Adams County School District 14
     5291 East 60th Avenue
     Commerce City, CO 80022
  303.853.3333    303.853.3329

Gifted and Talented



The mission of the Adams 14 Gifted and Talented program is that all gifted students wil accomplish challenging post-secondary workforce goals and become productive, creative citizens capable of succeeding in their area of strenght.


Adams 14 will ensure growth and achievement of Gifted and Talented students through systems of support, programming, and advocacy.

What are "Gifted and Talented Children"? Those persons between the ages of four and 21 whose abilities, talents, and potential for accomplishment are so exceptional or developmentally advanced that they require special provisions to meet their educational needs. Gifted students include gifted students with disabilities (i.e. twice-exceptional) and students with exceptional abilities or potential from all socioeconomic and ethnic, cultural populations. Gifted and talented students are capable of high performance, exceptional production, or exceptional learning behavior by virtue of any or a combination of these areas:

  • General or specific intellectual abilities
  • Specific academic aptitude
  • Visual arts, performing arts, musical, or psychomotor abilities
  • Creative or productive thinking
  • Leadership abilities
From the Colorado Department of Education, Office of Gifted and Talented Education:

This definition serves as the basis for the implementation of all other program plan elements.




Katie Coggin

Gifted and Talented Coordinator



Connie Quintana

Coert Ambrosino

5th Grade Teacher/GT Liaison

Alsup Elementary

Harvest Thomas

Shannon Eckert

5th Grade Teacher/GT Liaison

Central Elementary

Connie Quintana

Carissa Freeman

5th Grade Teacher/GT Liaison

Dupont Elementary


Ethel Byrd-Farr

1st Grade Teacher/GT Liaison

Hanson Elementary


Tammy Wright

5th Grade Teacher/GT Liaison

Kemp Elementary


Jacquelyn VanAuken

4th Grade Teacher/GT Liaison

Monaco Elementary


Annie Baco

3rd Grade Teacher/GT Liaison

Rosehill Elementary



Matt Muzia

6th Grade Teacher/GT Liaison

Kearney Middle


Scarlet Winters

8th Grade Teacher/GT Liaison

Adams City Middle


Timio Archuleta

Kenny Moore

6th Grade Teacher/GT Liaison

Adams City Middle

Connie Quintana

Nadine Moschberger

7th Grade Teacher/GT Liaison

Adams City Middle





Lester Arnold High


Dr. Bill Hyde

Cate Vermeer

Theater Teacher/GT Liaison

Adams City High








The purpose of identification is to ensure that gifted and talented students are indentified and recieve appropriate programming to meets their educational needs. Students may be referred for gifted and talented evaluation by teachers, parents, or they may self-refer between kindergarten and twelfth grade. In addition, all students are given an intellectual screening test, see below for a list of screeners and other assessments used for identification. Students whose scores are at or above 87th percentile are eligible for further evaluation and a body of evidence is collected thereafter. This body of evidence is a collection of qualitative and quantitive data aligned with Colorado Department of Education standards that ensure portability are reviewed bi-monthly by a review team who makes a collaborative decision of identification within 30 days for newly identified student and/or 45 days for transfer students with an existing Advanced Learning Plan (ALP). If a student demonstrates advanced performance or potential in a particular area, but at this time does not meet the criteria for gifted identification, they will join the Talent Pool. The Talent Pool students temporarily recieve gifted services under observations which then determine identification. Parents are notified of the result of the identification referral within 60 days through a determination letter. If the student is identified, this letter will also include how the district will meet the needs of the student. For a visual representation of this information, click the Identification Process Flow Chart.

The assessment process maintains efforts to identify students by using equitable tools that recognize diverse needs of underrepresented populations while recognizing exceptional abilities in all domains of giftedness.The body of evidence includes assessments for aptitude, achievement, performance, and behaviors and characteristics. Not meeting requirements of one assessment will not exclude a student from further evaluation.

Aptitude is exceptional intellectual ability. Assessments used to measure this, but not limited to, Cognitive Abilities Test™ (CogAT), the Naglieri Non-Verbal Ability Test® (NNAT), Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (K-BIT).

Achievement is exceptional capability or potential in an academic content area. Assessments used to measure this, but not limited to, Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS), Renaissance Learning's STAR Assessments©.

Performance is distinguised level of performance judged by experts in the field. Assessments used to measure this, but not limited to, juried performance, advanced portfolio, awards and recognitions, and performance assessments.

Behaviors and Characters is observation of characteristics/behaviors or motivation with outstanding or exceptional rating factors. Assessments used to measure this, but not limited to, Gifted Evaluation Scale© (GES), Scales for Identifying Gifted Students (SIGS).



Advanced Learning Plans (ALPs) are an accountability method for assessing gifted student growth through progress monitoring of quantitative and qualitative goals in gifted student programming and social- emotional development.

The Advanced Learning Plan:

•    Inspires students toward new levels of learning and growth.

•    Provides clear instructional and social-emotional guidance each year.

•    Provides a means to measure student progress as a result of programming.

•    Provides the student with an indicator of success, self-efficacy, and next steps.

All identified Gifted and/or Talented students in Adams 14 will have an Advanced Learning Plan (ALP) created for them by their school’s teachers and GT Building Liaison. This is a collaborative process, involving the student, parent, teacher and GT Building Liaison where appropriate. Parents will receive copies of their children’s ALPs by the end of November, delivered either by mail or in person at an event such as parent-teacher conferences. Parents will have an opportunity to give feedback to the GT Building Liaison or teachers and may suggest further modifications to the ALP.

ALPs are a planning guide for making instructional decisions about materials, programming options, and assessments for gifted students based upon strengths, interests, and social-emotional needs. They are critical in the transition of gifted students from one level of schooling to the next and from school to school.

Each ALP contains:

  • A body of evidence that identifies interests, strengths, and needs
  • At least one learning goal set in a student’s area of strength
  • At least one affective goal to develop a student’s social and/or emotional needs
  • Evidence of programming options matched to the strength area(s).
  • Used as a tool for educational planning and instructional decisions.
  • Annual review in collaboration with the student, teachers, and other school personnel.
  • Documentation of student achievement – performance and ALP goals.
  • Used as a record keeping (portfolio) system.

Parent Involvement

Parents should feel free to contact the cluster teacher or building GT Building Liaison if they have questions about either the goals set or the programming strategies chosen to best meet those goals. The ALP should be a collaborative, dynamic document, reflecting the changing needs and goals of all GT students.

We ask that parents please review, sign and return the ALP to their child’s teacher or GT Building Liaison. The parent may attach any suggested modifications, or may contact the GT Building Liaison directly with these.



Programming components include:

Adams 14 Continuum of Services and Programming K-12


Differentiated Instruction

Content Options

Affective Guidance





Cluster grouping in grades 3-5

Cluster grouping in “Enrich” classrooms in grades 6-8

Honors classes

Advanced Placement

Concurrent Enrollment

Flexible grouping


Pull-out groups



Depth and complexity

Higher order thinking

Content extensions

Advanced Coursework

Online education

Monitored Independent Study


After school enrichment


Leadership opportunities

William & Mary and Junior Great Books Curriculum

Team sports

Special Interest Clubs

Peer support

Individual self-esteem


Stress and time management

College and career planning

The continuum of services and programming broken out by school level can be seen here.

Programming is adaptable to the resources within different schools in Adams 14. Each school works with our district’s Gifted and Talented Coordinator to determine how the programming components will be implemented to ensure measurable growth in gifted student achievement or performance.

All of our schools provide programming aligned with the State of Colorado guidelines, but programming options and delivery differ from school to school. Read on to get a general idea of what Adams 14 has to offer at our elementary, middle and high schools.

Content Acceleration and Grade Level Acceleration

Students who have demonstrated proficiency in a specific curricular area may be accelerated in that area so that s/he receives appropriate instruction. For instance, a 3rd grade student may attend 4th grade for math or reading instruction daily. Under certain specific circumstances, a student may be accelerated from one grade to another, sometimes called “grade skipping.” This process involves a Child Study Team meeting and specific processes.

Elementary School Academic Programming

In general, elementary schools use a combination of three techniques to meet the needs of gifted students:

  1. Differentiated instruction in the classroom by the regular classroom teacher
  2. Small- group instruction within the regular classroom
  3. After school enrichment opportunities such as Spelling Bee, Destination Imagination, and other afterschool classes

Cluster grouping

Schools that utilize cluster grouping place those students who are identified as gifted together in one class. That way, the teacher can plan extensions and a more rapid pace for those students in a small group setting, and the students have a group of intellectual peers with whom to interact.

Middle School Academic Programming

Because of the way that curriculum is delivered in separate classes in middle school, pull-out is neither practical nor advisable. To address the academic needs of gifted students, middle schools use grouping strategies and advanced classes.

Middle school math placement

All Adams 14 middle schools use the same process to place students into appropriate math classes. Math achievement is examined at three separate data points (PARCC math, STAR math, and an end-of- grade level math test or classroom based measures). Results from these data points determine whether a student is ready for regular grade-level mathematics or mathematics at the next grade level. Students whose mathematical knowledge and skills are far above grade level take classes at the level appropriate for them. If the class they need is not offered at their middle school, these advanced students can register for classes at the high school.

Gifted and talented curriculum

Middle school teachers also address affective topics. They have a district-wide goal to prepare students to take on the responsibility for their own advanced learning in high school. Middle school teachers do this by helping their students understand their own learning styles, interests, and strengths, and by increasing their skills as independent researchers and self-directed learners. By the time they continue on to high school, gifted students will have had the opportunity to rewrite their own ALP goals with help from parents and teachers.

High School Academic Programming

Gifted and talented students at the high school level have a range of options open to them, but they must be mentally and emotionally prepared to take full advantage of all the available choices. Self- advocacy is important for the gifted student wishing to navigate through the range of courses, programs, and credit options open to him or her. A knowledgeable parent can help his or her student immensely by being as informed as possible about what high schools have to offer.

Honors classes in 9th and 10th grade

There are honors classes in 9th and 10th grade in Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. These classes will give students the opportunity to learn the academic skills necessary to be successful with Advanced Placement Classes.

Electives and interest areas

Students with strong interests and talents in visual art, vocal or instrumental music, theater, computers, or other areas have many more choices of classes in their areas of strength. Additionally, several after-school clubs can match their individual interest areas.

Concurrent Enrollment and early graduation

Students who advance rapidly through their coursework by being accelerated in one or more content areas may “run out” of classes to take at the high school before they have amassed enough credits to graduate. When this happens, as it does most frequently in math, the school district must pay for that student to take the appropriate class at a local college or university or online, according to state law on post-secondary options. In Adams 14, many students take the “Fast Track” option and attend Front Range Community College at the same time they are attending high school, to earn a credit in a higher level of some course that is not offered at their school.

Post-secondary options may be used to take a class not usually offered at high schools. The Colorado state law on “Post-secondary options” also allows a student to take a class such as Welding, Drafting, Video Production, or a world language at Front Range Community College tuition-free if the class is not offered in the District.

Students may also graduate early if they have earned enough credits and has taken all the requirements to graduate. Most colleges accept students younger than 17 or 18 years of age, but parents and students should be sure to check on this before assuming that the college of choice will be available to them earlier than usual. The GT Liaisons and high school counselors can assist students with post-secondary planning to ensure that this process goes smoothly.

Gifted and Talented Building Liaison

Each school has a person on staff who has been identified as that school’s school’s G/T Building Liaison. The G/T Liaison’s job is to help students navigate the school system, steer them toward resources they may need, act as a liaison when necessary between the student and a teacher or teachers, develop ALPs with student input and, in general, listen to students as they express their needs, fears, frustrations, and aspirations.



Early Access is the process by which children age 4 or 5 apply for early entrance to kindergarten or first grade. Accepted applicants are required to score at the 97th percentile or above on standardized tests and demonstrate that they are working at a level well above their peers, usually two years. High quality preschool programs meet the needs of most gifted and highly gifted children. See more information about the Early Access process here.




April 15
Parent Advisory Meeting
Educational Support Services




Is my child gifted?

What is the Gifted Education Program in Adams 14?

Who should I contact first about my gifted child?

Who do I talk to about my child's Advanced Learning Plan (ALP)?

How are students identified in Adams 14?

How are students new to Adams 14 identified?

Who do I talk with if I feel my child could benefit from more challenge?

Which school should my gifted student attend?

What GT opportunities are there for English Language Learners?

Are there websites where I can learn more about giftedness?

Are there services available for affective needs of gifted students?

What is the distinction between GT identification and qualifications for advanced classes?

What role does outside testing (e.g. IQ) play in the identification process?

How do I refer my student for review for gifted eligibility?

Is there a test for giftedness?

Are students in the program for all the years they attend Adams 14 schools?

What happens once a student is identified as gifted?

How is the ALP communicated to parents?

Will the ALP move to the next grade/school with my student?

How does an ALP correspond with being in advanced classes or honors classes?

How will the ALP benefit my child?

Does an ALP mean more work for my student?

Due Process

Is my child gifted?
Every child has gifts, but some students have exceptional talents and abilities. If you suspect that your child is gifted, look at these lists of characteristics and traits to help you make a determination. Use this link if you would like to refer your student for testing.

What is the Gifted Education Program in Adams 14?
The Gifted Education Program in Adams 14 is committed to identifying and serving gifted learners. All schools in the district identify gifted learners based on a body of evidence that indicates high potential, write Advanced Learning Plans for all gifted learners, and serve gifted students by differentiating instruction, providing enrichment opportunities, or providing specific services based on the needs of gifted learners.

Who should I contact first about my gifted child?

Each school has a Gifted and Talented Liaison. This staff member coordinates any identification efforts and is a link between the district office and the school site. The GT Liaison should have the most updated information about gifted identification and services available at their school. For a list of GT Liaison, please visit the ‘About Us’ section on this site.

Who do I talk to about my child's Advanced Learning Plan (ALP)?

If you have questions about your child's ALP, the first person to contact will be your child's teacher in the area in which your child is identified (a specific content area such as Math or Language Arts). The classroom teachers have access to all Advanced Learning Plans and can help guide you if you have more questions. 

How are students identified in Adams 14?

Gifted students are identified based on a body of evidence that includes achievement scores, intellectual ability scores, and behavior rating scales. Performance indicators are most often used for additional information in the body of evidence. Students who have three qualifying scores of 95th percentile or higher in at least two categories of the body of evidence will have an Advanced Learning Plan (ALP) in the area of strength (such as a content area, creativity, visual arts, music, or leadership).

All 2nd and 6th graders take the Naglieri Non-Verbal Ability Test® (NNAT), and the NNAT along with CMAS and STAR are used in the initial body of evidence.

How are students new to Adams 14 identified?

Students who move from another school district within the state of Colorado will maintain their gifted identification through portability. If the student moves in from out of state, a gifted identification specialist will review all test scores provided for the child and determine whether the body of evidence is sufficient for a gifted identification or if additional testing is needed.

Who do I talk with if I feel my child could benefit from more challenge?

Contact your child's teacher to discuss your child's needs and additional services. 

Which school should my gifted student attend?

Each school has different strengths and different programs based on the curriculum and resources available at the school. Though Adams 14 does not have a designated gifted magnet school, each school is encouraged to offer rigorous coursework for advanced learners.

What GT opportunities are there for English Language Learners?

English Language Learners have specific needs in terms of curriculum, instruction and assessment. Teachers receive professional development on ways to differentiate instruction for students learning English. Teachers look at growth and behaviors as well as achievement and aptitude scores when considering students for gifted services.

Are there websites where I can learn more about giftedness?

Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG), Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented (CAGT), and National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) all offer great information on supporting gifted children.

Are there services available for affective needs of gifted students?

Some schools do offer GT Discussion Groups for gifted learners that focus on topics such as perfectionism, confidence, motivation, self-esteem, stress, self-expectations, underachievement, and social relationships. Books such as When Gifted Kids Don't have All the Answers by James R. Delisle and The Gifted Kids Survival Guide by Judy Galbraith are great books that address the social and emotional needs of gifted learners. 

What is the distinction between GT identification and qualifications for advanced classes?

Advanced classes require evidence of high achievement and potential. Gifted identification looks at scores in the area of achievement, aptitude and behaviors in the 95th percentile. While sometimes these scores overlap, an advanced class might have different criteria than gifted identification. Because advanced classes have a faster pace and require a student to go deeper into the content, certain skills and characteristics (such as work habits, attendance, past performance, and motivation) are considered before enrollment in an advanced course. These courses can be of great benefit to a gifted learner as they allow them to work at a faster pace in an environment with other motivated students.

What role does outside testing (e.g. IQ) play in the identification process?

Adams 14 uses a body of evidence to support GT identification. If your child has had previous testing done, scores will need to be submitted to the home school. The GT Coordinator will then determine which areas of the body of evidence (achievement, aptitude, demonstrated behaviors, or performance) are addressed through previous scores. The GT coordinator will determine which areas of the body of evidence are addressed through previous scores.

How do I refer my student for review for gifted eligibility?

Use this link if you would like to refer your student for testing. The GT Coordinator will start reviewing current assessment data and evidence to determine if testing for GT is the next step. This process might take several weeks as evidence is gathered. Classroom teachers are also part of the process as they will observe your student's learning behaviors in the classroom.

Is there a test for giftedness?

There is no single test for giftedness. A "body of evidence" is used to determine a child's potential. In this manner, no single test is the gatekeeper for gifted identification. 

Are students in the program for all the years they attend Adams 14 schools?

Once identified gifted, students will have an Advanced Learning Plan for the remainder of their ADAMS 14 education unless you wish to opt out. Gifted identification, however, does not guarantee specific GT services. Services and programs are matched to strength areas of the student, and each site will determine which services best meet the needs of the school's gifted population. An Advanced Learning Plan will document agreements between parents, teachers, and students regarding GT services available.

What happens once a student is identified as gifted?

Once a student is identified, an Advanced Learning Plan will be written and implemented. The Advanced Learning Plan will initiate collaboration between the parents, students, and teachers regarding educational opportunities for your student.

How is the ALP communicated to parents?

ALPs are available for review at any time. Your child's school will communicate yearly with parents about updates, changes, or new goals or interventions on the ALP.

Will the ALP move to the next grade/school with my student?

ALPs travel with the student from one year to the next, regardless of a change in schools. If your child changes schools mid-year, contact the GT Coordinator to expedite the process of transferring documents from the previous school. 

How does an ALP correspond with being in advanced classes or honors classes?

ALPs are individualized based on strengths, needs, and interests. Advanced or honors classes are a way for schools to provide challenge to your student through a more rigorous format of instruction. An ALP does not mean that your student will automatically be in an advanced class. While these classes are meant to be more challenging, there are criteria that must be met in order to be placed in one of these classes. An advanced class can be an intervention for a gifted learner, but not all learners are prescribed the same intervention. Gifted students sometimes need support in organizational or study skills before an advanced class can be a successful option.

How will the ALP benefit my child?

Because an ALP follows each student from grade-level to grade-level and from school to school, teachers know when a student has previously been identified gifted. The ALP is documentation of strengths, interests, and goals. Because the ALP documents high potential, teachers will be aware of this potential from year to year. The ALP also provides individual consideration of strengths when determining instructional options for students.

Does an ALP mean more work for my student?

An ALP is not designed to be more work for students. It is a way for students to possibly do different work. It provides a format for which students and teachers can make educational decisions for your child based on strengths, interests, and needs.

Due Process
Appeals must be made in writing to the Director of Student Services within thirty (30) calendar days of the parent/guardian receiving the committee's decision. The Director of Student Services or his/her designee shall review the appeal and notify the parent/guardian of his/her decision within thirty (30) calendar days of receiving the appeal. The Superintendent or his/her designee's decision shall be final.