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Jeffco GT Frequently asked Questions

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How are GT students identified?

In Jeffco Public Schools, we realize the importance of identifying gifted students so that we can then begin cultivating their talent and better meet their needs.  Therefore, we accept and encourage referrals from a wide variety of sources for all grade levels of students in all of our district schools.  In Jeffco, we follow the Colorado Department of Education’s (CDE) GT Identification guidelines in making our identification decisions.  [Also see CDE’s Frequently Asked Questions for Gifted Education Identification.]

  • The guidelines from CDE explain the evidence needed to identify a student as “gifted”.  There are a variety of different pathways that can be used for GT identification, depending on the data available and the particular strength areas of a student.  Please see your school GT Resource Teacher for a more detailed explanation of these pathways
  • Families will need to submit an ID referral found on this website to get started with the process.

Click here for more about Identification practices in Jeffco Public Schools.

Why would I want to have my student identified as gifted?

    The purpose for identification is to provide programming different from the standard curriculum to better meet the unique needs of gifted students.  Those students whose academic and affective needs are being met by the standard curriculum are not likely candidates for GT identification.  All identified GT students will be on an Advanced Learning Plan.

What is a Gifted Center?

    NOTE: The structure of primary grades (1st & 2nd grades) enrollment may vary at each GT Center depending on each school’s enrollment and staffing capacity at those grade levels.  Some schools may need to combine primary grade levels, cluster small groups of students or adopt some other configuration to accommodate GT Center students in these grades.  No matter the configuration, we will ensure that the academic and affective needs of GT students will be met.

The needs of advanced learners are mainly addressed at each neighborhood school. Jeffco offers an optional program, the Gifted Center, for highly academic students who are identified as Gifted.

In existence since 1984, Gifted Centers are housed in regular school settings and provide full-time educational experiences. Instruction involves acceleration, enrichment, and attention to affective needs. Instruction is based on various formal and informal data to assure that the needs of the students are met.  A trained GT Counselor provides social-emotional support to classrooms one day per week at each of our GT Center schools.

Jeffco currently offers 9 Elementary school, 6 middle school, and 2 high school Center programs.  See this map of the GT Center Schools.

This flowchart shows the likely progression students would follow from one GT Center to the next level for a K-12 GT Center experience.

See our GT Center School Expectations for our commitments to families.

This document outlines the differences between neighborhood schools and GT Centers.

My student seems ready for kindergarten because she's already reading and knows her numbers, but is only 3 years old. Can I get her into school early?

    To meet the needs of highly advanced children who have not yet entered kindergarten or first grade, Jeffco Public Schools may grant early entrance to school, for highly advanced gifted children, with a body of evidence at or above the 97th percentile, who do not meet the age requirements outlined in Board Policy JEB.  This process is not for typical children who miss the October 1 Kindergarten/First Grade entrance date.  Jeffco’s Early Access application window is from January to March -- the Early Access window for 2021-22 is now closed and students have already been placed for the current year.

For the requirements of Early Access to Kindergarten, view our Early Access webpage.

What social/emotional help will be available?

    Each GT Center school has a Social Emotional Learning Counselor assigned to support gifted and talented identified students, and GT Center Teachers receive regular professional learning on the affected needs of gifted students.  For students at neighborhood, option and charter schools, your school’s GT Resource Teacher (RT) can work with existing school personnel to assist with social-emotional support.

Where can I find information and support?

    If your student was recently identified or you just want a GT introduction, visit our website for basic information about giftedness, including resources, links, and an overview of information.

Find your 2021-22 GT Resource Teacher (RT) and Social/Emotional Learning Counselor (SELC)  by school.  

When does my student get an ALP? When during the year is it developed?

    Students are placed on an Advanced Learning Plan (ALP) once a completed body of evidence has been reviewed and within 30 school days after a student has been identified as gifted (as per CDE guidelines). 

ALP Life Cycle

What does “Twice Exceptional” (2e) mean?

According to the Colorado Department of Education: Twice-exceptional students are those who are identified as gifted according to state criteria in one or more of the categories of giftedness (cognitive, academic, creative, leadership, or arts)

AND 

Identified with a disability according to federal/state criteria – and the disability qualifies them for either an IEP or a 504 plan.

See Jeffco’s Twice Exceptional webpage for more information.

What is an IEP and 504 Plan?

    See the following references (the GT Department does not manage these):

What do these acronyms stand for?

      ALP      Advanced Learning Plan: required for all identified gifted students in Colorado

      BL        Building Leader: each school should assign a GT BL as a point of contact between the school community and the GT Department and GT Resource Teacher

      GT        Gifted and Talented

      IEP       Individualized Education Plan: for students who qualify for special education services

      RT        Resource Teacher: each school is assigned a centrally-based GT RT to assist with identification, programming, ALPs and professional/family learning.  Each GT RT has a caseload of 10-12 schools.  [Note: this caseload is increased due to several RTs being reassigned to teach remote classes for the 2020-21 school year.]

      MTSS   Multi-tiered System of Support Framework applied at the state, district, and school level that uses implementation science to create one integrated system. This system is designed to support the needs of all students. MTSS is defined as a prevention-based framework of team-driven data-based problem solving for improving the outcomes of every student through family, school, and community partnering and a layered continuum of evidence-based practices applied at the classroom, school, district, region, and state level.

    SELC    Social Emotional Learning Counselor: each of our 17 GT Center schools is assigned a half-time counselor to serve the social-emotional needs of GT Center students

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