Gifted and Talented and Enrichment at Academy Charter School
Goal: Academy Charter School (ACS) is dedicated to high-quality gifted/talented and enrichment programming that will serve as a model for other Charter schools in the district, state and county.
Gifted and Talented Definition:
As referenced on the DCSD Gifted Education website, gifted and talented students are those students 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 students include 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:
ACS follows Colorado state-mandated policies for identifying gifted and talented students. Identification is based on documented advanced cognitive ability as evidenced by the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT), consistent above grade level performance, advanced scoring on state assessment, parent, teacher, and student input.
Once a student is identified, parents will be notified. An Advanced Learning Plan (ALP), a legal document, is written with input from the Gifted Specialist, classroom teachers, parents and students. ALPs address the student’s academic strengths, identify goals for the upcoming school year and are used to tailor educational programming. Each ALP also includes an affective SMART goal addressing social/emotional needs. Classroom teachers and the Enrichment Specialist work with students on their goals and may be addressed through a variety of options during the school day. Teachers, students and parents reflect on progress toward goals at the end of each trimester.
District Administered Testing
A Cognitive Abilities Test, the CogAT, is administered in early September to all of 3rd and 6th graders. The data is used by classroom teachers to drive instruction for all students and is one piece of evidence used for gifted identification. During the test administration window teachers, parents and students themselves may request testing. CogAT testing referrals are limited to those new to Douglas County and/or have not previously taken the CogAT test. Only those who demonstrate abilities or talents that are “so exceptional or developmentally advanced that they require special provisions to meet their educational programming needs” should be referred for testing. Students in 1st and 2nd grade will receive CogAT testing in 3rd grade. All testing referrals are considered for our Gifted and Talented identification process.
ACS Gifted/Talented and Enrichment Programming Objectives:
Our objectives address our students, our parent community and our staff.
ACS Gifted and Talented/Enrichment Specialist:
Melinda Kennedy is the Enrichment Specialist at Academy Charter School. With 20 years of teaching experience, she has worked with students as a classroom teacher, a technology specialist and a gifted and talented teacher. She’s excited to return to a role she loves. Melinda joined ACS in 2009. She has a Bachelor’s degree in English, a Master’s degree in Curriculum & Instruction and the Gifted Education Specialist endorsement on her teaching license.
Key dates on the ACS ’17 – ’18 gifted and talented calendar.
Links to Colorado Gifted and Talented education resources
Writing Submission Links
Note: Mrs. Kennedy is happy to support and encourage ANY enthusiastic writer!