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GT Programs and Services in DPS

What District Supports are Available for Gifted Students?

ALL schools in the district are responsible for meeting the needs of identified gifted and talented students. K-8 schools are supported through a GT teacher, charter schools are supported through a designated point of contact, and high school is supported through a site-based team and the Central Office.

GT services in DPS schools range from:

  • co-teaching by the gifted education teacher in the regular classroom.
  • pull-out programs: The student meets with the GT teacher in a specific subject for a short period of time, but spends most of the time in the regular classroom.
  • cluster grouping: School-based model where gifted students are placed together in a regular classroom.
  • ability grouping: Content-based groups of students working at the same level in the regular classroom.
  • curriculum compacting: Using the same materials but moving through the content at a faster pace and/or in greater depth for students who excel.
  • acceleration of content.
  • enrichment opportunities.
  • magnet services (for students designated HGT or Magnet Eligible)

The gifted education teacher collaborates with classroom teachers in differentiating instruction and providing best practices for gifted and talented learners.

For formally identified gifted students (GT/HGT), the gifted education teacher, in collaboration with the classroom teacher, parent, and student, develop and support the implementation of Advanced Learning Plans (ALP).  The ALP will document programming for each child identified as gifted and talented.

Additional services and opportunities may focus on talent development for those students who are not formally identified but are demonstrating a need in certain academic areas.

For more information about the gifted programing please contact the  Gifted and Talented Teacher/Point of Contact for more information on what is available at your site.

Services

Elementary and Middle School Gifted Magnet Program (HGT)

The Gifted and Talented magnet program provides an educational option for students in grades 1 through 8 who have been designated as magnet eligible or identified as HGT. This educational option is provided to address the extreme needs of students that may exhibit exceptional intellectual ability as well unique social and emotional needs.  Students benefit from the support provided by a peer group with similar interests and abilities.  This program is designed for the top 1-3% percent of students demonstrating the most extreme needs which cannot be met in a traditional classroom. This program is not specifically designed for students with abilities in the arts, leadership or creativity, although gifted students may also have these strengths.

In order to access this program, a family must complete a magnet application and go through the School Choice process when a student has been designated as magnet eligible.

Qualifying for the Gifted and Talented magnet program makes a student eligible to apply to a Magnet Program site the following school year. Enrollment in the Magnet Program is a lottery process, handled by Choice and Enrollment Services, and it is based on the spaces available at each magnet site. Please contact Choice and Enrollment with questions regarding the choice process, placement, and individual school priorities.

Please contact the magnet site schools with questions regarding the school specific programming.

Current sites which offer the elementary school magnet programs are:

The only middle school in DPS which provides magnet level services is Morey Middle School.

At the high school level gifted and talented programming varies from site to site. There is not a specific magnet site for high school.

The eligibility process is to determine if a student is eligible to apply for center-based programming at one of DPS Gifted and Talented magnet sites. This program is designed for students who demonstrate extreme academic and social/emotional needs that cannot be met in the traditional classroom. This process is managed directly by the Gifted and Talented Department. Parents, teachers, students and or others are welcome to nominate a student for the Magnet Program.

In order to access this program, a family must complete a magnet application and go through the School Choice process when a student has been designated as magnet eligible. Testing is offered in the fall and the spring. Students in kindergarten, 2nd grade, and 6th grade will be automatically tested for GT in a universal screening (NNAT testing).

Qualifying for the Gifted and Talented magnet program makes a student eligible to apply to a Magnet Program site the following school year. Enrollment in the Magnet Program is a lottery process, handled by Choice and Enrollment Services, and it is based on the spaces available at each magnet site. Please contact Choice and Enrollment with questions regarding the choice process, placement, and individual school priorities.

Please contact the magnet site schools with questions regarding the school specific programming.

It is the goal of  DPS  to provide all of our students with appropriate academic services. When there is a disagreement on matters pertaining to the identification, evaluation and eligibility for gifted services the appeals process may be initiated.

Written appeals based on one of the following criteria may be sent to the Gifted and Talented Department:

  • Additional information about my child which may include, but is not limited to, newly obtained district assessment data, parent examples of advanced abilities, etc. Please note: Private testing will not be considered as a reason for appeal.
  • A condition or circumstance believed to have caused a misinterpretation of the testing results.
  • An extraordinary circumstance occurred during the testing period that may negatively affect the validity of the test results such as a death in the family or extreme physical ailment.
  • The suspicion of an error in the administration of the assessment.  For example: The designated proctor did not follow assessment prescribed protocols.  Testing day or time of assessment within the school day are not considered to be errors in administration.

Written appeals must include:

  • your name, address, phone number, and email (if available)
  • the student’s name, student identification number (if known), date of birth, and school of attendance
  • reason for the appeal based on the above criteria
  • any supporting additional data that would be helpful to the Appeal Review Team (e.g. district testing data, observation scales, personal observations of the child’s advanced abilities/thinking)

Appeals must be completed and sent to the district office following the notification of identification decision. Please send appeals to:

Attention: Appeal Review Team Gifted and Talented Department
1860 Lincoln Street 8th Floor NE
Denver, CO 80203

Please do not email.

The Gifted and Talented Department’s Appeal Team will notify you of next steps within 10 business days of receiving the appeal.

All appeals will go before the Appeal Review Team, and you will be notified of the decision by email. The team may contact you for additional information if necessary.  The decision of the Appeal Review Team is final.

High School GT Programming

ALL schools in the district are responsible for meeting the needs of identified gifted and talented students. High schools are supported through a GT point of contact or a site-based team and the Central Office. Every school in the district (including charter schools) is responsible for meeting the needs of gifted and talented students. Since DPS is a site-based district, services may vary from school to school and may include:

Academic

  • Advanced Placement (AP), honors, or International Baccalaureate (IB)
  • cluster grouping of students for instruction
  • acceleration of content
  • curriculum compacting
  • independent projects
  • interest-based instruction
  • original work opportunities with authentic audience
  • real world applications

Affective

  • leadership development
  • social action/service learning
  • building resilience
  • stress management
  • career and college exploration
  • interpersonal competence and character development

For more specific information about site-based programming, please reach out to the appropriate Gifted and Talented Teacher/Point of Contact.

The Advanced Learning Plan (ALP)

The Exceptional Children’s Education Act (ECEA) is Colorado’s primary law with requirements for the implementation of specific elements and procedures for gifted education programs. The Advanced Learning Plan (ALP) is a legal document [22-20-R-12.00, C.R.S] outlining programming for identified gifted students and is used as a guide for education planning and decision-making. The ALP will provide documentation of gifted education services in the student’s area(s) of strengths, the student’s yearly growth, and the manner in which the child’s social and emotional needs will be addressed. The development of an ALP serves as a foundation for a partnership between the gifted student, the classroom teacher, the parent/guardian, and the gifted education teacher at the school.

In order to have an ALP written, a student must be identified as gifted or highly gifted in Denver Public Schools. Copies of the ALPs are kept in the district’s student database and are evaluated and updated each year.

ALPs are required for all identified students K-12. The format of these documents look different at elementary, middle, and high school with an increasing focus on student engagement.

The Advanced Learning Plan (ALP) :

  • provides a guide for advanced instruction and learning opportunities in the student’s identified area(s) of strength
  • is created in collaboration with parents/guardians, classroom teachers, and gifted education teachers
  • is an ongoing document, showing programming throughout the school year
  • includes standards-based goals
  • provides an opportunity to dialogue with teachers about the student’s needs
  • establishes guidelines for advanced growth within the parameters of a public school setting
  • may include a reference to curriculum materials to enrich and extend learning for gifted and talented, and/or advanced students.

If there are questions about the ALP or the ALP process, please consult with your Gifted and Talented Teacher/Point of Contact at your child’s school.