Gifted and Talented

Definition of Gifted and Talented

Gifted children means those persons between the ages of four and twenty-one whose aptitude or competence in abilities, talents, and potential for accomplishment in one or more domains are so exceptional or developmentally advanced that they require special provisions to meet their educational programming needs.

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:

  • General or specific intellectual ability

  • Specific academic aptitude- reading, writing, math, science, social studies

  • Creative or productive thinking

  • Leadership abilities

  • Visual arts, drama/theater, dance, music, or psychomotor (movement) abilities

High Potential Learners

In our classrooms we have many students who may not be eligible for gifted services, but who demonstrate high potential as learners, leaders, and producers. These students also need appropriate programming; including the opportunity to work with rich and demanding curriculum that can bring potential and promise to the surface. Close monitoring of these students may lead to gifted identification.

The Gifted & Talented Identification Process

The purpose of the Gifted & Talented identification process is to match students’ academic and affective needs with services that will afford them the opportunity to demonstrate academic growth. The emphasis should not be on the “gifted” label, but on student learning needs. The nomination and assessment process is as follows:

  1. Student Search: This involves the active searching for students who perform or show potential for performing at exceptional levels when compared with those of similar age, language skills, experience, or environment. Nominations are made by any knowledgeable person: school staff, parents/guardians, peers and/or self.

  2. Nomination: During the nomination phase, supporting evidence (i.e., cognitive and culture free measures, academic aptitude and performance, language acquisition skills, and teacher, parent, and student feedback, etc.) is collected by the school’s AAGS team.

  3. Recognition/Identification and Services: Each school’s AAGS team reviews the nominations and makes decisions regarding the services needed to meet each student’s academic and affective needs. An Advanced Learning Plan (ALP) is designed.

  4. Review: AAGS students’ growth and achievement is closely monitored. Students will have an annual ALP review to determine the appropriateness of his/her differentiated services; however, a review may occur at any time, as needed. Student progress is recorded and shared with parents/guardians. Conferencing will be necessary for a change in service.


  • Colorado’s State Gifted and Talented Education Guidelines, Colorado Department of Education

  • Exceptional Children’s Educational Act (C.R.S. 22-20-101 et seq.)

  • Gifted and Talented Students (C.R.S. 22-26-101 et seq.)

  • Fast Track Program (C.R.S. 22-34-101 et seq.)

  • Mary Ruth Colemann, Ph. D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Postsecondary Enrollment Options Act (C.R.S. 22-35-101 et seq.)

  • The Parallel Curriculum, A Service Publication of the National Association for Gifted Children, Carol Ann Tomlinson, Sandra N. Kaplan, Joseph Renzulli, Jeanne Purcell, Jann Leppien, Deborah Burns, 2002.

Gifted and Talented FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Gifted & Talented

1. What are some characteristics of a gifted child?

A gifted child may show strengths in many of the following areas: communication, motivation, humor, inquiry, insight, interests, problem solving, memory, reasoning, imagination/creativity, leadership, and language acquisition.

2. Can a child be both learning-disabled and gifted?

Yes. A “twice-exceptional” child exhibits remarkable talents or strengths in some areas and disabling weaknesses in others. Special considerations are made for these students when designing appropriate services.

3. If one of my children is identified as gifted, does that mean that his/her brothers or sisters will be too?

When one child from a family has been selected to receive gifted services, it is recommended that all children from that family be considered for Gifted & Talented nomination.

4. How will my child’s education be different if they are identified as advanced or gifted?

Instruction may be at a more advanced level, quicker pace, more in-depth and require students to think at higher levels. Students may participate in special projects, special classes, interest-based research, as well as, have opportunities to work with other high potential/gifted students.

When appropriate educational programming for gifted students is provided, you can expect the following:

  • Students will demonstrate measurable growth, sometimes more than a year of growth, in their strength area, for every year they are in school.

  • Students will be challenged. School work will not be easy for them.

5. What kind of training do teachers of gifted students receive?

Teachers have access to in-district training as well as outside district conferences and workshops. The APS Advanced Academic and Gifted Services Department works directly with Gifted & Talented leaders in every school to provide classroom teachers with necessary training and support.

6. What can I read that will help me learn more about gifted?

  • Reaching New Horizons: Gifted and Talented Education for Culturally Diverse Students - J. A. Castellano and E.I. Diaz

  • Growing Up Gifted - Barbara Clark

  • The Survival Guide for Parents of Gifted Kids

Gifted and Talented Resources

Colorado Gifted and Talented Association

Colorado Department of Education Office of Gifted Education

National Association for Gifted Children

Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG)

Referral for Gifted Identification

Teachers, school staff, parents, students, and community members may refer a student to go through the gifted identification process. A body of evidence including classroom work samples, assessment data, and surveys from a variety of stakeholders will be reviewed to make a determination of gifted or high potential ability following guidelines set forth by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE). If you have any questions, please contact the GT Facilitator at the school, James Laguana at [email protected]

Gifted and Talented Referral Form

Gifted Children’s Bill of Rights

Gifted children have the right to:

  • know about your giftedness.

  • learn something new everyday.

  • be passionate about your talent area without apologies.

  • have an identity beyond your talent area.

  • feel good about your accomplishments.

  • make mistakes.

  • seek guidance in the development of your talent.

  • have multiple peer groups and a variety of friends.

  • choose which of your talent areas you wish to pursue.

  • not to be gifted at everything.

Written by Del Siegle (NAGC President, 2007 - 2009)

Contact Person

GT Facilitator

James Laguana

[email protected]