Summer 2011

Summer Kaleidoscope
2011 Legislative Review

CAGT At Work For You

Early in March, Susan Scheibel (Past-President) and Linda Crain (Executive Director) attended the Annual Affiliate Conference in Washington, DC hosted by NAGC.  While there Susan and Linda visited all of Colorado's congressional representatives on behalf of the Talent Act and to share information about the state of gifted education in Colorado.  It is crucial that we continue to let our representatives know how important gifted education is to the residents and children of Colorado. We can’t do it without them, and they cannot do it without you!

Legislative Day 2011!

Legislative Day – A Student’s Take

With all the budget shortages currently affecting schools around the country, districts are being forced to cut funding from programs that are not seen as necessary. As a result, funding is being taken away from programs such as art, physical education, family and consumer sciences, and many other fields. Gifted education is one such field that could be effected by these budget cuts, but gifted education is far too important to have its funding taken away. The field of gifted education provides a better education to top students in America's schools. Cutting this funding would be detrimental to the entire American school system. Gifted education is crucial for our bright minds. Gifted students are the students who will be running this country 20 years from now. Does it really make sense to insufficiently educate the future leaders in the community and the country in order to close a budget gap? This is why programs such as Legislative Day are important. Legislative Day provides an opportunity for the state's gifted children to not only learn about the legislative process but also to see it firsthand. This experience teaches much more to the students than any textbook could ever cover. It also allows our current legislators to build a relationship with these students and see firsthand their talents and abilities. It is crucial to this nation that gifted education continues to receive the funding it deserves in order to fully prepare the leaders of tomorrow; and, for tomorrow’s leaders to learn how to navigate the legislative process in order to maintain a challenging educational system in the US in years to come.



Legislative Day

By Colleen Urlick

This year’s Legislative Day held on February 24, 2011 hosted by the Colorado Association of Gifted and Talented was a resounding success. Two hundred sixty three students, ranging from 8th to 12th grade, gathered to learn more about our government and watch it in action.  Many of the state senators and representatives opened their arms to our students, which allowed 117 to shadow them throughout the morning.  The remaining students toured the capital and were able to sit and observe the legislative process in action. 

Students first met at the Scottish Rite Masonic Hall to check-in, eat breakfast, and receive directions.  From there, students walked the short block to the capital, where they were kindly welcomed by the Colorado Speaker of the House of Representatives, Frank McNulty, who directed everyone to treat the students with respect since if it wasn’t for mandatory age restrictions, these students would already be everyone else’s bosses!

After a couple of hours at the capitol building, the students walked back to the Scottish Rite Masonic Hall and ate lunch with one another and the several representatives and aides who were able to attend.  After lunch, a few of the representatives fielded questions from the students, ranging from education reform to budget cuts.  For everyone involved, this was a day worth remembering!



Use the Internet for Basics and Challenges in Science and Math

Dr. M.R.E. Richards

Spring 2011


Summer! It’s here the perfect time to check into helpful information for parents and teachers for their gifted students. Check out these great resources.

For the plethora of additional links download here!


Help gifted and talented students develop to their full potential and reach your own potential with an endorsement and/or a master’s degree focused on educating the gifted and talented from UNC. For more information visit us at

(Please note that these are paid advertisements, and their addition in this newsletter does not indicate an endorsement by CAG-T)


If you're interested in placing an advertisement in the December edition of the Kaleidoscope please contact Michelle Oslick at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

Message From The President

Summer is here!

                  For some of you, this time of year is no different than any other time of year.  But for others, teachers and parents, this is a time of year that can be exciting or exhausting.

                  Teachers have just completed another year of working with students and summer time is for: classes (because we always are in the cycle of recertification, masters programs or dissertations), rejuvenation, clean up our work areas at home, professional reading, and finally, just plain relaxation.

                  Parents of gifted students are also extremely busy during the summer time, and there is very little down time.  We are organizing activities for our children; summer camps, field trips, vacation, visits to the library, and time with friends and family.  I think I spent more money in the summer time keeping my son occupied than I did all year long.

                  If you haven’t looked at the Hoagies website for some ideas, now is the time to begin.  They have so many ideas; including book lists for all grade levels   ( Look at activities that are sponsored by local libraries, museums, and recreation centers.  There is so much going on around the state and so many local events. 

                  Additionally, there are some new books that I would like to recommend: Leading and Managing  A Differentiated Classroom by Carol Ann Tomlinson and Marcia Imbeau and Differentiation and the Brain by David Sousa and Carol Ann Tomlinson.  I purchased them this spring and I finally have the time to read them.

                  Be a part of this learning experience! Learning new facts and skills improves thinking - for both adults and children.  I wonder what will be the most interesting fact or skill that I learn this summer?


Cheryl Franklin-Rohr

CAGT President


By Carol Norberg, CAGT Policy Analyst


The state capitol is an exciting place to be during the legislative session.  Many, many bills are introduced each year and work their way through the lawmaking process.  This year was a difficult year for everyone.  The economic conditions in Colorado hung like a pall over all activity.  Any proposed legislation with an attached fiscal note was carefully scrutinized.  Many of those proposals died an early death.


Thankfully, gifted education funding as a categorical survived in tact.  Funding these categoricals assures that key educational issues are addressed.  In 2001 the funded amount for gifted education was $5,500,000.  Ten years later, in 2011 the amount was $9,059,625.  Administrative units generally contribute some funding to implement their gifted program plans.  State funding and local and other resources could provide an additional $30,000,000 this year.

To read this article in its entirety click here.

Press Release from the Council for Exceptional Children


§  Proposed TALENT Act aims to better serve students who are gifted A new bill before Congress would require states to note when students perform above grade level and report their learning gains as part of state report cards. The TALENT Act would mandate more professional development for teachers in gifted education and would require Title I schools to create plans to better identify minority and disadvantaged students as gifted. "The TALENT Act serves as a wake-up call to our nation and our educational system to recognize this forgotten student population," said Council for Exceptional Children President Marilyn Friend. Education Week/On Special Education (4/15)


TALENT Act Charts New Course for Gifted, High-Ability Students

CEC-endorsed bill focuses on teacher development, closing the “excellence gap”

View the press release's full text here.

 a gifted journey by Kathee Jones

People tell me I should write a book about our family's parenting and educational experiences. I say I want to write fiction. Some folks look at me funny—like some of the things we’ve done, or my hopes for the future, aren’t close enough to fiction already. Nevertheless, this is the real stuff. The story that’s still developing. Once upon a time two high school sweethearts married and discovered they had three very gifted children. The plot thickens and the adventure—the journey—begins.


You can follow this blog at

  • 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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