Programming for Academic Challenge

Programming for Academic Challenge


“Gifted Children” means those persons between the ages of four and twenty-one whose aptitude or competence of abilities, talents, and potential for accomplishment in one or more domains are so exceptional or developmentally advanced that they require special provisions to meet their educational programming needs. Gifted 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 socio-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 Thinking, Leadership, Performing Arts, Visual Arts, World Languages, Science, Social Studies, and Psychomotor abilities.

The mission of gifted/talented programming in St. Vrain Valley schools is “To educate each gifted/talented student in a safe learning environment so that they may develop to their highest potential and become contributing citizens.  Gifted students will make academic growth commensurate with their abilities, due to their involvement in appropriately rigorous and challenging educational opportunities responsive to their individual strengths and needs.”

For gifted students, who perform well outside the norms of the “typical learner”, accomplishing this goal means making adjustments to the pacing, depth and complexity of curriculum and instruction. Gifted education goals align with the district goals for all learners.

Navigating Our Course Focus AreasGifted Education Goals/Objectives
Student Achievement: Literacy and numeracy, implementation of a standards-based model, and preparation for the next level.To improve academic achievement for gifted/talented students so that they consistently perform at advanced levels and make continuous growth relative to their strength areas. 
Well Being:  The Learning Environment- to assure that students contribute to and thrive in safe, civil and productive environments that embrace diversity.To assure the well-being of gifted students, so that they have access to safe, civil and productive environments that match their educational needs and promote their social-emotional growth and adjustment.
Partnerships: Parents and Guardians and the CommunityTo assure that programming for gifted students is comprehensive and embraces the input and participation of all people and organizations, within and outside of the school walls, to meet their needs.


In Colorado, gifted and talented children are included in the legal definition of exceptional children.  Gifted and talented students are characterized by precocious intellectual ability and/or marked potential for high levels of performance in their strength areas. We believe that these students need support and encouragement from family, school and the community to achieve full development.  They also need access to curriculum and instructional services that allow them to make continuous educational growth at advanced and distinguished levels of performance. 

Programming Overview

Gifted education services include a range and variety of services to address student needs, and may be delivered within the student’s regular classroom, in classrooms at other schools, in resource rooms, and in special classes. Programming is linked to identified student strengths, with options and strategies matched to the identified academic and affective needs of students.  Balanced programming means including the four components below in order to provide for the needs of gifted and talented students.

Structure (where programming occurs)

Differentiated Curriculum and Instruction

Affective Guidance/College Planning

Content Options

Programming is adaptable to the resources within different buildings. In the absence of specific programs for gifted students, these programming components remain requirements of the gifted student’s general education.

Programming ultimately seeks development of the whole child so that gifted students become successful adults demonstrating self-esteem, self-efficacy and creative productivity.  Therefore, learner outcomes in three main areas serve as the program focus for all identified students.  It is our intention that gifted/talented students will:

  • Perform at advanced and distinguished levels in their strength areas
  • Acquire autonomous learning skills in order to become independent, lifelong learners.
  • Develop creative problem solving, questioning and presentation skills which can be applied to solving authentic problems in any field.


St. Vrain follows established procedures for the identification of gifted/talented students that align with state guidelines. Identification is an ongoing process that takes into account both formal and informal data, and requires the collection of a body of evidence over time that substantiates students talent in specific areas.  Ultimately, the process guides programming for each identified student.

Communication Pathway

If you have questions or concerns about your child’s programming, please contact your child’s teacher or school GT representative. District coordinators are available if you need additional assistance or support.