering a climate in the home, school, and community that allows each individual to reach his or her unique potential.  WATG’s mission is to provide assistance in meeting the varied needs of gifted and talented individuals and their advocates.