Identification Process

Identifying Gifted Students
District 11 uses a multi-step process for identification and appropriate service options. Multiple indicators of giftedness with information obtained from a variety of sources are used to determine eligibility for formal identification.
Step 1: General Screening or Student Search
The purpose is to establish a pool of students who may qualify for services ensuring that no student falls through the cracks. The screening will begin with a group-administered abilities test (CogAT) for grade 2 in the late winter. Parents will be notified of the general nature of the tests that are being administered prior to administration. Parent permission will not be obtained, though any student may be excused from the group assessment at the parents’ request.
On-going comprehensive screening will also occur through a process that allows parents, teachers, administrators, counselors and the students themselves to make referrals. Referral forms are available at the district GT office, at schools sites and on the D-11 website. Once a student is referred, the Gifted Resource Teacher will begin to collect information regarding the student’s academic achievement; cultural, linguistic, socioeconomic background; and any disabling condition(s). GT students may be assessed individually or in a group using one or more of the following tests:
  • *Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT)
  • *Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (K-BIT)
  • *Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT 2)
  • *Test of Mathematical Abilities for Gifted Students (TOMAGS)
 Step 2: Reviewing Students for Eligibility for Tier III Gifted & Talented Programming
The purpose is to review student data (Body of Evidence) and determine which students would benefit from formal identification and services. Data will be recorded on a matrix form, reviewed at this point, and will include the following:


  • *Teacher Rating Scales
  • *Parent Rating Scales
  • *TCAP scores
  • *Ability test scores (CogAT or other)
  • *Achievement test scores (MAP or other)
  • *Informal assessments; e.g., observations, work products, etc.


Formal identification occurs after the careful examination of the “Body of Evidence” for each referred student. Three possible outcomes are:

    • There is sufficient data for gifted & talented identification of the student for Tier III programming. (An Advanced Learning Plan will be developed and shared with the parents and classroom teacher).
    • The evidence does not support the formal identification of the student at that time.
    • Or additional information is needed as part of this student's "Body of Evidence," in order to make the best determination of need. For students who show potential of a formal identification because they have high achievement and/or ability, but are missing other components of the Body of Evidence, the child can be placed in Tier II enrichment classes. Tier II enrichment is when the GRT gives accommodations or enrichment to a student, but they are not yet formally identified as gifted and talented. They may be tested again in the years to come. (Tier II requires a permission slip from parents).


Communication concerning the outcome of the student referral will be mailed directly to the child's parents or guardian.

  • If a child is formally identified as Tier III gifted & talented programming, an Advanced Learning Plan (ALP) will be developed based on student data, teacher observation and recommendations, student performance, strengths and needs, GT resource teacher input and requests from parents. The ALP should be updated twice annually.
An appeals process may be initiated by notifying the building GT resource teacher in writing. The appellant will meet with the school principal and GT resource teacher to review data. New information may be introduced to clarify inaccuracies, review decisions and decide a future course of action. If the appellant is not satisfied with the decision reached at this meeting, a written appeal may be made to the Facilitator of Gifted Education to review the decision.
Elementary School Programs and Services
- Site based model:
  • Pull-out- enhancing specific talent areas
  • Cluster grouping- classroom teacher provides extensions to small group of gifted students
  • Cross-grade grouping- student is accelerated one grade level in a specific content area
  • Acceleration- student is grade skipped one or more grades in all content areas
  • Competitions- Destination Imagination, Future Problem Solving, etc.
  • Mentorships; e.g., Side Kicks
  • Differentiation
Full-Time Gifted Magnet Program:
  • Self contained gifted program at Fremont and Stratton, grades 3-5
  • Focus:  interdisciplinary units; more in-depth approach, standards based curriculum   

Bemis Talented in Art Program:

The purpose of the Bemis Elementary Talented in Art Program, coordinated by the District 11 Gifted and Talented Department and the Fine Arts Department of Instruction, is to challenge and accelerate advanced art students in grades 3-5. Bemis art teachers develop curriculum that is unique and aligns with higher level art standards. Effort is made to ensure that there is no duplication in the curriculum offered at the home school and Bemis. Teachers at Bemis will also provide museum experiences for the students enrolled in this program. The program runs bi-annually​ in the fall and in the spring. Students are nominated by the art teacher or the gifted and talented teacher at their school. For more information, please contact the Gifted and Talented Department at 719-520-2464 or click on the following link:

Science Challenge:

Science Challenge is an exciting field science program for fourth through eighth grade students. It is structured as a magnet with students from throughout the district meeting at a central site one day a week for six weeks. From that meeting place students travel to a variety of locations in the Pikes Peak region to practice science in a field setting. Science Challenge serves two purposes for gifted learners. First, it allows for intense, in depth study that is not commonly found in the classroom.  Secondly, it gives students a chance to work with a recognized expert in the field. Since many gifted students have the intellect and motivation to excel academically it is wise to provide powerful role models during a period of their life when the importance of academics may be put on the back burner. The program has garnered national and international recognition. The Science Challenge has been featured at the Colorado Association of Gifted Education Conference, the National Science Teachers Association Conference, and the International Conference on Geo-Science Education. To help fund the program, fees are collected from the students who participate.  Fee reductions are provided to help students who qualify for the free or reduced lunch program. Students learn science and have fun while exploring the front range of the Colorado Plateau. Students with a passion for science should plan to join the School District 11 Science Challenge Team to investigate the unique geology found in the American West. Students travel by bus to various locations each Thursday for a six-week session in a choice of 3 sessions based on grade in school. For more information contact Mr. Jim Keating at

Middle School Programs and Services
- Site based model:
  • Honors classes- typically advanced math and language arts
  • GT classroom as elective or required course- more in-depth approach, acceleration and typically focus on one or more content areas
  • Competitions- History Day, Destination Imagination, Science Olympiad, Math Counts
  • Mentorships; e.g., Side Kicks
  • Differentiation
Full-Time Gifted Magnet Program:
  • Self contained gifted program at Sabin and West, grades 6-8
  • Interdisciplinary units, project based focus, more in-depth approach, standards based curriculum
  • Students switch teachers for different content areas
  • Competitions  
High School Courses
- Site based model:
  • Advocate for gifted students at each building:  counsels, provides social/emotional guidance
  • Advanced courses:  Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, CU Gold Courses, honors classes
  • Competitions:  Future Problem Solving, Forensics, etc.
  • Mentorships
  • Dual enrollment options

- Independent Study Elective: Facilitated by the Gifted and Talented teacher, students will participate in a year-long mentorship that includes the completion of an independent project.  Requirements include:  connection with a community mentor, developing a timeline and learning plan, and evaluation of process and product using original assessments.  The independent project is designed to enhance and expand the meta-cognitive process of research, development and presentation as part of the life-long learning process.

-Academy for Advanced and Creative Learning
Academy ACL is a free public charter school in District 11 with a kindergarten through eighth grade program that specializes in gifted curriculum. There is no admissions requirement, but families are encouraged to review the program carefully to see if it is a good fit for their child's needs. 
  • Advanced and creative content beginning in kindergarten
  • Multi-age classrooms
  • Standards-based, hands-on projects
  • Flexible skill grouping on a block schedule for math and language arts
  • AACL LifeSkills (TM) curriculum that supports unique social-emotional needs

Check out the new page for "Geek Think Films" and the trailer for its first film by Division V students, "Silent Echo". 

It's a production of the students and staff at Academy for Advanced and Creative Learning, a free public charter school for students in kindergarten through eighth grade, with a specialty in serving students who need to work at least one grade level above in any academic subject.

Geek Think Films began in the 2015-16 school year when a class of Division V (7th/8th grade) students were working on high school writing standards and they decided to try their hand at screenplays.