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.

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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 Hope Lawrence
ACE Community Challenge School
Archuleta Lisa Dye
Asbury Susan Eberspacher
Ashley Lana VonTersch
Barnum Brooke Walker
Barrett Lauren Sexauer
Beach Court Janet Draper
Bill Roberts Robin Tobin
Bradley International School Tracy Cress
Bromwell Penny Pickle
Brown International Academy Rachel Chappell
Bruce Randolph Middle School Karen Burkenheim
Bryant-Webster Dual Language Vanessa Zimmerman
Carson Jill Daugherty
Castro Matti Schwartz
Centennial Aimee Justice-Lundt
Cesar Chavez Academy
Cheltenham Valerie Davis
CMS Community School Rachel Chappell
Cole Arts & Science Academy Karen Sandberg
Colfax Karen Burkenheim
College View Maggie Rowbottom
Columbian Jill Daugherty
Columbine Michael Peterson
Compass Academy Nick Stachokus
Cory Grace Hopley
Cowell Amy Barrett
Creativity Challenge Community (C3) Katie Shaw
DCIS at Fairmont Stephanie Thielen
DCIS at Montbello MS Michael Peterson
DCIS MS Helen Chavez
Denver Discovery School Rachel Stutzman
Denver Green School Lana Von Tersch
Denver Language School Esther Movilla
Denver Public Montessori MS Vanessa Zimmerman
Denver School of the Arts MS Kimberly Menetrier
Dora Moore Sheila Brody
Doull Kris Woods
Downtown Denver Expeditionary Jill Stacy
DSST – Byers MS
DSST – Cole MS
DSST – College View MS
DSST – Conservatory Green
DSST – GVR Campus MS
DSST – Stapleton MS
Eagleton Jim Westerberg
Edison Rachel Chappell
Ellis Rachel Chappell
Escalante Biggs
Fairview Maggie Rowbottom
Farrell B. Howell Sandi Eckert
Florida Pitt Waller Dorothy Corlin
Force Suzie Moore
Garden Place Natalie Madrid-Chacon
Gilpin Montessori Public School Toni Philips
Girls Athletic Leadership School (GALS) MS Felicia Soifer
Godsman Barbara Jones
Goldrick Jones Marilyn
Grant Beacon Janet Draper
Grant Ranch Shana/Marilyn Holden/Jones
Green Valley Brooke Walker
Greenlee Helen Chavez
Greenwood Margie Turretini
Gust Barbara Laff
Hamilton Judith Metz
Harrington Amy Barrett
Henry World School Sharolyn Wilkin
High Tech Elementary Brooke Walker
Highline Academy Northeast Sara Alesandrini
Highline Academy Southeast Steve Vaughan
Hill Middle School Campus of Arts & Sciences Cassie Perlmutter
Holm Michelle Anthony
Isabella Bird Community School Rebecca Mercer
Joe Shoemaker Grace Hopley
Johnson Caren Mote
Kaiser Sharolyn Wilkin
Kepner Karen Burkenheim
KIPP Montbello College Prep Amy Dewberry
KIPP Montbello Elementary Jessica Neuman
KIPP Sunshine Peak Academy J.T. Walker
Knapp Helen Chavez
Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy ES Laurie Eaton
Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy MS Laurie Eaton
Lake International School Karen Burkenheim
Lincoln Elementary Maureen Arredondo
Lowry Alison Kapsalis
Marrama Andrhea Collins-Erickson
Martin Luther King, Jr. Early College MS Michael Peterson
Math and Science Leadership Academy Maggie Rowbottom
Maxwell Brooke Walker
McAuliffe International School Becky Middleton
McKinley-Thatcher Valerie Erickson
McMeen Jenni Cessar
Merrill Andrew Garland
Monarch Montessori of Denver Amy Breaux
Montclair School of Academics & Enrichment Beth Duncan
Morey Jan Gilmore
Munroe Maggie Rowbottom
Newlon Pam Holloway
Noel Community Arts School MS Michael Peterson
Omar D. Blair Kimberlee Lamendola
P.R.E.P. Academy MS
Palmer Gina Grier
Park Hill Mary Lauth
Pascual LeDoux Academy
Pioneer Charter Jaclyn Gorman
Place Bridge Academy Diana Howard
Polaris at Ebert Gail Axt
REACH Jason Marsh
Rocky Mountain Prep: Creekside Caitlin Vaughan
Rocky Mountain Prep: SW Catie LePage
Rocky Mountain School of Expeditionary Learning
ROOTS Elementary Jonathan Hanover
Sabin World School Janet Draper
Samuels Suzie Moore
Schmitt Janet Draper
Sims Fayola International Academy Middle School
Skinner Valerie Davis
Slavens Jeffra Frank
SOAR Green Valley Ranch Amy Dougherty
Southmoor Paul Schmidt
Steck Kat Zimmerman
Stedman Amy Barrett
Steele Lane Miller
Stephen Knight ECC
STRIVE Prep – Federal Campus Aurora Ziobrowski
STRIVE Prep – GVR Amber Hansen
STRIVE Prep – Lake Campus Kate Bachtel
STRIVE Prep – Montbello Tammi Avila
STRIVE Prep – Ruby Hill Tomi Amos
STRIVE Prep – Sunnyside Ricardo Lazo
STRIVE Prep – Westwood Erin Williams
Summit Academy MS
Swigert International School Meg Torres
Teller Rivian Bass
The Odyssey School Jackie Wells
Traylor Academy Carolyn Alexander
Trevista at Horace Mann Valerie Davis
University Park Heather Wise
University Preparatory School Valerie Luckenbill
Valdez Bertie Fiz
Valverde Barbara Jones
West Generation Academy MS
West Leadership Academy MS
Westerly Creek Katie Yeager
Whittier Jennifer Stewart
Wyatt Academy Charter 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.

A qualifying score for Advanced Kindergarten  does not qualify a student for gifted services and does not meet the state criteria for gifted identification.  Scores are valid for one year only for the sole purpose of placement into the Advanced Kindergarten program, and students cannot retest.

Advanced Kindergarten classrooms are designed for students who are academically advanced for their age with exceptional curiosity, attention span, interests, and verbal or mathematical skills. Advanced Kindergarten was developed so that students who already know much of the kindergarten curriculum do not have to repeat it. These classrooms provide a full-day curriculum that enriches, expands and accelerates state and district kindergarten standards according to student academic readiness and assessed curriculum mastery. The Advanced Kindergarten Program is a one year magnet program and is part of the full-day Tuition Based Kindergarten Program.

Students must be five years old by October 1st of the year they enter kindergarten. Students who want to be considered for Early Entrance (have birthdays after October 1) must test with the Early Education Department.  These students may apply and test for the Advanced Kindergarten Program, but must qualify for both in order to enroll in  Advanced Kindergarten.

Advanced Kindergarten Programs

Applications for first round Advanced Kindergarten assessment are being accepted. Any applications received after October 6, 2017 at 6 p.m. will be held for possible second round testing. You will receive notification only after first round is complete if additional testing will be held.

English and Spanish applications for the 2018-2019 school year Advanced Kindergarten Program are available at the bottom of this page. The 2017 testing window is November 1st through December 18th. You will be notified by mail of the date, time, and location when your child is scheduled for testing.

Testing for the 2018-19 school year is available for the following sites:

Advanced Kindergarten Feeder Schools

Escalante-Biggs: (Far Northeast Schools)

  • All students who reside in Montbello and Green Valley Ranch area including these schools: Amesse, DCIS at Ford, Greenwood, Green Valley, Marrama, Maxwell, McGlone , Archuleta

Edison: (Northwest Schools)

  • Beach Court, Brown, Centennial, Cheltenham, Colfax, Cowell, Eagleton, Edison, Fairview, Columbian, Trevista

Gust: (Southwest Schools)

  • Barnum, Castro, College View, Doull, Force, Godsman, Goldrick, Grant Ranch, Johnson, Kaiser, Knapp, Monroe, Newlon, Sabin, CMS, Schmitt, Traylor, Valverde

Stedman: (Northeast Schools)

  • Ashley, Barrett, Columbine, DCIS at Fairmont, Dora Moore, Garden Place, Gilpin, Greenlee, Harrington, Montclair, Park Hill, Smith, Stedman, Swansea, Teller, Whittier, Cole

William B. Roberts: (Stapleton Schools)

  • All students residing in the Stapleton shared boundary: Swigert-McAuliffe Westerly Creek, Bill Roberts,

Palmer and Stephen Knight Center of Early Education:

  • (Southeast Schools)
Asbury, Bradley, Bromwell, Carson, Cory, Denver Green School, Ellis, Holm, Lincoln, Lowry, McKinley-Thatcher, McMeen, Palmer, Place, Samuels, Slavens, Steck, Southmoor, University Park, Steele

Applying to the Advanced Kindergarten Program

The application process for Advanced Kindergarten is managed directly by the Gifted and Talented Department. Please do not contact schools for application information.

Families that apply will be notified by phone or mail of the date, time, and location when your child is scheduled for testing. We will do our best to accommodate requests. However, we cannot guarantee that you will receive your preferred day and time for testing.

Please allow 1 and 1/2  hours to complete the entire testing process. To ensure testing validity, parents are not allowed in the room during testing. Parents should prepare their child for testing by letting him/her know that they will work with adult(s) they are meeting for the first time. If your child is unable to take the test without you in the room, they may not be ready for this program.

Families will be notified of eligibility for the Advanced Kindergarten Program prior to the first round of SchoolChoice deadline.   Results will not be available via phone. If your child qualifies for the one year Advanced Kindergarten magnet, you will need to complete a SchoolChoice  form to select your school preference. Placement is offered according to district enrollment policies and is handled through the Office of Choice and Enrollment. Please contact the Choice and Enrollment Services for more information.

Traits & Characteristics

Advanced students may tend to exhibit one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Uses words and phrases that are advanced for his or her age.
  • Tells inventive, detailed stories or builds detailed play sets.
  • Easily understands what he/she reads, sees, or hears.  Seems to “learn” things with little or no teaching.
  • Has a great short or long term memory and may remember detailed information and/or numbers.
  • Notices patterns, details, and whether things are similar or different in his or her world.
  • Has an unusual amount of knowledge about specific topics that interest him or her.
  • Understands basic mathematical concepts.
  • Has a great deal of curiosity about many things.
  • Has a longer attention span than many of his or her age mates.
  • Is independent and able to do things on his or her own.
  • Has good fine motor skills – can cut, paste, use crayons with more skill than age mates.

Families who attend the Advanced Kindergarten program will be projected to their neighborhood school for 1st grade. If you wish to attend a school other than your “neighborhood-boundary school” for 1st grade, you will need to take part in the SchoolChoice process to select the schools you believe would best meet your child’s needs. Please contact Choice & Enrollment Services for any questions regarding the SchoolChoice process.

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 highly regarded national academic program and competition that offers students an exciting opportunity to engage in in-depth study about historical issues, ideas, people, and events. Students choose historical topics related to the annual theme and conduct extensive primary and secondary research through libraries, archives, museums, oral history interviews and historic sites. After analyzing and interpreting their sources and drawing conclusions about their topics’ significance in history, students present their work in original papers, websites, exhibits, performances and documentaries. These products are entered into competitions in the spring at local, state and national levels where they are evaluated by professional historians and educators. The program culminates in the Kenneth E. Behring National Contest held at the University of Maryland at College Park.

    • Grades 6-12
    • Registration fees apply for each level of competition (DPS competition fee is minimal)
    • Students may begin their research and entry development the end of June. Many start at the beginning of the school year. Others start later in the school year.
    • The 2015-2016 theme is Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History

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