Summer 2009

   Update for CAGT Conference
Everyone get your calendars out and mark October 5th and 6th for our 33rd annual CAGT Conference. There are over 50 sessions covering topics such as: Gifted Students in Rural Colorado, creativity, tiered math instruction for diverse learners, and creative underachievers.  We have an additional feature this year; sessions geared to issues that both parents and teachers face.  We realize that many of you have multiple and diverse roles and we wanted to address these varied needs.

Now a little bit of information about our keynote speaker, Dr. Richard Olenchak.  Rick has an extensive knowledge base about gifted learners, especially issues which camouflage talents in young people which prevent them from realizing their full potential. This can include learning and behavioral problems, poverty and gender-based stereotypes.  His keynote address is titled: “Splitting Apart the Two Sides of a Coin Makes the Coin Worthless”.

Additionally, we are still accepting proposals for the Market Place venue.  The Market Place is a format in which teachers share and discuss lessons that they have created with a small group of teachers. If you have a lesson that has been differentiated in any way, please consider participating in this opportunity. Please contact Cheryl Franklin-Rohr at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you want to submit a description of a lesson you want to share or if you need more information.  

Finally, when you register for a room at the Marriott, make sure that you mention you are attending CAGT. We have negotiated a special rate of $149.00 a night. What a deal!

President Elect
Cheryl L. Franklin-Rohr

 CAGT Conference Registration
   Cats by Jerry Flack
“The smallest feline is a masterpiece.”
Leonardo da Vinci


It is a typical day at the Steere House Nursing Center third-floor hospice unit in Providence, Rhode Island. Doctors and nurses solemnly monitor the vital signs that predict the closeness to death of elderly patients. But, they are not alone. Oscar, adopted by the staff as a kitten two years ago is also making his own rounds. Healthcare givers identify the most critical patients so that family, priests, and others may be notified that the death of a patient is imminent. Yet, despite their training and use of sophisticated equipment, on at least 25 separate occasions in the past year, Oscar has bypassed the patients targeted by the professionals.

Oscar gently climbs upon the bed of other patients whom the care givers have not noted as being critical. He purrs, curls into a ball near the patients, and refuses to leave their side. Oscar makes a final vigil. The patients the doctors and nurses identify often linger longer than predicted. The patients Oscar identifies frequently die within a matter of two to four hours. The doctors and nurses at Steere House have learned to take Oscar’s “early warning sign” seriously. When Oscar takes his place beside a resident,  families are immediately notified.

Oscar’s story is not from the National Inquirer. Rather, it is from the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine. Oscar’s prescience may be unique, but the fact remains that millions of Americans love their cats and believe them to be every bit as special as Oscar.
 To download this article click here
   Use the Internet for Basics and Challenges in Science and Math
Dr. M.R.E. Richards

Summer 2009 websites and freebies
Gathering resources is part of what teachers do. In fact a good day of plundering at a conference can renew your spirit. Free is always good! I went to the NSTA Conference this spring, and they did think ahead with a UPS station right next to the door to the exhibitors’ area. I was very conservative and only brought home 30 pounds of plunder, but I gave a lot of that away to teachers. The NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) Conference in New Orleans had a large number of CDs and DVDs for teachers this year. Here are just a few of them. Yes, you can still get them.

 The a list of these and other resources dowload this fe
Affiliate Updates
Please see link below to find out what is happening in your local affiliate.
Just for Parents
Parent’s Corner

Thank you to those parents who completed and returned the CAGT Parent Survey.  We reviewed the responses and used them as the basis of discussion within a recently organized Metro Denver focus group. As a result, a preliminary list of interests and concerns for parents of gifted and talented (GT) students was created. Most participants of the survey and discussion group expressed an overwhelming need for additional information, especially regarding the unique challenges and concerns of individual students. As a result, while some general areas of interest were universal such as “which schools have the most supportive or innovative GT programming,” many parents had specific issues to address regarding their own children. Parents were interested in networking and speaking with other parents who have dealt successfully with similar issues. These topics include but are not limited to:
• motivation,
• underachievement,
• unique sensitivities,
• anxiety and stress,
• twice-exceptional behaviors,
• social concerns, and
• intensities.

How interesting to hear that while strong academic programs were of great interest to parents, they seemed more concerned with non-intellectual and non-academic issues! The desire to form social connections with other GT families in order to share experiences and knowledge was consistently expressed. Some recommendations towards this end included book clubs, blogs, GT specific lectures/dinners/group conference calls, and networking groups for finding specialists and/or for connecting with others on a particular topic.

A final area of interest focused on advocating for one’s child, including what questions to ask regarding the child’s abilities, communicating effectively with the child’s teacher, understanding the chain of command within the school system for dealing with issues, identifying when to push for testing and what kind, learning to advocate for GT programming and quality teachers within the school, and determining if your child’s needs are being met. It was suggested that guidelines for advocacy be developed.

We are using these findings to plan for and develop opportunities and resources that will support parents in their role as guardians of the gifted and talented. If you would like to add your own experiences and input, please complete the parent survey located on the CAGT website.  Go to, scroll down to “Parent Survey” (middle of home page), and click “Complete the Survey.” We value your comments and input!

For additional comments/inquiry, please contact:
Charlene Brock at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Lisa Lauffer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.    

   A Message from the editors
Here is wishing everyone a very safe and relaxing summer. Don’t forget, if you are looking for some fun and inexpensive options to keep those active minds challenged, check out your local library, park district, and community college. -Michelle Oslick & Stephanie Ashworth Kawamura

Please Note Our New Address 


P.O. Box 460182

Aurora, CO 80046-0182

Summer 2009 Kaleidoscope

A Letter from the President
Dear 2009 CAGT members and friends,

Your Board of Directors has now settled into their roles, is moving forward and is proud to announce our powerful and productive Consulting Staff team. Executive Director and Bookkeeper is now Linda Crain, Executive Secretary is Carole Fisher and Julie Gonzales continues as your Information Chair.  Each individual may be familiar to you as each has a long history of contributions and state advocacy for gifted.  We are pleased and proud to have them all on our team as they share vision and passion for our work!  Welcome back Julie and welcome Linda and Carole!  We believe you will enjoy working with them all as much as we do!

We have also worked thoughtfully to create a solid and balanced budget for your organization which has been approved and is another cornerstone for our work and goals.

So with a strong CAGT board, consulting team and budget in place, we are positioned now for the present and our future work together!  Let’s roll!

You have voted Cheryl Franklin-Rohr President Elect and Jennifer Arzberger as your Treasurer.  Thank you for casting your votes in their support!  Their strengths and talents are our assets and they are already hard at work for our organization. 

As President Elect, Cheryl Franklin-Rohr is Conference Chair for 2009 with a wonderful team of Program Chairs, Nanette Jones, Carrie Clark and Debbie Getzel, and committees in place.  Please do mark your calendars for our 33rd CAGT Conference on October 5th and 6th at the Marriott Denver Tech Center location.  Embracing Diversity, Growing Potential is the theme with nationally known keynote speakers, featured presenters and two days of breakout sessions for you!  Do check our website and Cheryl’s article for further details on registration, the Parent Institute and Leadership Breakfast this fall.  Please join us!

This spring CAGT hosted our first Leadership Action Event with Dr. Joyce VanTassel-Baska in Boulder.  With over one hundred in attendance, Dr. VanTassel-Baska engaged the audience with her wisdom and practice.  Thanks to Beverly Trail, Terry Bradley, Jen and our Boulder Valley Gifted and Talented Affiliate for making this important premier event a reality for Colorado gifted!

Thanks also to Michelle Oslick and Stephanie Ashworth, editors of our newsletters, Cheryl Adams and Michelle Epstein for their work developing our website, Char Brock and Lisa Lauffer for their parent survey and all of our board members for their time and their talents.  Please read Julie Gonzales’ informational update to learn more about advocacy and legislative developments in Colorado and our nation.

We wish you a summer of great times, great books, great fortune and true bliss!  Yes, 2009 is a great year for Colorado gifted!  Thank you all for making the magic happen!


Susan Scheibel

President, Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented

Mourning the Loss of a Remarkable Woman

Shirley Weddel

The loss of Shirley Weddel on March 29, 2009 was deeply felt by her many friends, students, and family. Her work in Gifted Education as Program Coordinator in Fort Collins, Littleton, and Cherry Creek touched the hearts and improved the lives of students and educators throughout Colorado and the nation.

Her smile, hospitality, encouragement, and dedication welcomed positive change for gifted children as she worked as a teacher and mentor with educators and legislators nationwide. Each of us who knew Shirley respected her charming persistence in completing the jobs that needed to be done. How we will miss her!

CAEGTC is accepting donations for scholarships and gifted education in Gwen and/or Shirley’s names. Please send to Debbie Rothenberg, Fiscal Governor of CAEGTC, 1037 Olive Street, Denver, CO 80220

Gifted Education – Finding Our Place: A Summer Update
Highlights from this issue’s update

-    Governor Bill Ritter launched the COLORADO STEM NETWORK (formally COMSTEC)

-    NAGC needs your help…join the NAGC Legislative Action Network (LAN)

-    Report from State Advisory Committee for Gifted Student Education

-    Stay informed in Colorado’s Standard Review Process

-    Peruse the Carnegie Report “The Opportunity Equation: Transforming Mathematics and Science Education for       Citizenship and the Global Economy”

-    Invest in Colorado’s long-term investment in education

To read this update in it's entirety click here






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  • 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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Phone: 303-520-4887
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