Gifted and Talented

winning team at math olympiads

The BVSD Gifted and Talented program strives to develop our children’s greatest abilities and make possible the discovery and pursuit of their dreams which, when fulfilled, will benefit us all. We provide a comprehensive and innovative approach to education and graduate successful, curious, lifelong learners who confidently confront the great challenges of their time.

What does it mean to be gifted?

The Exceptional Children's Educational Act (ECEA) defines "gifted" children as:

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. Children under five who are gifted may also be provided with early childhood special educational services. Gifted students include gifted students with disabilities (i.e. twice exceptional) and students with exceptional abilities or potential from all socio-economic, ethnic, and 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 of giftedness:

  • General or specific intellectual ability
  • Specific academic aptitude
  • Creative or productive thinking
  • Leadership abilities
  • Visual arts, performing arts, musical or psychomotor abilities 12.01(16)

How are gifted students identified?

Students are identified using multiple criteria. Referrals are accepted from teachers, parents and students. In BVSD, we follow the Colorado Department of Education’s (CDE) GT Identification guidelines in making our identification decisions. 

If you are interested in nominating a student for GT identification please contact the GT Advisor at your school.

Read more on Identification in this one pager.

Testing and nomination windows

In order for schools to accomplish testing and identification, there are set testing windows in which gifted nomination and testing takes place. Testing does not take place outside of the windows.

GT Testing Window Dates for 2019-2020:

1st Testing Window - Oct. 15 - Dec. 20

2nd Testing Window - Feb. 18 - April 30

What is early access?

To meet the needs of highly advanced children who have not yet entered kindergarten or first grade, BVSD may grant early entrance to school, for highly advanced gifted children, with a body of evidence at or above the 97th percentile. Children who qualify for early access are exceptionally precocious and ready for school earlier than their same-age peers. Academic achievement, reasoning ability, performance and motivation are keen compared to other gifted children. 

This process is not for typical children who miss the October 1 Kindergarten/First Grade entrance date.

Colorado regulations [CRS 22-20-204(2)] define that a 4-year old or 5-year old child who is “highly advanced gifted child” may be eligible for early access for kindergarten or first grade, respectively.  The child is academically gifted, socially and emotionally mature and in the top 3 percent or less of the gifted population.

Early Access age requirements:

  • The student must reach the age of four by October 1 for kindergarten.

  • The student must reach the age of five by October 1 for grade one. (Please add)

See this document for an outline of the process and all forms

What is an Advanced Learning Plan?

Once a student is identified as gifted, the student, family, and staff put together an Advanced Learning Plan (ALP). An ALP is a legal document [22-20-R-12.00, C.R.S.] outlining programming for identified gifted students and is used as a guide for educational planning and decision-making. The Exceptional Children’s Educational Act (ECEA) states that there will be ALP content and procedures set in Rule for statewide implementation; and that goals in the ALP are standards-based. Sections 12.02(2)(f) – 12.02(2)(g)(vi) of the Rules clarify ALP content, procedures and responsibilities. For high school students, the ALP may be blended with an Individual Career and Academic Plan (ICAP) if all contents of the ALP are inclusive in the ICAP, including achievement and affective goals.

See this document for how an ALP is used in BVSD

See examples of affective goals in this document

Resources for Advanced Learning Plans (CDE):

What is twice exceptional?

Twice-exceptional (2E) students are those who are identified as gifted according to state criteria in one or more of the categories of giftedness (cognitive, academic, creative, leadership, or arts)


Identified with a disability according to federal/state criteria – and the disability qualifies them for either an IEP or a 504 plan (Colorado Department of  Education, 2017).

Continuum of Services in BVSD for students with disabilities

CDE Twice Exceptional Trainings throughout Colorado - offered in 2 levels


2E Family Seminar Power Point (1/24/19)

Hoagies Gifted Twice Exceptional Resources

Jonathan Mooney's Website  

CEC (Council for Exceptional Students)

What supports are given to gifted students in the classroom?

Programming for the individual student matches the strengths and interests of the students. Programming includes the components and strategies that are implemented to appropriately address the academic and affective needs of gifted students.  An Advanced Learning Plan (ALP) is developed annually for each student defining the programming options the student will receive to support academic and affective goal attainment. 

In BVSD programming is meant to:

  • Match the student’s strength area(s) and interests

  • Align to student’s data and ALP goals

  • Support methods of differentiated instruction

  • Provide affective and guidance support

  • Provide diverse content options in areas of strength

  • Provide concurrent enrollment options if indicated in ALP or ICAP (high school Individual Career and Academic Plan)

  • Support the collaborative development of the ALP

  • Provide a problem solving process when a gifted student is underachieving

Resources for Programming (Colorado Department of Education):

Parent Handbook

Parent Resources

GT Organizations

General Resources

Social and Emotional Resources

Subscribe to the BVSD GT listserv to receive enrichment activity, parent presentation information and articles and resources concerning gifted education either directly or indirectly. 

Contact Us

Michelle DuBois
Gifted and Talented Coordinator