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Gifted and Talented
cartoon books, library card, and computer

Mrs. White's Corner

Hello Information Seekers!!!

I am very excited to have the opportunity to teach the Gifted and Talented students at Cimarron Elementary. This is my 9​th year at our school. I love to read books and find resources and information using technology. This summer I read several books, but some of my favorites were: Flora and Ulysses, Lemonade in Winter, and The Mighty Miss Malone. I like to read using my hands to grasp a real bound book and I also like reading on my Kindle. I keep busy investigating activities and web sites I think students and teachers might like or learn from.  ​​In my free time I like to go to movies, go hiking in the mountains or swim.

I am looking forward to a great year! 

Mrs. Pat White



The purpose of gifted education in Cherry Creek ​Schools is to provide an education experience that results in maximizing student achievement.


The Cherry Creek School District believes that gifted and talented students have unique academic and affective needs. Cherry Creek administrators and teachers support a philosophy that emphasizes the need for a challenging learning environment that focuses on high achievement for every gifted and talented student. Programming for gifted and talented students must be responsive to individual needs and must recognize the multiple talents, challenges, and cultural diversity of the district's population.

The Cherry Creek School District supports research-based strategies that provide opportunities for optimal learning to ensure that gifted and talented students will perform at levels commensurate with their abilities. Gifted and talented students should be provided dynamic, challenging educational programming at every level throughout their school career.


The Cherry Creek School District recognizes a set of core beliefs regarding gifted and talented students and their education as established in 2002 as part of the Gifted and Talented Strategic Plan. Those beliefs include the following:

  • While all students have academic strengths, not all students are gifted.
  • Students may be gifted and talented in one area or in multiple areas.
  • Gifted and talented students have unique and varied cognitive and affective abilities and needs.
  • Gifted and talented students appear in all populations.
  • Gifted and talented students should be provided programming which fosters maximum academic and personal growth and adequate documentation of that growth.
  • Gifted and talented students should learn in an environment where their gifts and abilities are acknowledged, valued, and nurtured.
  • Gifted and talented students should be provided appropriate and varied programming options throughout their school career.
  • Gifted and talented students require adequate support, including direct instruction, to maximize their academic potential.
  • Gifted and talented students need choice throughout their school career.
  • Early recognition of and appropriate educational responses to gifted and talented students are essential.
  • Providing appropriate programming for gifted and talented students is a responsibility shared by classroom teachers, electives teachers, gifted and talented specialists, administrators, and parents.

Gifted and Talented Programming
Definition and Identification

The Cherry Creek School District defines gifted and talented students as:

  • Children and youth with outstanding talent who perform or show the potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared with others of their age, experience, and/or environment.
  • These children and youth exhibit high performance capability in intellectual, creative and/or artistic areas, may possess an unusual capacity for leadership, or excel in specific academic fields. These students require services beyond the rich and varied services normally provided by the regular classroom.
  • Outstanding talents are present in children and youth from all cultural groups, across all economic strata and in all areas of human endeavor.

Typically, gifted students fall within the top 3-5% of the general student population. The purpose of formally identifying gifted students is to plan for and monitor services to ensure the appropriate academic growth for each child. The Cherry Creek School District has established guidelines for identifying students eligible for gifted education and advanced learning services. These guidelines support the approach of looking at a variety of information on a student, both quantitative and qualitative, in building a "body of evidence." It is the preponderance of evidence that will determine if a student needs targeted or intensive programming beyond the regular classroom.

The Body of Evidence

In building the body of evidence, information is gathered in four areas: aptitude, achievement, performance and behavior. Data is collected, both quantitative and qualitative, as evidence of intensive academic need and/or exceptional ability. Listed below are each of the four characteristics and the possible data that may be used under each area as possible sources of exceptional ability (Please note: not all of the assessments under each characteristic may be gathered or used):

  • Aptitude: Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT), Naglieri Nonverbal Abilities Test (N-NAT), other.
  • Achievement: Colorado State Assessment Plan (CSAP), Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), other.
  • Performance: portfolios, student products, report cards and grades, performance tasks, other.
  • Behavior: Kingore Observation Inventory, Parent Survey, Renzulli/Westberg Behavioral Rating Scales, Cherry Creek Screening Checklist, anecdotal notes, other.


  • Initial referral of students for consideration and screening for identification may come from a teacher, parent, and/or peer. Forms for referral of students by parents are available at each school.
  • The GT resource teacher in each building is responsible for collecting and compiling data.
  • 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 identification of the student. The student's area of exceptionality is "X". A Personal Learning Plan (PLP) will be developed and shared with the parents and classroom teacher.
    • The evidence does not support the identification of the student.
    • Additional information is needed as part of this student's "Body of Evidence," in order to make the best determination of need.
  • Communication concerning the outcome of the student referral will be mailed directly to the child's parents or guardian.
  • If a child is identified as gifted, a Personal Learning Plan (PLP) 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.

Gifted and Talented Programming Resources

Suggested Reading (Books)

  • Helping Gifted Children Soar, Carol A.Strip with Gretchen Hirsch, Gifted Psychology Press, Inc., 2000.
  • Raising Your Spirited Child, Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, Harper Perennial, 1998.
  • Re-Forming Gifted Education, Karen B. Rogers, Great Potential Press, Inc., 2001.
  • See Jane Win for Girls: A Smart Girl's Guide to Success, Sylvia Rimm, Free Spirit Publishing, 2003.
  • Smart Boys: Talent, Manhood, & The Search for Meaning, Barbara A. Kerr and Sanford J. Cohn, Great Potential Press, 2001.
  • Some of My Best Friends Are Books, 2nd Ed.: Guiding Gifted Readers from Preschool to High School, Judith Wynn Halsted, Great Potential Press, 2002.
  • Stand Up for Your Gifted Child: How to Make the Most of Kids' Strengths at School and at Home, Joan Franklin Smutny, Free Spirit Publishing, 2001.
  • The Gifted Kids' Survival Guide: A Teen Handbook, Judy Galbraith and Jim Delisle, Free Spirit Publishing, 1996.
  • The Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Children: What Do We Know? Maureen Neihart, Sally Reis, Nancy Robinson, Sidney Moon, National Association for Gifted Children, 1707 L Street, NW, Suite 550, Washington, D.C., 20036, 2002.
  • The Teenagers Guide to School Outside the Box, Rebecca Greene, Free Spirit Publishing, 2001.
  • Upside-Down Brilliance: The Visual-Spatial Learner, Linda K. Silverman, DeLeon Publishing, 2002.
  • When Gifted Kids Don't Have All the Answers, Jim Delisle and Judy Galbraith, Free Spirit Publishing, 2002.

Suggested Reading (Journals, Magazines, Reports)

  • Gifted Education Communicator, California Association for the Gifted, 15141 E. Whittier Blvd., Suite 510, Whittier, CA 90603.
  • Parenting for High Potential, National Association for Gifted Children, 1707 L Street, NW, Suite 550, Washington, D.C. 20036.
  • Roeper Review: A Journal on Gifted Education
  • STEMming the Tide: A Colorado Response to the National Crisis in STEM Education, A White Paper on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, The Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented and Center for the Education and Study of the Gifted, Talented, Creative, University of Northern Colorado, Omdal, S; Richards, M; Brennan, D; Gonzales, J, 2006.
  • The Templeton National Report on Acceleration
  • Understanding Our Gifted, Open Space Communications, Inc., 1900 Folsom, suite 108, Boulder, CO 80302.

Suggested Websites

Copyright © Cherry Creek School District #5, 4700 S. Yosemite Street, Greenwood Village, CO 80111 | 303-773-1184
Cherry Creek School District No. 5 does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in admission to its programs, services or activities, in access to them, in treatment of individuals, or in any aspect of their operations. The lack of English language skills shall not be a barrier to admission or participation in the district’s activities and programs. The Cherry Creek School District No. 5 also does not discriminate in its hiring or employment practices. This notice is provided as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Questions, complaints, or requests for additional information regarding these laws may be forwarded to the designated compliance officer: District Compliance Officer or directly to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Region VIII, Federal Office Building 1244 North Speer Blvd., Suite #310, Denver, CO 80204.

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