Fall 2013

Kaleidoscope: Fall 2013
In this Issue
>Mind the GGAP - with Heart: Gifted Growth and Performance
>CAGT Distinguished Student Awards
>Parent Institute
>Policy Analyst Needed
>Parent Day at the National Convention
>Our Kids Need Your Help!
>Seventy-Five Years of Picture Book Magnificence
>Center for Bright Kids Western Academic Talent Search Season Begins!
>Websites and Supports in Science and Math for 2013
>Development of Gifted Education’s 2013 conference
CAGT Distinguished Student Awards
The CAGT selection committee has selected this year’s award winner. The winner will be presented to the public at the Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented 36th Annual State Conference to be held on October 7th and 8th. This year’s competition had a record number of student applicants. There were 40 students nominated for distinguished achievement in academics, leadership or the arts. Each student wrote a composition about their achievements and submitted letters of recommendation from someone other than a family member. During this year’s selection process 3 finalists were named and from those 3 finalists the award winner was selected. The winner will receive a certificate of excellence and a $500.00 cash scholarship.

Policy Analyst Needed

CAGT is looking for a Policy Analyst to oversee State Legislation and Rules involving Gifted Children. If interested in finding out more contact Linda Crain (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

a. Monitor, identify and report relevant issues and actions impacting gifted education by the Colorado General Assembly and the State Board of Education.

b. Communicate and respond on behalf of CAGT to governmental, non-profit, and educational entities concerning gifted education in Colorado

c. Attend Colorado State Senate and/or House Education Committees as necessary to assess and/or influence the effect of legislation on the gifted children of Colorado.

d. Attend the monthly meetings of the State Board of Education, as appropriate.

e. Adhere to any requirements for registering as set forth by the Colorado General Assembly of the State of Colorado.

f. Provide timely reports of legislative, policy or rule making and any recommendations for appropriate action by the gifted community.

g. Provide an Annual Report to the Executive Board of CAGT.

h. Chair the Gifted Education Coalition, as new legislation might be brought forward that is pertinent to gifted students and education.

Our Kids Need Your Help!
Attention All Members: Education Funding and Legislative Issues for Gifted Children will be in the forefront of CAGT goals this fall. Watch your inbox for updates and to learn how you can help!
Center for Bright Kids Western Academic Talent Search Season Begins!
Welcome to the 30th year of the Western Academic Talent Search! WATS is one program offered through the Center for Bright Kids, one of the national non-profit Regional Talent Development Centers. WATS enablesacademically talented 3rd through 9th graders to take the ACT, SAT, or EXPLORE test at a much earlier age. This above-level testing experience allows students to:
  • better evaluate their strengths
  • practice taking a more challenging test
  • compare their scores with other high achieving students
  • qualify for special summer or academic year opportunities or scholarships
  • receive recognition of their outstanding abilities

The national Academic Talent Search is an opportunity for students to take "above-level" testing typically not available until college entrance. These tests offer a "higher ceiling" than standardized state or other national grade-level tests on which these talented kids are already receiving top scores. While Talent Search test scores offer only one snapshot of students' abilities, they are an excellent means for helping kids evaluate their academic strengths in order to advocate for their educational needs, to access academic programming, or to design individualized educational plans. Talent Search is a great tool for bright kids and families looking for a resource to learn more about their students' abilities and options. Students may participate in grades 3-9. For more information and an application, please check out www.centerforbrightkids.org or contact the center by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Mind the GGAP - with Heart: Gifted Growth and Performance
As Aristotle said, “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” The Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented (CAGT) encourages the education of hearts and minds at our upcoming conference “Mind the GGap – With Heart: Gifted Growth and Performance” on Monday, October 7th and Tuesday, October 8th at the Denver Tech Center Marriott. The conference will focus on mindfulness of not only academic achievement, but also nurturing our gifted students’ happiness, well-being, and life satisfaction.

The specially selected presenters and sessions will provide strategies for classroom teachers, GT specialists, counselors, and administrators as well as students, parents, and other family members. Keynote presenters will include Deb Delisle, the Assistant Secretary of Education, Jim Delisle, prolific author of more than 250 articles and 15 books with over 25 years as Director of gifted education programming at Kent State University, and P. Susan Jackson, nationally recognized scholar in the field of gifted education and founder of the Daimon Institute.

Best education practices are desirable for all students, and are essential for gifted and talented children. Conference strands are designed to provide strategies for understanding affective needs and creating dynamic classrooms and homes for all kids. Some of the Heart Minded conference strands will include Classroom Instruction, Twice Exceptional, Special, Advocacy, Assessments and Identification, Educational Technology, Creativity, Social and Emotional, and Underachievement, Motivation, and Executive Functioning.

Conference registration information is available on the CAGT website: http://www.coloradogifted.org/conference

Parent Institute
The 2013 Parent Institute will be held on Monday, October 7th. Check-In will be from 6:30 PM and the Program will be from 7:00 - 9:00 PM. The cost will be $20 for either one individual or for two adults from the same household.

This year's event will feature a panel of nationally known experts: Jim Delisle, Susan Jackson, George Betts, Linda Silverman and Patricia Gatto Walden. Register Now!

Participants will be able to submit questions as well as hear the insightful wisdom on what is the most important thing to know about the gifted children in your life. Diversity is important to the gifted community and CAGT welcomes participants from all backgrounds. Every effort will be made to provide interpreters upon request.

Dr. Jim Delisle has been a teacher of gifted children and those who work on their behalf for more than 30 years. Jim recently retired from Kent State University, where he served as Director of undergraduate and graduate programs in gifted education. He is the author of more than 250 articles and 15 books including The Gifted Kids' Survival Guide.

P. Susan Jackson, MA, RCC is the founder and therapeutic directer of The Daimon Institute for the Highly Gifted in White Rock, British Columbia, Canada. Sue is a nationaly recognized scholar in the field of gifted education and a highly regarded speaker and consultant.

Dr. George Betts is a professor of Special Education at the University of Northern Colorado. George developed the Autonomous Learner Model for the Gifted and Talented and has spent his career developing the journey of life-long learning.

Dr. Linda Silverman is a licensed psychologist and director of the Institute for the Study of Advanced Development. She is also the founder of the Gifted Development Center in Denver. A retired faculty member from the Univerisity of Denver in counseling psycholody and gifted education, Linda has authored several textbooks, over 300 articles and chapters and the popular book, Upside-Down Brilliance: The Visual-Spatial Learner.

Dr. Patricia Gatto Walden is a nationally recognized licensed psychologist who has worked holistically with thousands of gifted children, adolescents, and adults for over three decades. In her consulting practice, Patty has specialized in three areas: holistic health and well being, educaiton consulting for the gifted, and staff and program developments seminars.

Parent Day at the National Convention
Welcome! Join the National and Local GT community as it gathers in Denver!

Why should you attend? What are the benefits?

Held at the Hyatt-Regency and the Denver Convention Center in conjunction with the annual convention of the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), “Parent Day at the National” is an inclusive experience for parents to benefit from the expertise and energy the National Convention brings to town. Because this is such a wonderful opportunity for parents to learn from international experts, meet other parents of gifted children, and get helpful resources to take home for families and communities, the Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented sponsors “Parent Day at the National” at cost for $110 per person (couples from same household $175).

A day to focus: From continental breakfast at 7:30 am to the reception’s close at 7:30 pm, you can set aside a FULL day to immerse yourself in learning about giftedness with the gifted community including hundreds of other parents from around the country. Exchanging information and unique insights with others who also realize the complexity of raising a gifted child!

For more information about this premier event, click here!
Seventy-Five Years of Picture Book Magnificence

Jerry Flack, University of Colorado

The year 2013 marks a very special milestone for one of the most prestigious awards in children’s literature. The American Library Association (ALA) celebrates the 75th Anniversary of the Randolph Caldecott Medal. The 2013 winner, This Is Not My Hat, written and illustrated by Jon Klassen, joins such Caldecott Medal classics as Robert McCloskey’s Make Way for Ducklings (1942), Virginia Burton’s The Little House (1943), Ezra Jack Keats’ The Snowy Day (1963), Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are (1964), Chris Van Allsburg’s The Polar Express (1986), and Jerry Pinkney’s The Lion and the Mouse (2010).


Historically, the Caldecott Medal was the second of what now constitute many annual book awards presented by The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), the youth division of the ALA.* In 1921, Frederic G. Melcher, then chair of the children’s section of the ALA, proposed that an annual award be presented to the author of the most distinguished book for children published in the United States in the previous year. The ALA quickly embraced the prize that was named after the eighteenth-century Englishman John Newbery who is widely recognized as the first publisher and bookstore purveyor of children’s literature. The first John Newbery Medal was awarded in 1922 to Henrik Willem Van Loon for the juvenile edition of his historical masterpiece, The Story of Mankind. The Newbery Medal was the world’s first award exclusively presented to an author of children’s and young adult literature.

With the support and encouragement of publishers, children’s librarians, and educators who believed that artists were as valuable to the creation of books for youths as authors, Melcher proposed to the ALA in 1937 that a new and second award be established to honor the illustrator of the most distinguished picture book in the United States also published in the preceding year.

Click here to read this article in it's entirety.
Websites and Supports in Science and Math for 2013
M.A.Richy Richards

A new year is under way. New faces, new names, new resources oh my! To help make your hunt for the best options out there I have compiled some of my favorites below.

Conferences and Professional Development

The National Association of Science Teachers will have a regional conference in Denver this year, December 12-14. As a result, the Colorado Association of Science Teachers will not have a separate conference, but join the national association http://www.nsta.org/conferences/gional as host. There should be a great vendor area, and of course, freebies for all.

All of these resources are just a click away!
Development of Gifted Education’s 2013 conference
Please join us for the Institute for the Development of Gifted Education’s 2013 conference: Engaging the Mind and Heart-Character Education for Gifted Learners. The conference will be held October 17th and 18th at the University of Denver.

We are pleased to announce Dr. Marvin W. Berkowitz, the inaugural Sanford N. McDonnell Endowed Professor of Character Education, and Co-Director of the Center for Character and Citizenship at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, as our Keynote speaker. We will also be awarding Dr. Sylvia Rimm with the 2013 Palmarium Award. She will be receiving her award and speaking. She is the Director of the Family Achievement Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, a psychologist, and a clinical professor at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine.

October 17th will feature a full day of enriching presentations on a wide variety of topics related to character education, including social/emotional development, service learning, technology, and teaching strategies. October 18th will consist of a half-day site visit to the Ricks Center for Gifted Children. Tours allow participants an opportunity to visit a nationally recognized model school for gifted children, ages three through eighth grade.

Two-day, one-day, and half-day registrations are available. The registration deadline is October 10th, 2013. Please follow the link below for registration:


For questions or comments, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us at 303-871-2607. We look forward to seeing you in October!

  • Welcome
  • What is Gifted?
  • Colorado & Gifted

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.


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