About CAGT


Every child has a right to learn something new everyday. Gifted children thrive in learning environments that present challenge and wonder in 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 students.

Four Main Areas of Focus

As a statewide advocacy group, we are focused on improving the lives and opportunities of gifted students.

This is accomplished in four main areas:

  • Helping our stakeholders (educators, families, and politicians) understand the characteristics of gifted students

  • Training teachers in different strategies to create dynamic classrooms that challenge and engage gifted students

  • Providing families with information on how to advocate for and support the unique needs (both academic and affective) of their gifted students

  • 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!

A Gifted Child

What is Gifted?

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “gifted” as: 1. having a great natural ability 2. revealing a special gift. However, for practical purposes, there are several working definitions that drive policies and programming for gifted education that are helpful to look at to have a better scope of how giftedness can be defined.

Two common definitions addressed by Colorado educators and parents are from the National Association of Gifted Children (NAGC) and the Colorado Department of Education (CDE).

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.

The Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act of 1988 is the federal education act for gifted and talented education. The Javits Act defines talented and gifted students as those who give evidence of high performance capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity or in specific academic fields.

The Columbus Group states, 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.

Giftedness can also be understood by looking at a list of “common” gifted characteristics. But please keep in mind, these characteristics might present very differently in each child.

Aside from these definitions, it is of utmost importance to know the student, his/her interests and family priorities to understand a student’s area of strength and gifted capabilities.

Our History

It all began in 1973 when Dr. Rita Dickinson was appointed by the President of the Colorado Federation of CEC (Council for Exceptional Children) to chair a TAG (Talented and Gifted) committee. Then on March 2, 1974 two parents and seven psychologists met at the CEC convention at the Broadmoor and CAG (Colorado Association for Gifted) was born…

Since then our conferences have grown from the 1st conference held November of 1975 with 135 attendees, to close to 900 in 2018. Our conference has not only grown in attendees, but in sessions offered, topics addressed, international Keynote speakers and more.

Our organization has successfully advocated for, and had legislation passed to specifically support the academic and affective needs of our gifted children.

Currently we have been reaching out to support gifted throughout the state of Colorado by extending our Executive Board to include at-large positions from our Eastern Plains and Western Slope; creating a Speakers Bureau and Affiliate Grant program to support our affiliates across the state; and have grown in the number of CAGT affiliates that have come on board from all corners of Colorado with more developing each year!

For more information about our organization and to join us on our journey to fulfill our mission please peruse our website, check out affiliates in your area and find out about our membership opportunities.

Bowtie Kid