We offer a variety of programs and enrichment opportunities for students to excel beyond traditional offerings in school.
If you are interested in becoming a WSSS instructor, please complete the form in the Summer Opportunity hire note by December 1, 2023.
Destination Imagination is a 21st century learning program that encourages students to have fun, take risks, focus, and frame challenges while incorporating STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), the arts and service learning. Students build on their strengths, while learning patience, flexibility, persistence, ethics, respect for others and their ideas, project management and rapid prototyping.
Teams showcase their solutions at a tournament. For additional information about Destination Imagination visit www.mndi.org.
Fermi Math League is an internet-based math competition appropriate for enrichment, small group work, and individuals wanting creative, technology-rich experiences. Fermi Math is process-oriented rather than “one-answer” driven. The Fermi Math League is open to school districts and individual students worldwide.
Winter Fermi Math Session: February 6, 2024 - March 27, 2024
Registration is open!
- Registration can be for teams and individual learners.
- Any student may register and compete. Students can work solo or in teams of up to four. Divisions for grades 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, plus 7-9.
- Cost for the session is $75 per team.
- Individual Registration
- Rates and Registration
- Winter Challenge Schedule and Late Submission Policy
- Program Overview
- Sample Fermi Solutions Slides
- Fall Challenge Schedule & Late Submission Policy
- Presentation Slides
Gifted Math courses at Northern Star Online are designed for students who love math and want to accelerate their learning at the elementary and middle school level so they are prepared to take more advanced math classes in high school. Our Gifted Math courses consist of the same academic content as the corresponding courses but include additional social-emotional support elementary students traditionally need. The Gifted Math Program is a combination of online learning with regular teacher check-ins, occasional online meetings, and frequent communication to parents/guardians and counselors.
Honors Mentor Connection at Northern Star Online is an advanced learning experience for high school students who seek a challenge, and who are ready to explore their academic and professional goals for the future.
Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) is a program that allows 10th-, 11th- and 12th-grade students to earn both high school and college credit while still in high school, through enrollment in and successful completion of college nonsectarian courses at eligible participating postsecondary institutions. Most PSEO courses are offered on the campus of the postsecondary institution; some courses are offered online. Each participating college or university sets its own admissions requirements for enrollment into the PSEO courses. Eleventh and 12th-grade students may take PSEO courses on a full- or part-time basis; 10th graders are eligible to enroll in PSEO on a more limited basis (see note below). Students must meet the PSEO residency and eligibility requirements and abide by participation limits specified in Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.09. If a school district determines a pupil is not on track to graduate, she/he may continue to participate in PSEO on a term by term basis.
By March 1 of each year, or three weeks prior to the date a student registers for courses for the following school year (whichever is earlier), schools must provide PSEO information to all students in grades 8-11 and their families. To assist the district in planning, a student must inform the district by May 30 of each year of their intent to enroll in postsecondary courses during the following school year.
There is no charge to PSEO students for tuition, books or fees for items that are required to participate in a course; however, students may incur fees for equipment that becomes their property when the course or program is completed, textbooks that are not returned to the postsecondary institution according to their policies, or for tuition costs if they do not notify the district by May 30 and the district does not waive this date requirement.
Funds are available to help pay transportation expenses for qualifying students to participate in PSEO courses on college campuses. For more information on these funds, access the PSEO Mileage Reimbursement Program Instructions.
Enrolling in a PSEO course does not prohibit a student from participating in activities sponsored by the high school.
School districts must allow a PSEO student reasonable access to the high school building, computers and/or other technology resources during regular school hours to participate in PSEO courses, whether on-line or on campus.
Each year, districts must publish their grade-weighting policy on their website, including a list of courses for which students can earn weighted grades.
All courses taken through the PSEO program must meet graduation requirements. Districts must transcript credits earned in PSEO by a ratio prescribed in statute. Districts have the authority to decide which subject area and standards the PSEO course meets. If there is a dispute between the district and the student regarding the number of credits granted for a particular course, the student may appeal the board's decision to the commissioner. The commissioner's decision regarding the number of credits will be final.
Postsecondary institutions are required to allow PSEO students to enroll in online courses consistent with the institution’s policy regarding postsecondary student enrollment in online courses.
10th grade students may initially enroll in one Career and Technical Education (CTE) PSEO course if they receive a reading proficiency score of “meets” or “exceeds” on the 8th grade MCA. If 10th graders taking a CTE PSEO course earn at least a grade C in that class, they may take additional postsecondary courses. If the student did not take the MCA in 8th grade, another reading assessment accepted by the enrolling postsecondary institution can be substituted. For students with disabilities, there is an alternative option to demonstrate reading proficiency.
For current information about the PSEO program, visit the Minnesota Department of Education’s Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) webpage.
West Suburban Summer School serves students who are identified as gifted and talented in our member districts, and students from non-member school districts (at a slightly higher fee). Instructors design enrichment classes in their area of expertise to provide students with unique experiences to challenge their abilities.