DCSD Gifted Education News

November, 2020

Douglas County School District Gifted Education

Equity of Access

Opportunity ~ Agency ~ Empowerment


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


It's difficult to believe we are in November already. As I reflected on the past year, I believe the message and resources from November of 2019 are as important and timely as ever. Please see the message below and know we continue to collaborate with school and district staff to support the safety and well being of each of our students:


"Over the past few years I have been trying, as have many others I know, to make mindfulness and gratitude a daily practice instead of a seasonal celebration. As we all learn more about the power of mindfulness and gratitude, they have made their way quickly into our teaching and learning environments. Recent research and experience points to the benefits of mindfulness and gratitude practices for all learners, and more specifically, for our gifted children who may experience heightened emotions, sensitivities, empathy, loneliness, anxiety, and perfectionism. Gifted children often share how their unique characteristics and complex ways of thinking make them feel different, isolated, misunderstood, and just plain left out. Mindfulness and gratitude strategies are accessible and effective ways to improve emotional regulation, increase self awareness, and reduce stress and anxiety. Explore the following resources for more information and tools:




Your ongoing partnership is invaluable as we learn and grow together to support our gifted learners. Please reach out to the Gifted Education Facilitator at your child’s school or someone from our team with any questions or concerns.


With gratitude,

Natasha Straayer

District News

Discovery Program Applications Open Now! DUE December 4, 2020!

The Douglas County School District Discovery Program is designed to meet the needs of gifted elementary school students (2nd to 6th grade) who require intensity of instruction and acceleration beyond what can reasonably be expected from the regular school programming.


Northridge Elementary in Highlands Ranch

Pine Lane Elementary South (K-3) and Pine Lane Elementary North (4-6) in Parker

Renaissance ELOB Magnet Elementary in Castle Rock


Want to learn more? Please join our district team and a panel of parents, students and teachers for Discovery in DCSD during DCAGT's Facebook Live session Wednesday, November 11, from 6:00 to 7:00pm

Discovery Program Flyer

Discovery Program Application and Process

We have information now available in English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Russian.

Folleto del Programa

Discovery Solicitud y Proceso del Programa Discovery

Discovery 資優班申請和流程

Подача заявки и процесс программы Discovery

Parenting Gifted Children

Growing up Generation Z and Gifted: Bomb Cyclone Perfectionism

By Mark Hess, speaker at CAGT's Family Institute


With generational anxiety in youth at an all-time high, feelings of inadequacy pushing toward the distress level, rejections only a smartphone swipe away, and gifted kids wrapped inside feelings more intensely than others, Generation Z gifted kids wait inside an atmosphere that has the potential for bomb cyclone perfectionism.


Read the full article HERE.

30 Things Parents and Gifted Kids Need to Know

By various Gifted Experts


While originally penned in late 2016, these still remain important today.


As parents we want to be straightforward with our children about their giftedness, but we often get conflicting messages about what to say. Will our kids become self-centered elitists if we tell them they are gifted? Is praise helpful or harmful? Is it okay to use the word “gifted”? ... The bottom line is, no matter how difficult it might be, parents must talk to their children about their exceptionalities. The tough part is figuring out exactly what to say. On the following pages, several experts on the lives of gifted children share nuggets of wisdom—for a total of 30 things that every parent and gifted child needs to know.


Read the article HERE.

Connect with Other Parents of Gifted Children

Gifted and Talented Leaders of Color and Allies

Gifted/Talented Initiatives for the Support and Advancement of Gifted Students of Color


Who we are: The Gifted and Talented (GT) Leaders of Color and Allies started in late 2019 with a few educators of Color collaborating with advocates for the support, connection, and empowerment of Gifted Students and Educators of Color.


Follow/Join Us at: Gifted & Talented Leaders of Color and Allies on Facebook

Douglas County Association for Gifted and Talented (DCAGT) Upcoming Events

Join DCAGT on our Facebook page on Wednesday, November 11, 2020


Douglas County Association for Gifted and Talented (DCAGT) is our district's GT parent advocacy group. We want to reach and connect the gifted community with opportunities to share experiences and exchange information. We hope that you will join us in our community events.


Facebook Live Sessions in collaboration with DCSD GT Department

Are you interested in finding out more about DCSD's Discovery Program? Join parents of Discovery students and staff from our district's Advanced Academics and Gifted Education team to learn more about this programming available through Discovery.

Join DCAGT on our Facebook page on Wednesday, November 11 from 6:00 to 7:00pm.


Monday, December 7, join us for Gifted Learners' Transitions to Middle School and High School

Family information nights and class registration will be here before we know it. This conversation will focus on the transition timelines and placement considerations for gifted students moving into middle school or high school in the Fall of 2021.


Find our current newsletter here. Subscribe to our newsletter here.


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