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Gifted & Talented | Littleton Public Schools

Gifted & Talented

Vision: The LPS Gifted Education Department seeks to raise the consciousness of all LPS educators for seeing and serving Gifted students as a neurodiverse, legally protected special population. The program works to provide a robust and varied identification process that allows students from all backgrounds access to equitable identification opportunities in both academic and talent aptitudes. Supports include academic and affective programming at all levels and interdependence between general education and gifted education teachers

Gifted & Talented Program Overview

Littleton Public Schools Gifted and Talented Program (G/T) serves over 1,500 students in grades K-12. Gifted students represent 10.7% of our population, these students represent all racial, ethnic, and cultural populations, as well as all economic strata and are present in every school in the district. Students are identified in Reading, Writing, Math, Social Studies, Science, World Language, Creativity, Leadership, Art, and General Intellectual Ability. We serve students with a broad range of academic and affective needs. 

Gifted and Talented services are provided at all schools throughout the district. There is a Gifted and Talented Facilitator on staff at every elementary and middle school, and a GT liaison at each high school.  Our staff throughout the district is composed of excellent, well-trained personnel that meet the unique needs of our Gifted learners.

The academic instruction at each of these schools is individualized based on the needs of the school. GT Teachers collaborate with other educators and provide pull out services or stand alone classes to provide rigorous and engaging learning experiences for Gifted students. Typically, formal GT identification and programming begin in 2nd or 3rd grade. However, our Gifted Educators work conscientiously at every grade to meet the needs of individual learners. 

In addition to differentiated instruction for high ability learners, the GT program also supports extended activities such as a Chess Tournament, District Math Olympiad Tournament, Elementary Battle of the Books, and the District Spelling Bee.

For more information, please contact your local school GT Facilitator or District Coordinator for Gifted and Talented at 303-347-3477 or email at jshannon[at][dot]us.

Definition of a Gifted Student

LPS uses the definition for "gifted" as determined by the Colorado Exceptional Children's Education Act:

12.01 (9) "Gifted & Talented Children" means those persons 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 and talented children are hereafter referred to as gifted students. Children under five who are gifted may also be provided with early childhood special education services. Gifted students include gifted 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 of giftedness:

12.01 (9) (a) General or Specific Intellectual Ability

12.01 (9) (b) Specific Academic Aptitude

12.01 (9) (c) Creative or Productive Thinking

12.01 (9) (d) Leadership Abilities

12.01 (9) (e) Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Musical or Psychomotor Abilities

Why are Gifted Students considered "Special Population?"

  • Asynchronous Development
  • Motivation
  • Neurodiversities

Gifted & Talented Referral and Identification

LPS utilizes the identification criteria outlined by the Colorado Department of Education.

For more information on state standards, identification and programs visit the website at the Office of Gifted Education for the Colorado Department of Education.

Any student can be referred for evaluation for Gifted Education for multiple reasons, at any time in the school year, by multiple sources (teachers, parents, students, coaches, administrators etc.). The referral itself is phase 1 of the identification process. The GT Facilitator at the student’s school of attendance will review the referral and determine if the student should move forward to phase 2 where a robust body of evidence will be collected and presented to a Review Team. 

The body of evidence should include, at a minimum, assessment results, family input, and multiple types of measures and data sources, quantitative and qualitative. The data should be used to determine if a student meets the criteria for gifted identification and to build a student profile of strengths and interests. While some of the data in a body of evidence will be used to meet the criteria for gifted identification, as defined in ECEA Rules and CDE Guidance, other data or information may be used to build a learner profile for the purpose of developing appropriate programming options.

The building based review team is made up of a variety of school staff representing a wide range of expertise and specialties and always includes at least one person trained or endorsed in gifted identification and programming. The Identification team has a professional responsibility to look at individual student needs and to make a determination based on those needs or to select new tools to collect additional data.

Once the data has been collected and reviewed by the team, the student moves to phase 3 where an identification determination is made. The team can decide to identify the student as Gifted, in which case an ALP and programming plan will be developed to meet the student's needs. The team can also determine that the student does not meet criteria for identification as Gifted and communicate that their needs are being met with their current instructional model. Finally, the team can decide that they will continue to monitor the student and collect data that may meet criteria. This determination may include some programming that will meet the advanced academic or affective needs of the student. 

Within 30 school days after referral, The GT Facilitator or a member of the review team will communicate to all stakeholders (family, student, and other educators) the identification status, even if a determination has not yet been made. Questions about this process and requests for referrals, should first be directed to your building GT Facilitator.

Identification Flow Charts