November 25, 2014

DCAGT Coffee in Parker next Wednesday, Dec. 3rd

Please join us to chat about our gifted and high-potential-learning children and their exceptional needs. This is an opportunity to meet, ask questions and share information about the available gifted and talented programs, schools, resources and events within Douglas County.

These free events are about one-hour long and open to anyone with gifted and talented children, including families with children in public schools, private schools, charter schools or home schools. Here are the details for our next event:

Click here to register for this event.

What: DCAGT Morning Coffee

Where: 
Panera Bread in Parker 
11290 Twenty Mile Road 
Parker, Colorado 80134 

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When: Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014 from 9:25 - 10:25 am

Register Now!

November 20, 2014

Classroom Mini-Grants for GT Projects

Current CAGT members who are planning a GT-oriented classroom project or activity are encouraged to apply for a classroom mini-grant for up to $250 from the Foundation for Colorado Gifted and Talented.

Download the application form here.

November 19, 2014

GT 101 Seminar is Tonight!

There's still time for you to register and attend the free GT 101 Seminar tonight.

Click here to register for tonight's event.

When: Tonight! Wednesday, November 19, 2014 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm

Where: Acres Green Elementary School
13524 Acres Green Drive
Littleton, Colorado 80124
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Who: Natasha Straayer, Gifted Education Coordinator for Douglas County School District, will provide a presentation on the gifted and talented programs available within Douglas County School District (DCSD). There will also be a short question and answer period.

Some of the topics that will be covered include:
  • GT Resources in my neighborhood school
  • Discovery Program in DCSD
  • Support for Twice Exception Children
  • and much more!

This event is sponsored by DCAGT for anyone who wants to learn more about the available gifted services and programs within the Douglas County School District. Registration is free and highly recommended! 

Click here for a summary of key takeaways from the presentation.


November 18, 2014

Applying for the Discovery Program, Part 3: Parent Rating


This post is part of a three-part series on how to apply for the Elementary Discovery Program:

How To Provide Examples of Gifted Characteristics

As a parent, we all want what is the best for our kids and applying for the Discovery Program is one way for you to help address your child's unique needs as a learner. Part of the application process requires you to rate your child in several criteria and provide specific examples of your child displaying these traits.

The criteria in the Discovery Program Application are based on the Kingore Observation Inventory, an assessment that has been used for over 10 years in the U.S. and internationally to identify and differentiate instruction for gifted students. Check out this article by the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) for practical advice and examples of gifted behavior.

For every criteria on the application, you should aim to provide a recent example to support your rating for your child. Feel free to attach additional pages to your rating form to have enough room to write down your example. For each example:
  • explain when the situation occurred
  • what was happening in the situation
  • how your child responded and 
  • how that response reflects the criteria

Providing this level of detail helps the application review committee get a clear picture of how your child behaves at home and compares to how your teacher sees you child in the classroom. The strongest applications for the Discovery Program will show a consistent, well-documented profile of your child in both these environments. 

Coming up with these examples can be difficult. Do you have any suggestions or ideas for how to identify examples of your child's gifted behavior? Leave a comment below to share your best ideas!

More Questions?

Have more questions about the Discovery Program and other programs and services for gifted and advanced students? Register for the fall "Gifted and Talented 101" seminar on October 19, 2016 with Natasha Straayer, DCSD Personalized Learning and get your questions answered.

November 17, 2014

Applying for the Discovery Program, Part 2: Current Teacher Ratings


This post is part of a three-part series on how to apply for the Elementary Discovery Program:

How To Work With Your School

Your current teacher has a unique and valuable insight into your student's current ability as a learner and his/her potential for success within the Elementary Discovery Program. We highly recommend requesting a meeting with your teacher and GT Coordinator to learn about all the available services for gifted and advanced learners at your neighborhood school. Most schools can support students who display giftedness in a single area. Typically, students in the Discovery Program display giftedness in more than one passion area and at or above grade level performance in all other areas.

Here are some helpful questions to ask when you meet:

1) How is my student doing in school? At your meeting, ask your teacher for their professional opinion of your student's progress in reading, writing, and math. Is your student working above grade level in more than one area? How are your student's learning needs currently being addressed by your teacher? How can you help support your student from home?

2) What data do we have for our student?  Review any assessments that your teacher has used with your student, such as the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) and the STAR Assessments in Early Literacy and Math. What are the learning goals for your student this year? How close is your student to meeting those goals so far? Ask for a copy of these assessments to include in your application.

3) What is the best learning environment for my student? Part of your teacher's role is to create a classroom that motivates and challenges students to learn. How well does your student interact with others in the class? Does your student display good habits? How does your student prefer to learn?

4) Is the Discovery Program a good fit? - Based on what you have discussed about your student, what services or curriculum modifications can compare to what is available from the Discovery Program? Would your teacher highly recommend your student to the Discovery Program and why or why not?

Your teacher has firsthand knowledge of how well your student is doing both academically and socially in the classroom and can greatly support your application. However, if your teacher does not provide a strong rating, don't despair - this will not automatically disqualify your student's Discovery Program application. The application review committee looks at the full body of evidence for your student, so make sure to provide clear examples and additional data to help support your application.

Next time: Applying for the Discovery Program, Part 3: Parent Rating

More Questions?

Have more questions about the Discovery Program and other programs and services for gifted and advanced students? Register for the fall "Gifted and Talented 101" seminar on October 19, 2016 with Natasha Straayer, DCSD Personalized Learning and get your questions answered.

November 14, 2014

My Child is Gifted. Now What?


Has your child recently taken the CogAT test at school and been recognized as a gifted learner? Do you need help learning more about how to work with your teacher to support your gifted student? Are you interested in learning more about the elementary Discovery Program within Douglas County School District (DCSD)?

Register today for our upcoming GT 101 seminar with Natasha Straayer, from the DCSD Office for Gifted and Talented, and get these questions answered and more! This is a free event being hosted by DCAGT on Wednesday, November 19th at Acres Green Elementary

We asked registrants what they would like us to cover in the seminar next week and here is what we found from 20 respondents so far: 
  • 53% want to know more about the GT programming at their local neighborhood school
  • 21% have questions about the elementary Discovery Program and the application process
  • 16% listed Other - general questions about giftedness and serving GT learners
  • 11% want to know about services for twice exceptional (2E) learners

Do you have additional questions? What are we missing? The GT 101 seminar is your opportunity to learn more about supporting gifted students and what this means for your family. It's also a great chance to learn about the services and programs within Douglas County for gifted learners.

Click here to register for this event and let us know how we can help your gifted students!

November 13, 2014

Cherylin Peniston Scholarship Application for GT Coordinators

The Foundation for Colorado Gifted and Talented is accepting applications for the Cherylin Peniston Scholarship. The purpose of the $500 scholarship is to provide financial assistance to GT directors and coordinators who are pursuing a GT qualification in Colorado.

Download an application form here.

November 11, 2014

DCAGT Coffee in Castle Rock next Wednesday, Nov. 19th

Please join us to chat about our gifted and high-potential-learning children and their exceptional needs. This is an opportunity to meet, ask questions and share information about the available gifted and talented programs, schools, resources and events within Douglas County.

These free events are about one-hour long and open to anyone with gifted and talented children, including families with children in public schools, private schools, charter schools or home schools. Here are the details for our next event:

Click here to register for this event.

What: DCAGT Morning Coffee

Where: 
Panera Bread in Castle Rock 
32 E. Allen Street 
Castle Rock, Colorado 80108 

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When: Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 from 9:25 - 10:25 am

Register Now!

Parenting Gifted Children Support Group Starts This December

As the parent of a gifted child or teenager, do you ever feel isolated from others’ parenting experiences? How about feelings of bewilderment? Do you feel as if you are living in unchartered waters?

You are not alone! Join Jane West and Jennifer Rix for seven weekly support group sessions dedicated to helping parents and caregivers like you develop the skills to work with their child more effectively and gain a better understanding of their child.

All the core issues that arise when parenting a gifted child will be discussed, including challenges around motivation, discipline, stress, peer and sibling relationships, emotional ups and downs, and the communication of feelings. Resources we will rely upon include the well-respected A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children.

When:
Fridays, 9:00-10:30 AM
December 5, 2014
December 12, 2014
January 9, 2014
January 16, 2014
January 23, 2014
January 30, 2014
February 6, 2014

Sessions are strategically scheduled to assist with the navigating of holiday stress and the return to school routines after winter break.

Where:
Southeast Denver, near the campus of the University of Denver

Presenters: 
Jane West is a licensed professional counselor (LPC) and a licensed school counselor (LSC) with specialties in early childhood development (especially social-emotional development), special educational needs, marriage and family therapy, parenting practices, and life coaching.

Jennifer Rix is a licensed Gifted Education Specialist (Preschool - Grade 12) with a Masters in Special Education: Gifted Education. She is a school GT Coordinator and she serves as President of Cherry Creek GT.

Reigstration: $300 for 7 sessions per family. Registration deadline is November 21, 2014.

To register, email Jennifer at giftedconnections@gmail.com.

November 10, 2014

Applying for the Discovery Program, Part 1: GT Testing


This post is part of a three-part series on how to apply for the Elementary Discovery Program:

How to Identify If Your Child is Gifted 

One of the required materials for the Elementary Discovery Program within Douglas County School District (DCSD) is a copy of ability and achievement test results for your student. These tests are just one component of the body of evidence used to evaluate your student's strengths, skills and abilities and ensure a good fit between your student and the Discovery Program.
  1. Universal CogAT Testing - Normally, DCSD administers the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) to all 3rd grade students at the beginning of every school year for free and your school's GT Coordinator will contact you if your student's scores fall within the gifted range. The CogAT is comprised of three sections:

  2. Notify your teacher - If your student missed the CogAT testing period, contact your teacher and your school's GT Coordinator to discuss your next steps. 

  3. Consider Private Testing - You may also want to consider paying an educational psychologist to administer an ability or achievement test for your child. The cost for these tests is usually between $400-$500 per child, per test. Visit our Resources page for a list of psychologists who perform GT testing

  4. Develop an Advanced Learning Plan (ALP)- Once your child has been identified as a gifted student, your school must develop an ALP in collaboration with you. The plan is a living document that identifies how the school and your family will help support your student's academic, behavioral and social needs and should be updated every school year. A copy of your ALP is another way to support your Discovery Program application.


More Questions?

Have more questions about the Discovery Program and other programs and services for gifted and advanced students? Register for the fall "Gifted and Talented 101" seminar on October 19, 2016 with Natasha Straayer, DCSD Personalized Learning and get your questions answered.

Moody's Mega Math Challenge Registration is Now Open

Attention high school juniors and seniors! Registration is now open for Moody's Mega Math Challenge. Sponsored by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, this challenge asks high school students to work in teams over the Challenge Weekend to tackle a real-world problem under time and resource constraints akin to those faced by industrial applied mathematicians.

The top six prize-winning teams receive scholarship awards ranging from $2,500 to $20,000, which are divided equally among team members and paid directly to the colleges or universities at which the winning students enroll. Semi-finalist and honorable mention winners (more than 50 awards) receive team prizes of $1,500 and $1,000, respectively.

Challenge Weekend is February 28 to March 1, 2015. Participants must be available during the Challenge Weekend. Registration is free.

Click here to learn more and register for the challenge.

November 5, 2014

DCAGT Coffee in Lone Tree next Wednesday, Nov. 12th

Please join us to chat about our gifted and high-potential-learning children and their exceptional needs. This is an opportunity to meet, ask questions and share information about the available gifted and talented programs, schools, resources and events within Douglas County.

These free events are about one-hour long and open to anyone with gifted and talented children, including families with children in public schools, private schools, charter schools or home schools. Here are the details for our next event:

Click here to register for this event.

What: DCAGT Morning Coffee

Where: 
Panera Bread in Lone Tree 
9233 Park Meadows Drive 
Lone Tree, Colorado 80124 

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When: Wednesday, November 12th, 2014 from 9:25 - 10:25 am

Register Now!

November 4, 2014

DCAGT Coffee in Parker tomorrow - Wednesday, Nov. 5th

Please join us to chat about our gifted and high-potential-learning children and their exceptional needs. This is an opportunity to meet, ask questions and share information about the available gifted and talented programs, schools, resources and events within Douglas County.

These free events are about one-hour long and open to anyone with gifted and talented children, including families with children in public schools, private schools, charter schools or home schools. Here are the details for our next event:

Click here to register for this event.

What: DCAGT Morning Coffee

Where: 
Panera Bread in Parker 
11290 Twenty Mile Road 
Parker, Colorado 80134 

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When: Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 from 9:25 - 10:25 am

Register Now!

Discovery Program Parent Info Sessions Being Held This Week

Douglas County School District is hosting three information sessions for families interested in applying for the Discovery Program for the 2015-16 school year. The Discovery Program is magnet program for gifted children and located in the following four elementary schools: Acres Green, Northridge, Pine Lane and Renaissance ELOB Magnet.

Applications for the program are due December 1, 2014, so these parent sessions are excellent opportunities to ask questions about the application process and learn more about the Discovery Program. No registration required and this is a free event.

Discovery Program Info Sessions

Acres Green Elementary
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
6:30pm to 7:30pm (Gym)
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Northridge Elementary
Thursday, November 6, 2014
6:30pm to 7:30pm (Gym)
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Pine Lane Elementary - North Campus
Thursday, November 6, 2014
6:30pm to 7:30pm (Gym)
Note: Enter gym through west door by flagpole.
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Can't make these sessions?

If you are unable to attend any of these sessions or have additional questions, DCAGT is hosting GT 101: An Introduction to Giftedness seminar with Natasha Straayer, Gifted Education Coordinator for Douglas County on November 19, 2014. Registration is highly recommended for this free event.

Click here to register for GT 101.