DCSD Gifted Education News

October 2019

Douglas County School District Gifted Education

The Douglas County School District strives to seek out and nurture student potential. We are committed to partnering with families and our community to recognize and support high potential/advanced/gifted and talented learners who require differentiated programming to meet their educational needs and prepare them for their chosen endeavors in society.

Director's Corner

Happy Fall!

It's difficult to believe we are almost through first quarter! We hope you and your child/children had a successful beginning to this school year and will have some time to relax and enjoy fall break.

Many of you may have heard or seen recent news coverage about Gifted Education at the state and national level. While somewhat controversial, I am encouraged by the heightened attention, thoughtful dialogue, and opportunities for collaborative problem solving as we strive to provide robust learning communities and opportunities for our advanced/high potential/gifted learners and their families.

As a part of our commitment to improve, we collaborated with Hanover Research to develop and administer a survey to gather your feedback. If you or your child/children were unable to access or respond to the survey, please use the following link to share your thoughts and ideas: DCSD Gifted Education Survey 2019. Your thoughtful responses will help us develop action plans for improving our service to you and your family.

We are excited to share multiple learning opportunities and events for your and your children in the upcoming months. We hope this monthly newsletter will provide helpful details and information about advanced academics and gifted education. In addition, please connect with the Gifted Education Facilitator at your child’s school or someone from our team with questions or concerns.

Warm regards,

Natasha Langjahr Straayer

Director, Advanced Academics and Gifted Education

Meet our District Staff

DCSD provides multiple layers of support for our advanced/high potential/gifted learners. Every school K - 12 has a Gifted Education Facilitator who is trained to support teachers and students in the school. Each feeder has a Gifted Education Lead who can help recommend resources and provide guidance. Our district level team collaborates with district and school leaders to ensure systemic implementation of gifted programming, professional development for staff, direct support to all schools, and family and community engagement.

You can find more information about your school's Gifted Education Facilitator by clicking on the button below.



DCSD GT 101: Family Information Night

Thank you to all of the families who joined our District Team and DCAGT at GT 101 on September 23, 2019. We hope that you found the information timely and useful to understanding gifted education in DCSD. If you were unable to join us, please see the presentation and break out sessions on the button below. Please stay tuned for future Gifted Education Sessions!

Colorado Association of Gifted and Talented: Family Institute in Loveland

On Monday evening, October 21, 2019, please join us for 1st Annual Family Institute (formerly known as Parent Institute) at our 42nd Annual CAGT Conference: "A Gifted State of Mind". This year we are excited to announce our keynote speakers are Jim Delisle, Ph.D.; Lisa Van Gemert; Susan Baum, Ph.D.; and Marlo Thurman Payne. This is a time for parents, guardians, grandparents and any adult interested in learning more about supporting their gifted children to hear international experts share their knowledge and answer some of your questions. Please see details here.

Advanced Learning Plans (ALP)

If you have an identified gifted and talented student in DCSD, you should have already been contacted to participate in the ALP goal setting process. Some schools set goals in the spring. Either way, you should receive an updated copy of the ALP with this year's goals for you to sign. Many schools review ALP's as part of the parent teacher conference. If you have not received this copy by fall break, please reach out to your school's GT Facilitator.
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Elementary Discovery Program - Application

The DCSD Elementary Discovery Program is designed to meet the needs of gifted elementary school students who require intensity of instruction and acceleration beyond what can reasonably be expected from the regular school gifted programming.

Find more information, including dates and times for FAMILY INFORMATION NIGHTS and THE APPLICATION PROCESS linked HERE

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2020 U.S. Senate Youth Scholarship Program

2020 U.S. Senate Youth Scholarship Program applications available

The U.S. Senate Youth Program is an educational opportunity for two student leaders from each state to spend a week in Washington, D.C., experiencing their national government in action. Applications are due Friday, Oct. 4.

Download the application and find more information on the program webpage.

For More Information, Contact:
Patricia Gleason
Competitive Grants and Awards
Phone: 303-866-6143
Email: gleason_p@cde.state.co.us

Western Academic Talent Search (WATS)

The Western Academic Talent Search is an academic talent search program based on above-level testing and optimal match. Since many gifted young students achieve above grade level, the talent search may more accurately measure their abilities than traditional in-grade achievement tests. The SAT, ACT, and PSAT tests provide a higher ceiling and valuable assessment information for young academically talented students. Taking these tests also provides students with early experience in taking college entrance-type tests. Students who have participated over the years report increased comfort with standardized testing and significant score gains based upon Talent Search experiences.


Epsilon Camp

Epsilon Camp is a residential camp serving promising young mathematicians and their families through an intensive student program and parent workshop. This program is for children who are passionate about math as well as very competent.


2020 Colorado Student Leaders Institute

Colorado Student Leaders Institute, an affiliate of the National Conference of Governor's Schools, is an academic summer residential program for high school students who are working to become quality leaders and who promote and inspire a strong United States of America. COSLI seeks to reinforce the importance of civic engagement, entrepreneurship, responsibility, accountability, ethics and integrity in the rising generation of American leaders.


Destination Imagination

Destination Imagination (DI) is a global educational nonprofit dedicated to inspiring the next generation of innovators, leaders and creative problem solvers. At Destination Imagination, we believe that when an educational experience is hands-on, collaborative and fun, students are empowered to take their learning to the next level and are excited to do so. DI provides unique educational experiences across seven project-based Challenge types–Technical, Scientific, Engineering, Fine Arts, Improvisational, Service Learning, and Early Learning.

Consider coaching a team or volunteering to support a team at your school!


Get Involved!

Get Involved!

Douglas County Association for Gifted and Talented (DCAGT)

Douglas County Association for Gifted and Talented is a parent advocacy organization supporting gifted children and families in Douglas County, Colorado. They are an affiliate of the Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented. For more information, please visit their website.

Douglas County Gifted Education Advisory Council (DCGEAC)

The mission of Douglas County Gifted Education Advisory Council (DCGEAC) is to gather, communicate, and disseminate information to stakeholders, as well as advocate, influence, support, and ensure accountability for quality programming for gifted learners in Douglas County School District.

The Council provides information, support, and resources to empower students, families, and educators toward successful lifelong learning/development through a variety of outreach methods, opportunities, and activities. They serve in an advisory capacity to DCSD regarding new policies, trends, programming, and concerns. The Council also provides a collaborative voice to advocate for gifted students, policies, programming, and issues and act as a liaison between families/community and DCSD.

DCGEAC meetings are open to all. Please join us for our first meeting of the new school year this Thursday, October 10, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Lone Tree Library. We will be having a special combined DCAGT and DCGEAC meeting Thursday, November 14, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at Rocky Heights Middle School. We hope to see you there!


Advocating for the Needs of Your Gifted Children

“Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed

people to change the world. In fact, it is the only

thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Mead

As leaders in gifted education we share your passion for creating optimal learning opportunities and environments to meet the needs of our gifted/high potential learners. To that end, we encourage you to reach out to the gifted education facilitators at your child's school to increase communication and collaboration. We encourage you to explore the many opportunities to partner with your school in supporting gifted programming. Following are links to resources that may help you begin:

Basic Recipe for Parent Advocates

NAGC - Advocating for High Ability Learners

Tips for Advocacy - Working with Your Child's School

Advocacy for Gifted Students

Gifted Family Night with Jim Delisle

Wednesday, Oct. 23rd, 5-7pm

3201 West Oxford Avenue

Englewood, CO

Please come to Sheridan School District’s Gifted Family Night for an Evening with Dr. Jim Delisle

Understanding Your Gifted Child from the Inside Out

RSVP (required). RSVP Here!

Por favor asista al Distrito Escolar de Sheridan a una La Noche Familiar de super dotados pasando una tarde con el Dr. Jim Delisle Habrá traductor en Español

RSVP (requerido). RSVP aquí!

Por favor vea el folleto adjunto