May 8, 2015

Advanced Learning Plans

According to the Exceptional Child Education Act, an Advanced Learning Plan is "a written record of gifted and talented programming utilized with each gifted child and considered in educational planning and decision making." (22-20-R-12.00, C.R.S.) Under Colorado law, every identified gifted student with a school district must have an ALP and it is the responsibility of the school district to ensure that every identified student has one.

Once your child enters high school, the ALP is often integrated with your child's Individualized Career and Academic Plan (ICAP). Under Colorado Law, the ICAP is "used to identify and establish personalized academic and career goals" (22-2-R-2.00 (2), C.R.S.).

As a parent, you are invited and expected to collaborate with teachers in the development of an ALP and/or ICAP for your child. Specifically, parents can provide insights into your child's strengths, interests and social and emotional needs and discuss ways to incorporate these factors into a challenging learning plan. Research shows that having a strong educational fit between your child and their learning plan can also help resolve social and emotional problems, such as underachievement and depression.

Here are some helpful resources to help you learn more:

From the Office of Gifted Education, Colorado Department of Education
ALP: Advanced Learning Plans - Fast Facts
ALP Blended with an ICAP
Advanced Learning Plans and SMART Goals

From around the web:
Interview with Dr. Karen B. Rogers
provides some good advice on how to advocate for your gifted child

Parenting Tips for Educational Advocacy
by Davidson Institute for Talent Development

Communicating Effectively with Your Child's School
by Dr. Joan Franklin Smutny and National Association for Gifted Children

Creating Useful Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) 
IEPs are used to develop plans for learning disabled children, including twice-exceptional children. Many of these same tips can be used to develop ALPs/ICAPs.