Supporting our Gifted Children

One of CSI’s priorities is to ensure access and equity for all students across our schools. When folks typically hear this priority, they usually think of supports around students with disabilities, English Learners, and economically disadvantaged students. That is absolutely accurate, but it also includes gifted and talented students.


What does it mean to be gifted?   

The definition of “Gifted Children” is included in Colorado rule:

“those persons between the ages of four and twenty-one 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 their educational programming needs.”

This is a much broader definition than what is commonly thought. And, a student can be identified for one or more of the thirteen areas of giftedness in Colorado:

  • general intellect,
  • creative and productive thinking,
  • leadership,
  • gifted in one or more of the following academic aptitudes: reading, writing, math, science, social studies, and world language,
  • gifted in one or more of the following talent aptitudes: visual arts, drama and theater, musical, dance, psychomotor.

Gifted Students in CSI Schools

Last school year, 4.1% of students at a CSI school identified as gifted in one or more areas compared to the 7% state average. Knowing that gifted looks differently across children, our Student Services team—and particularly Kim Caplan, our Gifted Education and Professional Learning Manager—has been working hard to provide greater supports to schools in identification and programming.


Supported Identification and Programming

Funding for Identification

For the fifth year, CSI has applied for and received a state grant to conduct universal screening at the elementary and middle school levels. Universal screening is the systemic assessment of all students within a grade level for identifying exceptional ability or potential. It provides a means of access to gifted identification for every student, including underrepresented populations.

This year, CSI schools will screen 1,110 second graders and 1,064 sixth graders. In addition, CSI analyzes data from state and interim assessments to initiate conversations related to identifying students who may meet the definition of gifted.

Professional Development Opportunities for Schools

During the 2019-2020 school year, the Student Services team will continue to expand professional development offerings for CSI school personnel interested in learning more about gifted students.

Two online courses will be offered: The Gifted Learner and Social and Emotional Needs of Gifted Learners, and we are collaborating with the Colorado Department of Education to develop a series of learning opportunities around twice exceptional students (or students who receive both special education and gifted education services). CSI identifies more twice exceptional students than the state average.

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