DCSD Gifted Education News

January 2016

Douglas County School District Gifted Education

The Douglas County School District provides world-class educational opportunities for gifted learners who have demonstrated abilities that require differentiated programming to reach their full potential. Please visit our website for more information.

January Updates from the Office of Gifted Education

"Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now." (attributed to Goethe) Whether Goethe actually wrote these lines or not, there is magic in new beginnings! As we return to a new semester working with our gifted learners and their families, we are excited about the opportunities for learning and growth.

District Updates:

Discovery Program Application Process: Initial applications have been screened and placement decisions will be sent to all applicants by the end of January. Please see our website for more information.

Early Access Portfolio Process: The Early Access to Kindergarten and First Grade for Highly Advanced Gifted Students portfolio process is now open. Please see our website for more information.

State and National Updates

State of the States: As our country’s need for highly skilled professionals in every field continues to grow, the 2014-2015 State of the States in Gifted Education report provides a glimpse into a system where many high ability and high-achieving learners must fend for themselves, leaving success to chance. While there are individual areas of progress, our nation has yet to comprehensively address the educational needs of top learners in PK-12 schools. Read more HERE.

ESEA Reauthorization: The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA; formerly called “No Child Left Behind”) is the primary umbrella K-12 federal education law (note that the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) is the other key federal K-12 law). ESEA includes programs large and small including the Title I poverty-related programs, in-service teacher education provisions, and the Javits Gifted & Talented Students Education Act. READ MORE HERE

We thank you for your continued partnership and advocacy. Please feel free to contact us at any time with your questions or concerns.

Warm regards,

Natasha L. Straayer

The Many Faces of the Gifted

Gifted and talented students are those students between the ages of four and twenty-one whose abilities, talents, and potential for accomplishment are so exceptional or developmentally advanced that they require special provisions to meet their educational programming needs. Gifted students include students with disabilities (i.e. twice exceptional) and students with exceptional abilities or potential from all socio-economic and ethnic, 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:

  • General or Specific Intellectual Ability
  • Specific Academic Aptitude
  • Creative or Productive Thinking
  • Leadership Abilities
  • Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Musical or Psychomotor Abilities
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Institute for the Development of Gifted Education Conference (IDGE Conference)

  • February 3rd and 4th at the University of Denver

  • HERE is the website for additional information


Dr. James Delisle has worked on behalf of gifted children and teens for more than three decades. Dr. Delisle was a professor of education at Kent State University (Ohio) for 25 years and was selected by faculty and students there as a "Distinguished Professor." He is the author of 18 books, including his newest Dumbing Down America: The War on Our Nation's Brightest Young Minds and his bestselling Parenting Gifted Kids and The Gifted Teen Survival Guide.

Center for Bright Kids

The mission of the Center for Bright Kids is to provide access and opportunities for K-12 students with high interest and/or high ability in quality enrichment and acceleration programming that encourage self-growth, social responsibility, and a positive view toward lifelong learning. See more details by visiting the website HERE.
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Douglas County Affiliate for CAGT (DCAGT)

The Douglas County Affiliate of the Colorado Association for Gifted & Talented (DCAGT) aims to provide education, advocacy, and a community for families with gifted children in Douglas County.

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Colorado Legislative Day

Thursday, Feb. 18th, 7am-3pm

Scottish Rite Masonic Hall 1370 Grant Street Denver, CO

Legislative Day 2016 at the Capitol: Celebrating Excellence will be held on Thursday, February 18. This will be the 17th year of providing this unique opportunity for students and adults to experience first hand how state government works. Due to the overwhelming success of past years, we will be limiting the number of participants this year. Please submit your registrations/applications early so you don't miss out!

There are two major components to the day:
1. The students involvement whether it be shadowing a legislator or being part of a group, and
2. The morning advocacy session for adults and students to learn particulars of current legislative issues.

This program is designed for 8th through 12th graders only who are ready to have an individualized experience with other students and adults. No two experiences are the same!

For more information and the application visit the CAGT website HERE.

Beyond Giftedness Conference

Friday, Feb. 19th, 9:15am-12:30pm

Arvada Center for the Arts Arvada, Colorado

PARENT HALF-DAY CONFERENCE $50 per person; $90 per couple

9:00 AM Registration 9:20 - 12:10

Parent conference will address topics such as gifted characteristics, executive function, advocacy and social/emotional issues.

12:10 – 12:50 Lunch with full-conference attendees

12:50 – 2:20 Parents are welcome to stay for afternoon keynote presentation by Dr. Susan Daniels

Register at www.ourgifted.com or write to conference@ourgifted.com for more information

Colorado Math Circle

Interested in broadening your mathematical knowledge and sharpening your analytical thinking? Join the Colorado Math Circle for exciting math talks and problem solving sessions hosted by the University of Colorado at Boulder. Speakers will include math professors and mathematicians from around the state. Topics are expected to include number theory, combinatorics, probability, and geometry.

Click HERE for more information and/or to join!

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​Destination Imagination

Destination Imagination is an international creative problem-solving competition with challenges heavily anchored in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. Last year DCSD Gifted Education Funds supported over 75 teams of Kindergarten through High School students with ten teams earning an invitation to Global Finals. To learn more about how to support DI teams at your school please contact:

Connie Ackerman

Douglas County Destination Imagination Coordinator



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Some Do's and Dont's for Raising Your Gifted Kids

"Many parents, like their own parents before them, figure that someone in the schools will tell them if the child is gifted; therefore, if they are the only ones thinking something is amiss, something must be wrong with them (or their kid). Fortunately, sometimes the parent has enough confidence and courage to persevere on behalf of the child despite all the apparent odds. It is a good sign if you are a parent reading this article. You have taken some important steps to learning what you can about what ails your child, and about what you might do to make it better. Here are some ideas to get you started."

Read the full article here: