Springs Studio Gifted & Talented

  • D49 is committed to an educational program recognizing individual student differences, abilities, interests, and needs. Our goal is to enrich the education of all students through instruction, activities, and events designed to expose them to a variety of challenging and higher-order critical and creative thinking experiences. Embodied in this commitment is a responsibility to academically gifted and artistically talented students to help them maximize their high potential and allow them to thrive, flourish, and create. Students who are academically gifted differ from others in learning profile, particularly in the areas of pacing, knowledge base, memory, and depth of thinking. Artistically talented students differ from others in their intensity, level of expression, divergent thinking, and creative productivity. Providing students with enhanced, differentiated instruction enables us to nurture the diverse talents and abilities of our student body.

    At SSAE, our Advanced Learning Facilitator (ALF) helps each Gifted and Talented student maximize his or her potential. The ALF works alongside students, their parent(s) and their classroom teachers and counselors to create an individualized Advanced Learning Plan each school year. Both academic and social/emotional goals are created and evaluated at several points throughout the year. In addition, the Advanced Learning Facilitator will serve as a resource for other education specialists when looking to meet the needs of high ability students.

    Teachers, parents, and students themselves are welcome to nominate students for a Gifted and Talented identification. The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT), which assesses students’ reasoning and problem solving abilities in verbal, mathematical, and spatial areas will be administered. In order to qualify, a student must first score in the 95th percentile or above on one or more of the three test subsections. Additional data points are required in addition to this score and are reviewed on an individual basis. A previous GT identification from another school/school district will be recognized. Additional testing may be required if SSAE does not receive a sufficient body of evidence in the transfer of student records.

Gifted Education

  • School District 49's strategic plan fully embraces and supports gifted learners through its fifth Big Rock, "Every Student": "District 49 will ensure educational experiences are individualized, capable of launching every student toward success." If you have any questions about gifted education in District 49, please contact the district gifted coordinator, Diane Neff.

    District 49 Definition of a Gifted Student/Child.  A student/child between 4 and 21 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 educational programming needs.  Gifted students/children are hereafter referred to as gifted students.  Children under five who are gifted may also be provided with early childhood special educational services.  Gifted students include gifted students with disabilities (i.e. twice exceptional) and students with exceptional abilities or potential from all social-economic, ethnic and 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
    • Creative or productive thinking
    • Leadership abilities
    • Visual arts, performing arts, musical or psychomotor abilities 

    District 49 Gifted Education Vision. All Gifted students will accomplish challenging post-secondary work/force goals and become productive, creative citizens capable of succeeding in their area of strength.

    District 49 Gifted Education Mission.  Ensure gifted student growth and achievement through systems of support, programming, and advocacy.

    District 49 is dedicated to identifying and providing exceptional programming for gifted students. Schools throughout the district are committed to identifying those students who meet the district and state criteria of a “gifted learner.” Teachers work collaboratively with Gifted Specialists to develop Advanced Learning Plans for all our identified gifted students to ensure gifted children are challenged and experience academic growth throughout the year.

    Gifted needs are addressed using a variety of instructional strategies and programming options. District 49 offers early access for highly gifted kindergarten and first-grade students who do not meet the age requirements for enrollment. Elementary schools provide differentiation instruction through grouping, advanced learning opportunities, and after-school academic classes, clubs, and contests. Our middle schools provide a wide range of honor and enrichment classes as well as many academic after-school opportunities. High school students have many opportunities to individualize their learning by choosing to attend one of our Career Academies, earn an International Baccalaureate Diploma, select from a wide variety of Advanced Placement courses, or take concurrent enrollment courses, which provide both high school and college credit simultaneously. Additionally, for students who desire a self-paced online curriculum, Falcon Virtual Academy provides a rigorous, digital learning environment. In District 49, we strive to provide gifted students with a wide range of opportunities to support their academic, social, and emotional development.

    District 49 believes that parents are partners when it comes to meeting the needs of gifted learners. Parents and teachers work together to ensure children are not only challenged but also valued for their unique abilities. The gifted education website is designed to provide parents of gifted learners support and resources as well as provide information on District 49 gifted education and associated processes and procedures.

Gifted Forms and Documents

Gifted Q&A

  • What is giftedness?

    Posted by:
    As a parent, we all believe our children are “gifts” and possess very special traits that make them unique and extraordinary. However, in the education world, the term “gifted” has come to mean children who demonstrate high performance in specific areas or domains, or who have the potential for exceptional performance.  At this time, gifted education is unfortunately not mandated by the federal government. Therefore, you will find states throughout our nation vary greatly in how they identify gifted students and the programming opportunities provided to meet the unique learning needs of these children. To see a more detailed response to this question, click this link to visit the NAGC (National Association of Gifted Children) webpage.
    Comments (-1)
  • How do I know if my child is gifted?

    Posted by:
    There are many characteristics and traits gifted children often demonstrate. Parents are obviously the first to observe these traits early in their child’s life. Here are 12 possible characteristics you may have observed in your child:
    1. Reasons well, is curious and is good at solving problems
    2. Very observant and curious
    3. Learns rapidly and has an excellent memory
    4. Learned to read before entering school and is an avid reader
    5. Is good with numbers and puzzles, can solve math problems innately
    6. Is intense, sensitive and has a high degree of energy
    7. Is a perfectionist and has a long attention span
    8. Highly creative and a keen observer
    9. Often prefers older peers or adults
    10. Advanced sense of humor
    11. Nonconforming, stubborn and self-critical
    12. Messy and bored with routine tasks
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  • Can a parent nominate their child for a gifted screening?

    Posted by:
    Yes. We believe that parents know their child best.  You can share with us information on when your child reached his/her developmental milestones and if he/she is demonstrating gifted behaviors at home that we might not have had a chance to observe at school.  If you would like to nominate your child for a gifted screening, please download the form below.  Complete the form and return it to your building principal.  A team of educators will review your form, your child’s assessment data and classroom performance.  If your child meets the criteria established by the Falcon School District and the state of Colorado for gifted identification, you will be notified of the identification and invited to participate in the Advanced Learning Plan process.  A parent nomination does not guarantee a formal gifted identification.
    Comments (-1)