December 5, 2014

GT 101 Summary: From our November Event

Thanks to Natasha Straayer, GT Coordinator for Douglas County School District for her presentation on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 about gifted and talented services within Douglas County. The event was attended by approximately 30 parents, mostly with children in elementary school.

Key Takeaways



  1. Get to Know Your School’s GT Contact - Learn about GT services at your current school and the Discovery Program. Each school is different and each feeder is district, so learn about the possible options and determine a good fit for your kids. Your GT contact can help answer questions and direct you on the path.


  1. Free Universal Testing for all 3rd Graders - All 3rd grade students are universally tested by every Douglas County Elementary School using the CogAT. If your child is not in 3rd grade and has not completed the CogAT, contact your GT Contact for next steps.  


  1. Participate in designing your child’s Advanced Learning Plan (ALP) - Once identified, it is a Colorado state requirement to develop an Advanced Learning Plan for all gifted students. The ALP is a living document of what the school and parents will do to support the academic, social and emotional needs of the student. It should be reviewed and updated annually.


  1. Identifying Potential Discovery Program Students - Students who have the potential to succeed in the Elementary Discovery Program are identified by a body of evidence, not just high test scores. Students must display at least 3 positive indicators of giftedness academically and behaviorally and at least one of the indicators must be related to aptitude or achievement


  1. Typical Discovery Program Student Profile - The Discovery Program is for students who need services “beyond what can be reasonably expected from the regular school.” Most schools can accommodate giftedness in one area. Discovery students typically perform one grade level above or more in a passion area and at or above grade level in all other areas.


  1. Middle School and High School GT - The Discovery Program is for elementary students in 2nd-6th grades only. After 6th grades, gifted students work with their parents, school’s GT contact and school counselor to develop an Advanced Learning Plan (ALP) that works with their college academic planning and course selection.


  1. Getting Involved at Your School - Learn about your school community and learn how to advocate for your student’s educational experience.
    • Find out when your School Accountability Committee (SAC) meets and attend.
    • Visit DCSD’s Parent Resources page for more ways you can get involved.