Winter 2013

Winter Kaleidoscope
A Message From The President
Dear CAGT Community,

I hope this edition of the Kaleidoscope finds you happy and healthy. On behalf of the entire CAGT team, I want to wish you a prosperous and joyous New Year! In 2014, our themes will continue to be connecting, collaboration and communication to improve gifted education in Colorado.

The year 2014 will prove to be a busy and exciting for gifted education in Colorado. We made incredible progress during 2013 and the momentum continues. In October, CAGT hosted the largest state conference in our history, touching over 850 parents, teachers, and students over two days. Congratulations to President-Elect, Terry Bradley and her team in their thoughtful planning and preparations. We know the next state conference will be just as exciting and successful. In November, a Colorado treasure, Dr. George Betts was elected to the NAGC President-elect position. We look forward to continued partnerships and collaboration with NAGC to improve Gifted Education at all levels.

Our Legislative team, led by our Executive Director, Linda Crain and her co-Chair, Susan Scheibel (past president) have been working diligently on a few major topics which include: revision of ECEA to included and clarify Gifted Education, review of the current Concurrent Enrollment to support advanced learners and graduation requirements for advanced learners. Our momentum is growing and our legislative representatives are listening.

Our past president, Cheryl Franklin-Rohr is connecting with our GT colleagues in neighboring states to create a strong bond and support system for the gifted community. Our partnership with CDE continues to grow as we work with Jacquelin Medina to improve practice and policy in the state.

Please check out our new web page. Our Executive Secretary, Kathleen Robinson and our Executive Director, Linda Crain worked diligently to update our web site and I think their efforts paid off! Also, join our Facebook and twitter groups to stay abreast of new ideas, thoughts, inspirational quotes and what is happening in the gifted community.

Join us as we continue to connect, collaborate and communicate throughout 2014! I look forward to another superior year with all of you.

Dr. Blanche Kapushion



Why Acceleration?

By: Dylan McNally

For those of you who don’t know, I am the new Student Rep for the Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented (CAGT) State Board. Besides gaining a better perspective for myself of what is going on with gifted education in our state, my job is to provide my own and my peers’ perspectives on such issues. One important issue in today’s gifted education is acceleration. With the task to challenge our bright and gifted students in this state always present, I feel that I should give my perspective on this issue. So comes the question: Why acceleration?

Legislative Day Is Coming!

Details and registration will be available in early January at


The CAGT Selection Committee has selected Ellie Mayer as the CAGT Distinguished Student Award winner for the state of Colorado. Ellie is ten years old and she attended Coronado Elementary in Littleton, Colorado. She also attended other middle school academic classrooms for advanced mathematics and had some home schooling. Ellie was nominated for her excellence in academics, music and mathematics. Her student composition was very creatively written and showed exceptional communication skills. She received a Certificate of Excellence from Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented and a $500 cash scholarship. The certificate was presented this year at Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented 36th annual conference held at the Denver Marriot Tech Center on October 7 and 8, 2013.

The two other finalists for this year were Sam Duarte, ten years old from Fort Lupton and Rahul Thomas, nine years old from Highlands Ranch. All of the nominees' names, pictures and a brief description of their accomplishments were on display at the Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented 36th Annual State Conference.

Next year the CAGT Board will be changing some of the parameters for the CAGT Distinguished Awards from grade level to age. For students who will be seven to nine years old (junior division) or students who will be ten to twelve years old (senior division) next year please consider letting your teachers know about the CAGT Distinguished Student Award competition which will be on the CAGT website in 2014.

TEDx Youth Event
TEDxMileHigh’s third youth event (called TEDxYouth@MileHigh) is scheduled for April 16, 2013, from 12:15pm-6:30pm at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, and is an ideal education and leadership development opportunity for students in grades 6-12. In a single event, students will be exposed to a dozen big ideas from the state’s most brilliant thinkers and accomplished doers. The program challenges audience members to think critically about their lives, communities and own leadership and is designed to inspire attendees to be more creative and innovative in their own lives. Topics include education, science, health, technology, entrepreneurship and sustainability.
The Colors of Learning

by Jerry Flack


Colorado's winter months can be dark and bleak and the color white for snow often trumps even the state's name (Spanish for the color red). But, even gray days need not deter gifted students from using their vivid imaginings to explore literature, history, science, and other topics that feature the vast rainbow of colors to be found in the wealth of both fiction and nonfiction writings for children and young adults. Teachers and parents can add verve to the curriculum and stimulate the creativity of students who are willing to open their minds to COLORS.

  • 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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