Every child has a right to learn something new everyday. Gifted children thrive in learning environments that present challenge and wonder throughout school lessons and activities. Welcome to Colorado's gifted community, where educators, families and community advocates partner for support, instruction, and information in the education of gifted children. This partnership motivates the implementation of school and district goals that provide appropriate educational opportunities for gifted student. The shared responsibility of implementing these goals fosters development of gifted exceptional potential over time.
As a statewide advocacy group, we are focused on improving the lives and opportunities of gifted students. This is accomplished in four main areas:
1) helping people understand the characteristics of gifted students,
2) training teachers in different strategies to create dynamic classrooms that challenge and engage gifted students,
3) providing families with information on how to advocate for the unique needs (both academic and affective) of their gifted students, and
4) supporting statewide and national laws and policies that assure gifted and talented students access to appropriate academic and social-emotional programs.
JOIN us as we strive to improve the educational opportunities for the gifted and talented children of Colorado!
Gifted is a social construct that describes a child/student with exceptional potential given culture, language, and traits of exceptionality. Getting to know the student, his/her interests and family priorities are essential to understand a student’s area of strength and gifted capabilities.
Two common definitions addressed by Colorado educators and parents are from the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) and the National Association of Gifted Children (NAGC). The CDE definition drives state and local policy to implement gifted education program plans.
The NAGC definition provides a holistic construct for reflection and programming.
Giftedness can best be understood by looking at a list of “common” gifted characteristics. But please keep in mind, these characteristics might present in very different ways in different people.
A dynamic expression of “gifted” is often expressed by the term “asynchronous” development in which advanced cognitive abilities and heightened intensity combine to create experiences that are qualitatively different from the norm. This asynchrony increases with higher intellectual capacity. The uniqueness of the gifted renders them particularly vulnerable and requires modifications in parenting, teaching, and counseling in order to develop optimally." The Columbus Group (1991)
There are 68,663 identified gifted students in Colorado as of the 2014-2015 school year. That equates to 7.7% of the total student enrollment. All 58 Administrative Units report they have procedures in place to identify gifted students. The 2014-2015 gifted education categorical line item in the state education budget was $10,010,269. Any additional money for gifted education would be budgeted from individual school districts.
Terms that gifted families should be aware of in public schools throughout Colorado: Exceptional Children’s Education Act, Early Access, Concurrent Enrollment, RtI (Response to Intervention), 2e (Twice-Exceptional), ALP (Advanced Learning Plan), and ICAP (Individual Career and Academic Plan).
Listed below are the state definitions for Colorado. While the state definitions include age requirements, it is important to remember that these ages are defined only for the purpose of receiving services.
The state definition in the Colorado Exceptional Children’s Education Act CRS 22-20-202 (6)… "Gifted child" means a person from four to twenty-one years of age whose abilities, talents, and potential for accomplishments are so outstanding that he or she requires special provisions to meet his or her educational needs.
The state rules for Exceptional Children’s Education Act (1CCR 301-8, Section 12) expand the definition to…. “Gifted and Talented Children” means those persons between the ages of four and twenty-one whose abilities, talents, and potential for accomplishment are so exceptional or developmentally advanced that they require special provisions to meet their educational programming needs. Gifted and talented children are hereafter referred to as gifted students. Children under five who are gifted may also be provided with early childhood special educational services. Gifted students include gifted students with disabilities (i.e. twice exceptional) and students with exceptional abilities or potential from all socio-economic and ethnic, cultural populations.
Gifted students are capable of high performance, exceptional production, or exceptional learning behavior by virtue of any or a combination of these areas of giftedness:
1) General or Specific Intellectual Ability,
2) Specific Academic Aptitude,
3) Creative or Productive Thinking,
4) Leadership Abilities, and
5) Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Musical or Psychomotor Abilities.