Winter 2011

   Save The Date
The 59th Annual
Reaching Beyond the Summit
Educating with Altitude


November 15 - 18, 2012 in Denver, Colorado

Are you interested in and/or currently working with a local CAGT affiliate?

If so, here is some food for thought: 

Why connect with (or create) an Affiliate?

• A format is created for increasing information and education for parents and educators

• A supportive venue is created to meet and talk with others

• Advocacy needs numbers. Members make an affiliate strong.

• A healthy membership base gives giftedness a higher profile in your district

• Local Affiliate membership ties into to State level advocacy, information and community.

• Membership dues can pay honorariums for experts in the area of giftedness to come and speak to your affiliate

• Active affiliates sometimes create a partnership with the school district to host presenters and workshops

• When there's an Affiliate in your district, educators can point parents to your organization as a source of support.

• Since Affiliates are required to have bylaws, that separates us from many of the other special interest groups in the district. School officials respond positively to the fact that you have bylaws that guide your advocacy work.

 For More information on affiliates and their involvement in CAGT click here
Dear CAGT Parents,


We hope your Holidays have been happy thus far and continue to be filled with joy in the upcoming days!


We were pleased to offer the Parent Institute at the annual CAGT Conference in a new format….dessert and discussion. This schedule allowed for all the learning and networking of previous sessions at a lower price for our parents. Two of the Conference keynote speakers presented to the group, followed by topic table discussions where these and other national and local experts shared their experience and expertise with parents.


In his presentation, Dr. Jonathan Plucker shared findings from his research project, described in his paper “Mind the (Other) Gap! The Growing Excellence Gap in K-12 Education”. In this study, it was determined that there is a growing gap in achievement between “the economically disadvantaged, English Language Learners, and historically underprivileged minorities” compared to other over-represented groups at “higher levels of academic performance”. What really hit home was the message that we, as parents, have to act now...

To view the rest of this letter please clinck the link below.

Don't forget that one way to ACT NOW is to keep yourself as informed as possible. To this end there is a special day at NAGC for all Parents.

SAVE THE DATE: Saturday, November 17th! 

 Letter to CAGT Parents
The Effect of Budget Cuts on Schools: A Student's Perspective

Budget cuts to schools are a perennial issue, providing a topic for hot debate each Fall. As a high school student, I experience firsthand the effects these budget shortfalls create in our schools. As a result of these cuts, my school was forced to discontinue its gifted and talented program. This has had significant effects on the learning environment at my high school. Academic competitions, such as the UNC math contest, used to be organized weeks or months in advance. However, since we lost our GT coordinator, this test now has to be proctored by teachers who are already overworked and underpaid. While it is still offered, the result is a significantly increased burden on the teachers at my school. In addition, the classroom environment is noticeably impacted by the budget cuts. During years when cuts have been announced, the tension in the school is extremely evident, particularly during the spring semester. Teachers are forced to battle politically to preserve their departments' funding and even their jobs. As a result, their attention has to be split between teaching their classes and playing politics. This results in teachers who are more stressed and who cannot devote as much time and effort to preparing lesson plans. Budget cuts to education have myriad effects that are felt by students throughout the state. 


Are you a lover of young adult fiction?

If so the following list is guaranteed to keep your kindle/nightstand filled with great reading material for the upcoming year.

If not, give a few of these title suggestions by Dr. Bob Seney a try. You will not be disappointed. Though you may end up hooked on a genre whose options are limitless.

 The Top Ten Young Adult Reads of 2011

Use the Internet for Basics and Challenges in Science and Math

Dr. M.R.E. Richards

Winter 2011

As always this time of winter is about new beginnings. In this sprit I have compiled a list of resources for those of you who's beginnings might need resource to help. Have a fantastic new year!

 To download all available resources click here

The contents of this new regular column, "Book Ends", will highlight very unique new books for high-end learners, tributes to accomplished authors whose works well suit the needs of gifted and talented readers, and/or celebrate special literary occasions.

Book Ends

by Jerry Flack

Every publishing season offers vibrant and exciting new alphabet books. It is stimulating and exciting to observe the creativity and fresh spins talented writers and illustrators put on an old, familiar rubric such as the ABCs. An especially shining example is Alphabet Denver. Kitty Migaki's brand new ABC book will hopefully challenge and tantalize advanced learners of all ages.

Migaki, Kitty. Alphabet Denver: A GPS Hunt Book. Design by Kerrie Lian. Denver, CO: I See It Press, 2011.

The 26 double-page entries in Alphabet Denver: A GPS Hunt Book feature dramatic and colorful photographs of the Mile High City's architecture, building elements (e.g., beams, rafters, doors, and windows), roads and pathways (e.g., sidewalks), and additional worldly elements that serve to double as capital letters of the ABCs in disguise.

 Click Here To Read This Review

Winter Kaleidoscope

A Message From the President
CAGT Members:

I can't believe it has already been two months since CAGT conference! The presentations this year were outstanding and I really appreciate all of the presenters volunteering their time and energy. I also appreciate all of the time from the individuals who helped sponsor the CAGT table at the national convention, NAGC.

Our attention now turns to 2012 and hosting the annual NAGC conference. Many people are interested in coming to Denver next year, so we need to start our serious work now to ensure next year's conference in one of the best. The first deadline, that is fast approaching is going to be the call for proposals for the NAGC 2012 convention. I would like to spotlight the amazing work that we are doing here in Colorado. You may not realize this, but we are ahead of many other states in the field of gifted. Let's show them our "Altitude".

If you haven't submitted a proposal for the national conference, you need to know that it is extremely competitive (Trust me, I 've been there, and know the anxiety that comes with a submission). I want to give you some suggestions to help you be successful.

First, pay attention to the descriptions of the 15 networks. Some are more competitive than others due to the amount of proposals that are submitted. For example, Curriculum Studies is very difficult to get into. Here are the divisions and a link to find out more information: Arts, Computers & Technology, Conceptual Foundations, Counseling & Guidance, Creativity, Global Awareness, Middle Grades, Parent & Community, Professional Development, Research & Evaluation, Special Populations, Special Schools & Programs, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics). Here is the link with more information: Make sure that you follow the directions in the proposal and have several individuals give you feedback on your proposal.

Also, here is a powerpoint that was shared at CAGTto provide some suggestions to write a "winning" proposal. (Click the link found below this article to download this presentation.)

The link for the proposal submission will be on the NAGC website: This link will open mid December and will be due by the end of January.

Tips for a NAGC Proposal - Download Here

Volunteers & Ideas Needed! 

There are also a plethora of volunteer opportunities as well. We will be having committees devoted to specific areas. Please review the list below, and contact the emails listed if you are interested in Volunteering for any Local Arrangement Committee (LAC)


LAC Conference Co-Chairs

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LAC Executive Team

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Action Labs

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CEUs/Graduate Credit

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Student Involvement

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Parent Day

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Leadership Event

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NAGC ACTION LABS – 2012 in Denver


The NAGC Convention will be in Denver from November 14-18, 2012 at the Convention Center.

We would like you to begin thinking of fun, educational, cultural, historical and creative Action Labs that might be of interest to our convention visitors.

Think outside the box. The idea could be local, or distant; half day or full day; targeted audience or open to all! If you have an idea that could be "displayed" or "exhibited", we would consider that option as well. We are waiting approval of a proposal submission form. The form will be posted on the CAGT website by mid-December.

All forms submitted will be under consideration. The final determination of acceptance is made by NAGC. Let's knock their socks off with a "multitude of altitude"!


Dr. Blanche Kapushion

Action Lab Committee Chair

Impressions of NAGC 2011

By Colleen Urlik

    This year, the National Association of Gifted Children (NAGC) 58th Annual Conference was in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was a fabulous place for me to visit for my first national conference, where I found myself in a variety of roles. I was a representative for the Colorado Association of the Gifted and Talented (CAGT), a teacher gathering information to train my staff, an advocate for the high-poverty, at-risk, English Language Learners (ELL) I teach, and a parent trying to keep up with a precocious four year old boy. So, obviously, everything I participated in at NAGC taught me something about one, or in most cases, several of these areas. The following were some of the highlights and moments of learning for me:

•    First and foremost, the multitude of parents, teachers, administers, superintendents, and researchers out there working, researching, and learning how to make the world a better place for gifted and talented and high-potential learners was inspiring. Networking with best and brightest for the common goal of better education for all students was electrifying and motivating.

•    As a teacher who works in a high-poverty, high ELL school district, we are always looking out for new unbiased ways to test students' abilities. The CogAT 7 has developed nonverbal measures to test various measures, which may help students who have limited English capabilities. (Presented by David Lohman)

•    Ensure that your student(s) are truly challenged through rigorous work, not just swamped with more work or work that is difficult, yet not rigorous or complex. (Presented by Lisa Garcia and Cheryl Franklin Rohr)

•    Students who are gifted readers want three things: choices when selecting books, more time to read in class, and a greater challenge in the reading, including a full array of literary elements. Since these readers have such amazing comprehension, it is the analogical reasoning which needs to be developed by their teachers and parents. (Presented by Kathy Austin)

•    It is essential for differentiation to be built on student outcomes and high expectations, which must be clearly linked to conceptual frameworks as well as the common core standards. It is good to continually ask ourselves, if something is beneficial for all students, what makes it different for gifted students? The truth is, once you do something for everyone, it ceases to work for gifted learners, which is why we must frequently reevaluate how we are meeting their needs. (Presented by Joyce VanTassel-Baska, Catherine Little, Tamra Stambaugh, William E. Harner, Jjennifer Hoffman, and Kelly A. Hedrick)

•    Socratic teaching, whether as a teacher or a parent, operates under the basis of learning through asking questions, rather than just being told answers. One caution is that one must know when to use this method and when to just directly tell the answer. The last piece of advice when teaching in this manner is to be willing to let your students and/or children be silent. Resist the temptation to rescue them with your own thoughts and opinions. (Presented by April Keck DeGennaro)

•    Grouping students together can be based on a variety of factors, including age, task difficulty, peer politics, gender, control over group composition, previous experience, subject/topic, and assessment. Still, we need to ensure when grouping students that we are teaching the necessary skills in order to work with others, as well as teach them that there are no simple answers for complex questions. Additionally, when they are in these groups, they need as much, if not more help than others, since they are asking more complex questions of themselves. (Presented by Bruce Shore, Karen Rodgers, and Lannie Kanevsky)

•    For parents looking for fun activities to complete with your children while networking with others nationally and internationally can join The Center for Talent Development through Northwestern University for exploratory, thematic units. (Presented by Cynthia Cho and Randee Blair)

    Looking through all of this information, I am even more excited for the 59th Annual NAGC in Denver next year. Please join me, and so many other extraordinary people, next year to live the experience and be a part of the community yourself!

  • 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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