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They Vary but All Central Park Elementary and Middle Schools Have GT Programs

Each Central Park school has its own way of providing services to gifted and talented students. Below are descriptions of each area school’s GT program that they have posted on the Denver Public Schools site.

DPS is required to meet the needs of students who are identified as gifted and talented. According to the district, its GT services range from:

  • co-teaching by the gifted education teacher in the regular classroom.
  • pull-out programs: The student meets with the GT teacher in a specific subject for a short period of time, but spends most of the time in the regular classroom.
  • cluster grouping: school-based model where gifted students are placed together in a regular classroom or content class.
  • ability grouping: content-based groups of students working at the same level in the regular classroom.
  • curriculum compacting: using the same materials but moving through the content at a faster pace and/or in greater depth for students who excel
  • acceleration of content
  • enrichment opportunities
  • magnet services (for students designated HGT or Magnet Eligible)

Where to Look for Resources from DPS:

DPS GT site

Services from DPS

Family Information About GT

Gifted and Talented programming at K-8 schools in Central Park


Denver Green School- Northfield

At the Denver Green School, we believe that Gifted and Talented students should receive appropriate differentiated instruction to address individual needs. We believe students in the Gifted and Talented program must have a broad base representation of students from different ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.

These students will have resources to maximize their potential as appropriate to their educational needs and talents. In addition, the social-emotional needs of Gifted students should be recognized and addressed.

It is our goal that students have to opportunity to:

  • Develop higher level thinking skills
  • Develop creative thinking and problem solving skills
  • Develop research skills as applied to “real world” problems
  • Progress at rate and pace appropriate to abilities and learning styles
  • Develop effective communication skills
  • Create products that are unique and synthesize major concepts
  • Develop self-esteem and self-understanding
  • Work with others of similar ability
  • Develop self-esteem and self-understanding
  • Work with others of similar ability

Denver Discovery (middle) School

Denver Discovery School values every child’s individualized intellectual and social strengths through rigorous, purposeful and relevant learning and leadership opportunities. We foster perseverance and intellectual curiosity so that our students are prepared to meet 21st century academic and personal demands.

A .25 GT teacher (one day per week) supports teachers with adapting instruction to meet the academic and social-emotional needs of gifted learners through professional development and consultation.

The GT teacher conducts universal screenings for 6th grade students, administers additional assessments, and uses a variety of data sources to equitably identify GT and Talent Pool students. Talent Pool students have demonstrated an advanced ability, but do not yet meet the criteria to be identified as GT.

Advanced students from groups that are historically underrepresented in GT are especially encouraged to engage in additional challenges. To address disparities in GT identification, we will continue to pursue a variety of GT identification pathways.

The GT teacher collaborates with students, families, and teachers to develop and progress monitor Advanced Learning Plans for all GT students. As time allows, the GT teacher leads pull-out and/or push-in groups in students’ area(s) of strength to support higher order thinking skills and social emotional learning. All DDS families receive communication regarding districtwide GT opportunities and ways to support GT learners.

Inspire Elementary 

Inspire Elementary supports gifted learners in a variety of ways. These include push-in and pull-out small group instruction, when possible, flexible grouping in the classroom, and cluster grouping based on strength.

The school will also provide advanced product options, higher order questioning with depth and complexity, student choice, independent investigations, advanced use of technology, special blocks, and creative critical thinking opportunities as strategies for appropriate differentiation.

Data, viewed through various lenses, will guide tiered instruction. Faculty will support enrichment activities whenever possible and emphasize social emotional learning (SEL) in addition to positive behavior support systems, focusing on the whole child.

Students with a gifted and talented identification will receive an Advanced Learning Plan with specific goals related to academic and affective needs. School values will emphasize students’ abilities to Inspire, Innovate, and Impact! Although COVID19 guidelines may alter programming, the school will provide as much differentiation as possible.

Isabella Bird Community School

IBCS meets the needs of gifted and advanced students through a full-time programming model called clustering.

This research-based strategy attends to the academic and social/emotional needs of gifted learners. This model places a group, or cluster, of GT students into a classroom with a teacher who has training and experience in meeting the needs of this diverse group of learners.

Research is clear that gifted students benefit from time with intellectual and like-minded peers. We have expanded our program this year to meet increased demand and have two gifted clusters at each grade level. We have nine teachers who are highly qualified to teach gifted students and we are using our early release time to further develop our staff to meet the needs of our GT students.

We have a three-year plan to have all ICBS teachers GT certified. Our GT teacher supports the cluster model through testing and identification, planning, offering extensions and resources to our teachers, and direct service with students.

IBCS is committed to addressing the ongoing disproportionality in gifted education by actively seeking to offer equitable GT programming for our underserved populations. We accomplish this by intentionally placing students into the GT cluster classrooms through the lens of equity.

We also actively seek to identify students from diverse backgrounds by encouraging participation in testing, universally screening all students in K and 2nd grade, sharing characteristics of giftedness in CLED (culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse) populations with teachers, and advocating for equitable identification practices at the state and national level.

Our goal is to have our GT programming reflect the population of students that we serve and become a model for equitable access to GT programming.

McAuliffe International School

McAuliffe International School is a high achieving Innovation School within DPS and part of the Northeast Denver Innovation Zone.

With a high percentage of identified students and a high number in the Talent Pool, teachers at McAuliffe teach to higher levels of rigor and scaffold down for students as necessary.

Math classes use cross-grade grouping where appropriate and most classes offer extensions for a deeper conceptual dive. Teachers use ALP information to differentiate in their classrooms using a variety of rigorous academic strategies.

Service-learning trips will return this year, as well as academic enrichments. We have grade level counselors, two social workers and a school psychologist to help with students’ social/emotional health as well as a yoga and mindfulness enrichment for additional SEL support.

Communication will be sent out in the school newsletter. Parents will receive a welcome letter and additional communication and instructions for students to complete ALP goals and for parents to provide input into their student’s ALP.

The GT teacher will have office hours during which time students can come to get help with their ALPs and progress monitoring. There will be a GT folder on grade level homeroom pages on Schoology for information and forms around GT programming.

Swigert International School

At Swigert we meet the needs of our gifted students in several ways. We ability group in each class so advanced and gifted students will have a peer group at their academic level with whom they can work on extensions, upper level curricula, etc.

Our GT Coordinator offers PD for staff to support them in supporting their gifted learners. Our GT Coordinator pushes into classrooms as needed and offers GT weekly pull-out groups for identified students, talent pool students, as well as other advanced students that focus on rigorous academic tasks as well as curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, and SEL development.

There are also SEL-focused lunch bunches and creativity, divergent thinking groups, etc. offered as needed. GT Coordinator hosts a few extracurriculars such as Climate Action Team, the Semantics Team, a McAuliffe/Swigert Writing Mentorship, and after school art class for our passionate and talented students.

Our GT Coordinator works with teacher teams to support them in meeting the needs of their gifted students and has a robust bank of resources and content extensions available.

The GT Coordinator with teachers, equity specialists, and admin to work towards a representation of gifted students that is representative of our school demographics.

Our GT Coordinator works with our IB Coordinator to collaborate on how to embed extensions within our IB unit. Finally, our GT Coordinator offers ongoing Parent/Teacher Nights/Coffee Talks on topics like Identification and Programming, Perfectionism and Anxiety, and more.

Westerly Creek Elementary School

At Westerly Creek, all Gifted and Talented students and students who have been identified as part of our talent pool (students demonstrating 95%ile or higher achievement, cognitive and observational data, and/or students of color demonstrating at least grade-level mastery/90%ile and above, as part of our school-wide Equity and Black Excellence commitment) work with an ability group of their peers a minimum of twice a week in both their math and literacy classrooms as well as in a pull-out group one to two times a week per content area and with one to four times a week options for asynchronous participation in the gen ed classroom.

When there is a demonstrated readiness (based on tier 1 and universal data) from a body of evidence, teachers make adjustments to the curriculum for students who have already mastered the material to be learned, replacing that content with new content, curriculum compacting, and acceleration.

Additionally, the Westerly Creek GT Coordinator services students one-to-four times a week in a separate learning space outside of the general classroom with a group of like-minded students who are also formally/talent pool identified with common strength areas.

Affectively, Westerly supports all students through daily SEL lessons in a whole group setting. We utilize a consistent MTTS process to evaluate and target mental health support as needed.

For identified students, teacher teams set and monitor goals with a team of teachers as defined in an identified student’s ALP. Additionally, GT students are encouraged to advocate for their needs to teachers and with the support of the site GT Coordinator.

William (Bill) Roberts School

The gifted and talented program at Bill Roberts provides students with opportunities to engage in meaningful activities that enhance academic, social, and emotional development.

Students in kindergarten through 8th grade will have access to small group instruction, extension opportunities, choice projects, and advanced learning materials under the supervision of the classroom teacher and GT teacher.

The GT teacher will pull groups of identified learners to deliver lessons and materials that correlate to student selected academic and affective ALP goals.  Weekly check ins and planning sessions with the classroom teachers occur to discuss student progress and modify instructional plans when necessary.

Check-ins with classroom teachers and service providers will also serve as opportunities to discuss and continue evaluation of unidentified students.

Throughout our identification and programming processes, we will continue to work to better serve all under identified and underserved gifted learners.

Information sessions will occur throughout the year to help families navigate the identification process and provide resources to support gifted learners at home.

The GT teacher will continue to reflect and adjust evaluative practices of our BIPOC and special education populations to close achievement gaps within our disparity data.

Willow Elementary School

At Willow we have implemented various programs to enhance and further develop our opportunities for students to be challenged. These include Jr. Great Books groups to ensure challenging reading groups for students at every grade level; Challenge and Accelerated Math Groups for assessing and identifying students ready to excel beyond their current level; GT pullout during our Science Project Based Learning block to ensure students are provided with additional opportunities to engage in differentiated PBL experiences as well as other opportunities.

Some examples of enrichment activities outside the regular school day include the Shakespeare Festival, writing competitions, spelling bee, robotics, etc.

Additionally, identified GT students have social/emotional goals on their ALPs. The school is using Zones of Regulation as a part of its behavior system this year.

This curriculum teaches students to regulate their behavior and is very appropriate for gifted students.  Gifted students struggle with regulating behavior and emotion. If GT and advanced students show the need for additional support, the school’s full-time psychologist will be engaged in supporting any needs identified.

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