In the Denver Public Schools, “gifted and talented children” means those students whose demonstrated abilities, talents and/or potential for accomplishment are so exceptional or developmentally advanced that they require special provisions to meet their educational needs. These students perform, or show the potential of performing, at remarkably high levels in intellectual, specific academic or creative areas when compared with others of their age and experience. Gifted and talented children are present in all student groups, regardless of gender, disability, English language proficiency, economic status, ethnic or cultural background.
Identification of gifted students occurs year round in DPS. The gifted and talented teacher at each school monitors student data in several key areas that the district has determined are indicators of giftedness. This includes a visual-spatial reasoning test given to all students in second and fourth grades and a set of creativity indicators administered to all third and fifth graders. The district also uses advanced CMAS scores (administered in gr. 3-10) as gifted indicators as well as Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) data for students reading two years above grade level. Additionally, families may elect to have their child take a battery of tests that the district uses to identify highly gifted students. The nomination period for that testing is usually in the early fall, with the testing in the late fall, and scores returned at the beginning of the new year. Students identified as highly gifted have the option of attending a highly gifted magnet school for elementary or middle school. Scores from this battery of tests are also used to identify gifted students.
In addition to identification of gifted students, Ms. Pickle provides a variety of programming for gifted students, supports the faculty with staff development geared toward advanced learners and works with classroom teachers and families in developing and implementing Advanced Learning Plans for each gifted student.