GT Programs & Services

The Gifted and Talented team offers a wide range of services for exceptional students, including gifted and talented programming. A brief description of the programs and services offered are provided below.

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.   Services range from co-teaching by the gifted education teacher,  pull-out programs, cluster grouping for instruction, curriculum compacting, as well as a variety of enrichment opportunities.  The gifted education teacher collaborates with classroom teachers in differentiating instruction as appropriate for gifted students, and may implement curriculum materials developed by the Gifted and Talented Department to enrich and extend learning for gifted, talented, and/or advanced students. The gifted education teacher, in collaboration with the classroom teacher, parent and student develop and support the implementation of advanced learning plans which document programming for each individual child.

For more information about the gifted programing please contact the gifted teacher or designee at your child’s school.

Services

The Gifted and Talented magnet program provides an educational option for students in grades 1 through 8 to apply for center-based programming at one of the Magnet Program sites. This educational option is provided to address the extreme needs of magnet eligible 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 one to two 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.

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.

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 individual magnet sites with questions regarding school specifics and gifted magnet programming offered at their school. If you have questions regarding specific gifted magnet sites, please contact the school directly.

Students Needing Services

  • learn new material thoroughly and rapidly with little instruction or practice
  • navigate successfully between multiple cultures or different environment
  • be able to read in their native language at least two grade levels above their current grade
  • demonstrates a mature sense of community and respect for cultural differences
  • have an unusual ability to see essential elements, underlying structures and patterns
  • exhibit an ability to relate a range of ideas and recognize commonalities among them
  • demonstrate leadership skills in various settings (playground, home, clubs, etc.)
  • find numerous alternative or creative meanings in even the most simple issues or problems
  • exhibit exceptional curiosity
  • interpret events or information in a creative or unusual way
  • learn to read or apply complex mathematical concepts without instruction
  • hesitate to begin or refuse to participate in activities in which they think they might fail
  • be self-critical even if they excel
  • have an advanced ability to translate thoughts and ideas to/ from a second language
  • have a exceptional sense of humor, seeing humor where others do not
  • feel isolated or different
  • display an unusual intensity or depth of feeling
  • develop insight into social and moral issues
  • have developed fluency in a second language extremely quickly (less than 2 years)
  • be highly creative or original and enjoy the unusual
  • have a highly developed sense of justice and injustice
  • seek perfection in self and others resulting in a need to correct errors and argue
  • have an understanding of and see connections between ideas or concepts that have not been introduced
  • have a surprisingly sophisticated vocabulary

Process for Magnet Program Eligibility

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 process begins in the fall of the year prior to your child beginning services. 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 Gifted and Talented. Parents, teachers, students and or others are welcome to nominate a student for the Magnet Program.

Appealing Decisions for Magnet Eligibility

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 District Resolution Dispute 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, email, the student’s name, date of birth, school of attendance, and a reason for the appeal based on the above criteria.  Appeals must be completed and received in the district office within ten (10) business days 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.

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.

Appealing Decisions for Magnet Eligibility

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 District Resolution Dispute 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, email, the student’s name, date of birth, school of attendance, and a reason for the appeal based on the above criteria.  Appeals must be completed and received in the district office within ten (10) business days 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.

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.

Every school in the district is responsible for meeting the needs of its gifted and talented students.  Services may include co-teaching with the classroom teacher, a pull-out program, clustering of students for instruction, curriculum compacting, services of a resource gifted teacher to assist the classroom teacher, opportunities for enrichment, etc.

Academia Ana Marie Sandoval Sharolyn Wilkin
Academy 360 Josh Coraci
Academy of Urban Learning Michelle Kennard
ACE Community Challenge School Rachel Ramirez
Amesse Elementary School Kris Butler
Asbury Elementary School Susan Eberspacher
Ashley Elementary School Lana VonTersch
Barnum Elementary School Patricia Pluta
Beach Court Elementary School Deven Lyon
Bear Valley International School Valerie Davis
Bradley International School Tracy Cress
Bromwell Elementary School Penny Pickle
Brown International Academy Rachel Chappell
Bruce Randolph MS Karen Burkenheim
Bryant Webster Dual Language ECE-8 Lauren King
Carson Elementary School Kipling Wiles
Castro Elementary School Mattie Schwartz
Centennial School Meryl Faulkner
Cesar Chavez Academy Denver Rachel Forest
Charles M Schenck (CMS) Community School Rachel Chappell
Cheltenham Elementary School Valerie Davis
Cole Arts and Science Academy Coza Perry
Colfax Elementary School Karen Burkenheim
College View Elementary School Maggie Rowbottom
Colorado High School Charter Osage Andy Glasgo
Columbian Elementary School Amy Barrett
Compass Academy MS Celine Wuarin
Columbine Elementary School Valerie Erickson
Cory Elementary School Grace Hopley
Cowell Elementary School Amy Barrett
Creativity Challenge Community (C3) Jennifer Rix
DC21 at Wyman MS Brooke Walker
DCIS at Fairmont Stephanie Thielen
DCIS at Ford Patricia Pluta
DCIS at Montbello MS Karen Burkenheim
DCIS MS Helen Chavez
Denison Montessori School Sheila Brody
Denver Discovery School Rachel Stutzman
Denver Discovery School Caitlin Glennon
Denver Language School Cameron Hayes
Denver Green School Lana VonTersch
Denver Montessori Junior HS Katya Thronweber
Denver School of Arts HS Kimberly Menetrier
Denver School of Arts MS Kimberly Menetrier
Dora Moore ECE-8 School Sheila Brody
Downtown Denver Expeditionary School Ronda Bailey
Doull Elementary School Janessa Boulay
DSST: Byers HS Amy Green
DSST: Byers MS Amy Green
DSST: Cole HS Misha Hudak
DSST: Cole MS Misha Hudak
DSST: College View HS Alex Klein
DSST: College View MS Alex Klein
DSST: Conservatory Green MS Jennifer Rivera
DSST: Conservatory Green HS Edward Quinones
DSST: Green Valley Ranch MS Cody Spohn
DSST: Henry Julie Stonis
DSST: Stapleton HS Hannah Mclendon
DSST: Stapleton MS Paulina Bak
Eagleton Elementary School Jim Westerberg
Edison Elementary School Rachel Chappell
Ellis Elementary School Rachel Chappell
Fairview Elementary School Maggie Rowbottom
Farrell B. Howell ECE-8 School Sandi Eckert
Florida Pitt-Waller ECE-8 School Lynne Lopez-Crowley
Force Elementary School Suzie Moore
Garden Place Elementary School Natalie Madrid-Chacon
Boys School Mike Lamond
Girls Athletic Leadership HS Leah
Sara
Block
Shapiro
Girls Athletic Leadership MS Felicia Soifer
Godsman Elementary School Sharolyn Wilkin
Goldrick Elementary School Karen Sandberg
Grant Beacon Middle School Janet Draper
Grant Ranch ECE-8 School Shana Holden
Green Valley Elementary School Helen Chavez
Greenlee Elementary School Margaret Emrick
Gust Elementary School Barbara Laff
Hallett Fundamental Academy Amy Barrett
Hamilton Middle School Judith Metz
Harrington Elementary School Deven Lyon
Henry World School Sharolyn Wilkin
High Tech Elementary School Brooke Walker
Highline Academy Northeast
Highline Academy Southeast Steven Vaughan
Hill Campus of Arts and Sciences Cassie Perlmutter
Holm Elementary School Michelle Anthony
Inspire Elementary Natalie Madrid-Chacon
Isabella Bird Community School Rebecca/Alison Mercer/Kapsalis
Joe Shoemaker School Grace Hopley
Johnson Elementary School Kathleen McKune
Kaiser Elementary School Sharolyn Wilkin
Kepner Beacon Middle School Janet Draper
KIPP NE Denver Leadership Academy Rachel FioRito
KIPP NE Elementary School Tina Leff
KIPP Sunshine Peak Academy Chelsea Chappell-Cox
Kepner Middle School Meryl Faulkner
Knapp Elementary School Karen Sandberg
Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy ES Margaret Donofrio
Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy MS TBD
Lake International School Karen Burkenheim
Lena Archuleta Elementary Lisa Dye
Lincoln Elementary School Maureen/Helen Arredondo/Chavez
Lowry Elementary School Alison Kapsalis
Marie L. Greenwood Academy Margie Turretini
Marrama Elementary School Andrhea Collins-Erickson
Martin Luther King Jr. Early College MS Lynne Lopez-Crowley
Math and Science Leadership Academy Maggie Rowbottom
Maxwell Elementary School Meryl Faulkner
McAuliffe at Manual Aimee Justice Lundt
McAuliffe International School Becky Middleton
McGlone Elementary School Patricia Pluta
McKinley-Thatcher Elementary School Valerie Erickson
McMeen Elementary School Jenni Cessar
Monarch Montessori Ann/
Amy
Massengill/
Breaux
Merrill Middle School Andrew Garland
Montclair Elementary School Vanessa Zimmerman
Morey Middle School Bertie Fiz
Munroe Elementary School Maggie Rowbottom
Newlon Elementary School Pam Holloway
Noel Community Arts MS Lynne Lopez-Crowley
Odyssey School of Denver Shea Klunder
Omar D Blair Charter School Maya/
Anne-Marie
Balakier/
McNeal
Oakland Elementary School Kris Butler
P.R.E.P. Middle School Cassie Perlmutter
Palmer Elementary School Beth Garvin
Park Hill School Mary Lauth
Place Bridge Academy Dianna Howard
REACH Charter School Jason Marsh
Polaris at Ebert Elementary School Gail Axt
Ridge View Academy Charter School Edward Cope
RiseUp Community School Sonya Palafox
Rocky Mountain Prep Creekside Olivia Vigilanese
Rocky Mountain Prep Southwest Vivien Hastings
Roots Elementary Jaclyn Gorman
Sabin World School Janet Draper
Samuels Elementary School Suzie Moore
Schmitt Elementary School Meryl Faulkner
Skinner Middle School Valerie Davis
Slavens K-8 School Jeffra Frank
SOAR at Green Valley Ranch Christi Goetz
Smith Renaissance School Kris Butler
Southmoor Elementary School Paul Schmidt
Southwest Early College Halley Joseph
Steck Elementary School Kat Zimmerman
Stedman Elementary School Amy Barrett
Steele Elementary School Lane Miller
STRIVE Prep – Excel Maggie Heyduk
STRIVE Prep – Federal Jessica Leiberman
STRIVE Prep – GVR Riley Stouffer
STRIVE Prep – Kepner Kym Anderson
STRIVE Prep – Lake Ian Gauthier
STRIVE Prep – Montbello Carlitha Harrell
STRIVE Prep – RISE HS Nathali Medina
STRIVE Prep – Ruby Hill ES Elizabeth Craig
STRIVE Prep – SMART Academy Kristine Leushen
STRIVE Prep – Sunnyside Brian Sheehan
STRIVE Prep – Westwood Kari Craig
Summit Academy MS Deven Lyon
Swansea Elementary School Kris Butler
Swigert International School Robin Breshan
Teller Elementary School Rivian Bass
Traylor Academy Natalie Madrid-Chacon
Trevista at Horace Mann Valerie Davis
University Park Elementary School Heather Wise
University Preparatory School-Arapahoe St Allison Burtzlaff
University Preparatory School-Steele St. Allison Burtzlaff
Valdez Elementary School Kristen Heeres
Valverde Elementary School Patricia Pluta
Venture Prep HS Megan Drivas
Vista Academy MS Katie Yeager
West Early College MS Lynne Lopez-Crowley
West Leadership Academy MS Wendy Walburn
Westerly Creek Elementary Katie Yeager
Whittier Elementary School Jennifer Stewart
William (Bill) Roberts K-8 School Robin Tobin
Wyatt Academy Michelle McKinsey

The high school Gifted and Talented coordinator team supports and collaborates with school communities to support the GT population. Our goals focus on partnering schools while keeping a pulse on increasing equitable program development for all of our secondary schools. Specifically, we build a working relationships with high schools by supporting GT students in these ways:

  • Collaborate with administrators, school counselors, teachers, staff, and community partners to support and monitor gifted and talented students’ route to college readiness and post secondary education/careers, especially with a coordinated focus on PEP’s
  • Create a supportive environment and presence for gifted students and families with appropriate class work, schedules, extended learning opportunities, and more
  • Establish and nurture high school partnerships with GT students and families
  • Support and guide off track or at-risk GT students toward the goal of graduation
  • Design and collaborate with staff development and teacher training for advanced learning
  • Bridge ELA and underrepresented GT staff /student relationships
High School GT Website » For more detailed information on High School GT, please click here.

DPS is excited to share that in order to expand access to more students, we are eliminating the testing process to enter into a handful of Advanced Kindergarten classrooms.  Kindergarten teachers district wide will receive professional learning opportunities to strengthen their skills at differentiating to meet the needs of all learners in their classroom.  Beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, DPS will no longer designate eight specific schools to serve advanced students.  This will provide more opportunity for families of advanced students to find a school which is a good fit for their student.

As a parent of an advanced learner who is looking for possible school options for your child, there are several questions which can help you gain more information about individual schools philosophies and whether it will be a good fit for your child.  It is always important to visit schools and ask questions!

  1. What are the advanced learning opportunities at your school?
  2. How do you identify advanced students who need differentiated instruction?
  3. How are services decided and implemented?
  4. How will my child benefit from advanced programming?
  5. Will the advanced programming services mean more work for my child and not qualitatively different work?
  6. How do we address the social and emotional needs of my child?
  7. In what ways can we work/communicate together?
  8. How do I assist my child in transitions to a new school?
  9. What are the ways I can participate in school activities/committees?
  10. What kind of assessments are used to monitor my child’s progress?
  11. What resources or support systems are available to parents of advanced children?
  12. What are some ways I can support my child’s strengths outside the school environment?
  13. What extra-curricular programs do you provide to support the talents of advanced students?

Per Colorado House Bill 1244-07, identified gifted students in grades K – 8 will have an Advanced Learning Plan (ALP) developed. 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.

The Advanced Learning Plan (ALP) :

  • provides a road map 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
  • charts the next level of learning and specific areas of study
  • 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 developed by the Gifted and Talented Department 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 child’s teacher or the gifted education teacher at your child’s school.

Enrichment Activities

These activities are NOT limited to identified GT students. All DPS students are welcome and encouraged to participate in all activities listed below.

Please refer to the highlighted sections in those individual activities for additional information about how to meet these deadlines. If you have questions about any of the activities listed, you can contact Minda McGurk in Gifted and Talented, malinda_mcgurk@dpsk12.org, 720-423-2065 or the people listed in each of the activities.

Denver Power Point DI is an international educational program that emphasizes creativity, teamwork and problem solving.  Teams of students select open-ended, multi-disciplinary challenges and present their team created solutions at tournaments. Each of the six competitive team challenges has a different educational and creative focus: technical/mechanical design, scientific exploration/theatre arts, theatre/literature/fine arts, improvisation, structural/architectural design, and community service. There is also a non-competitive challenges designed for students in second grade and younger that introduces those students to teamwork and creative thinking. Team members learn to think on their feet, work together and devise original solutions that satisfy the requirements of the Challenges.

Pre-school through 12th grade:

    • Program membership fee applies
    • Tournament registration fees apply for State and Global Finals (none for Denver Tournament)
    • Teams purchase memberships between August and mid-January and work on their solutions between then and the Denver Tournament. Teams typically spend two to four months preparing their solutions.
    • Each team must have at least one Team Manager 18 years of age or older. Training is provided. Parents and teachers make excellent team managers.
    •  Denver Destination Imagination 
    • Colorado Destination Imagination: 720-542-3637
    • Destination Imagination, Inc.

Two competition programs that provide students with the opportunity to expand their math skills by exploring beyond what is being taught in the classroom. Students strengthen their strategic problem-solving skills and sharpen their analytic abilities. Mathletics was created by DPS to prepare students for the National Mathcounts competition and is available only to students in DPS schools and charters. Schools from around the country participate in Mathcounts. Schools are not required to participate in both competitions, although they are strongly encouraged to do so.

A national contest designed to encourage teachers to include geography in their classrooms, spark student interest in the subject, and increase public awareness about geography. Schools with students in grades four through eight are eligible for this entertaining and challenging test of geographic knowledge. Each registered school holds a school-level Bee to determine its one school champion, who then takes a written qualifying test that determines the top 100 students in the state who qualify for the Colorado Geographic Bee.

A challenging and fun opportunity for students to participate in a rapid response general knowledge competition that promotes teamwork and enthusiasm for academics. Brain Bowl provides a framework for students to expand their classroom learning by using analysis, application, knowledge, and comprehension skills. Students from DPS compete in the Central Region, which includes metro Denver schools districts as well as districts to the east.

A curriculum that includes word lists, lesson plans, and bulletin board ideas as well as a series of DPS spelling competitions that helps students prepare for the Colorado State Spelling Bee held in the spring. However, schools must enroll on the by the December deadline in order for their students to be eligible for the Colorado State Spelling Bee. Schools may participate in the DPS Semantics activities without registering on the National Spelling Bee.

The oldest and largest student Shakespeare Festival in the country. This day-long festival is held in downtown Denver and provides the opportunity for students to perform scenes and sonnets from the works of William Shakespeare as well as demonstrate the dance, and vocal and instrumental music of Shakespeare’s time. The Festival opens with ceremonies at the Daniels and Fisher Tower, followed by a short parade down the 16th Street Mall to the DCPA stages. Performances last throughout the day on multiple stages and are open and free to the public. Thousands of students have come to understand and delight in the works of Shakespeare because of their participation in the Festival.

A district-wide celebration of student writing. Each elementary school selects individual student authors of two books to attend this celebration. Books may be illustrated by the author or by one other student. Books may be fiction or nonfiction, short or long, collections of short stories or poems, etc. They must be finished products and should be bound, using any process desired. Parents and other immediate family members are invited to the celebration, which includes displays of students’ books, a program, and refreshments.

    • Kindergarten thru 5th grade
    • No fees