DCSD Gifted Education News

April 2020

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.

April is the cruellest month, breeding

Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

Memory and desire, stirring

Dull roots with spring rain.

The Waste Land, T.S. Eliot

Although a global pandemic was not on T.S. Eliot’s mind as he wrote The Waste Land, I’ve found myself reciting bits of this poem for weeks. In addition to the coinciding month, Eliot weaves moments of beauty, rebirth, and joy throughout a rather dismal depiction of the world. Similarly, my wish for everyone during this time has been to find moments of unexpected joy amidst our collective disappointment, uncertainty, and grief.

Poetry, like all art, captures the human experience and helps us make sense of our world. Our artists, as light bearers, have created many unexpected moments of joy in recent weeks. Whether through National Poetry Month home resources, virtual museum tours, visits to the Royal Opera House, or virtual concerts, we have been granted free passes to explore and experience everything from kitchen dance contests to Andrea Bocelli alone on the steps of the Duomo Cathedral. Locally, our students have submitted beautiful pieces of visual art in the DCSD Virtual Art Show. Take a look and encourage your children to submit a piece!

Over the past six weeks our team has been working closely with teachers and school leaders to provide guidance, resources, and support for all students and families. In this month’s newsletter we have highlighted a few relevant opportunities and resources; however, we encourage your continued communication with your child’s school as we partner to create engagement and connection throughout the remainder of the school year.

As we navigate “emergency remote learning,” I continue to hear and see inspiring examples of creativity, compassion, and courage from our teachers, students, and their families. Please accept my sincere gratitude for your grace and patience during this time.

Stay safe and healthy,

Natasha Langjahr Straayer

Director, Advanced Academics and Gifted Programming

Gifted Parent/Family Survey:

Please share with us how you and your children are managing Remote Learning by responding to the following survey:

Advanced Academics/Gifted Family Survey

We understand that many school communities have been asking for feedback from parents, so please know this is OPTIONAL. Your responses to this survey will help our team and gifted education facilitators plan for continued resources and support throughout the remainder of the school year.

Parenting Gifted Children

Dear Parent, You are Handling an Education Crisis. And You Are Rocking It.

By Mary Wilson April, 2020

Dear Former Public (or Private) School Parent,

I wanted to write you a note because my post about how we shouldn’t refer to this current situation as homeschooling had nothing to do with the amazing way you are handling this crisis. One day your life was normal and the next day your kids were sent home from school. Indefinitely. And they are expected to be with you. All day. And no one can come over to babysit. And you can’t take your kids to a friend’s house. And the neighbors can’t come outside to play. And your parents aren’t allowed to come by and pitch in.

And on top of it all, this crisis didn’t care if you are a working or stay-at-home parent. You are simply expected to make the situation work. And so you have.

Find the full article: https://www.maryhannawilson.com/handling-education-crisis/

DCSD Updates

How Your Child's ALP will be Monitored

While COVID-19 has disrupted school routines and environments, learning and growth for students identified for gifted programming has not stopped. Gifted Education Facilitators continue to collaborate with teachers to provide gifted programming to the extent possible and to monitor and update Advanced Learning Plans prior to the end of the school year.

The gifted education facilitator at your child's school will connect with you in the coming weeks to explain the process for reviewing your child's progress throughout the year and discuss his/her Advanced Learning Plan.

Connect with Other DCSD Parents of Gifted Children


Douglas County Association for Gifted and Talented is a parent advocacy organization supporting gifted children and families in Douglas County, Colorado.

Colorado Association for Gifted Children has a new website!

Check it out at coloradogifted.org.