STEM School Highlands Ranch

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Gifted & Talented

At STEM School Highlands Ranch, we strive to make sure that each and every student works to their highest and unlimited potential.  We have a strong program for Gifted and Talented students and through both referral and universal screenings we work to identify and serve these students.

The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) guiding principles indicate, "rather than any single gifted program, a continuum of programming services must exist for gifted learners." Each school level is served by a gifted education facilitator. The facilitator will collaborate/consult with classroom teachers to appropriately plan instruction and learning opportunities to meet the needs of gifted/high potential learners.

Gifted Programming is designed to meet the academic, social/emotional, and behavioral needs of students identified with advanced learning needs. Teachers and support staff differentiate learning opportunities to meet these needs.

An overview of the school’s Gifted and Talented identification process follows.

Universal Screening: In September of each year all third and fifth grade students will be screened in using the Cog-AT. Once scores are received by the school, students scoring in the 95th percentile or higher will be evaluated further by collecting work samples along with information from parents,  teachers, and the student. Read more about universal screening. 

Referral Testing: Students in grades K-12 can be referred for Gifted and Talented evaluation by filling out the Referral Form and turning it into their grade level coordinator or homeroom teacher. Once referred, students will be assessed based on student aptitude, achievement, performance, and interest.  We will also gather input from parents, teachers, and the student.

For students in grades one, two and four, the Cog-AT test is required for gifted evaluation and can only be done in the Fall.  Please email your school level gifted coordinator to request testing.

Advanced Learning Plans (ALPs)
ALPs are written within the first 30 days of each school year, and distributed to parents and teachers by the grade level coordinators. If you have not yet been contacted by your student's ALP coordinator, please reach out to them.

What is the purpose of an ALP? Advanced learning plans are used to set both academic and affective learning goals for students to ensure that they are continuously being challenged at school and beyond. Plans may outline options for advanced coursework, college classes, or enrichment activities so our Gifted and Talented students meet their potential. The formal plan is also a useful method of communicating between all stakeholders in your student's education: parents, teachers, and students. Read more about Advanced Learning Plans.