Colorado Department of Education

The Colorado Department of Education definition of giftedness:

“Gifted and talented children” means those persons between the ages of five 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. Children under five who are gifted may also be provided with early childhood special educational services. Gifted students include gifted 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 of giftedness:


  • General or specific intellectual ability.
  • Specific academic aptitude.
  • Creative or productive thinking.
  • Leadership abilities.
  • Visual arts, performing arts, musical or psychomotor abilities.


- See more resources at the state level at the Colorado Department of Education Office of Gifted Education

District 11

The Colorado Springs District 11 Gifted and Talented Department has the following vision and mission:


  • Vision: All gifted students will accomplish challenging post-secondary workforce goals and become productive, creative citizens capable of succeeding in their area of strength.
  • Mission: Ensure gifted student growth and achievement through systems of support, programming, and advocacy.


AcademyACL is proud to be a member of the District 11 portfolio of schools, and a partner with its Gifted and Talented Department. Students at AcademyACL who qualify for formal identification for gifted educational needs must do so under District 11 criteria.

Early Access Criteria

Students who wish to apply for Early Access as highly advanced gifted preschoolers into kindergarten or first-grade as four- or five-year-olds must submit an application to District 11 and qualify under District 11 criteria.


Early Access Requirements:

This process does not usually apply to students who seek enrollment because they miss the birthday cut-off by a close margin.

To qualify as highly advanced gifted under the requirements of state statute for this program, students are typically reading basic, unfamiliar text fluently, able to create clearly detailed drawings, and demonstrate single- and double-digit addition/subtraction (and even sometimes division/multiplication skills).

Please note: AcademyACL is a gifted educational program all the way through its Divisions, including its Primary (K-2) Division. Therefore, students who qualify for Early Access as five-year-olds into a first grade, typical program will usually be enrolled in AcademyACL’s Division I (gifted kindergarten) program rather than accelerated into its Division II gifted program. Please schedule an appointment with the office staff to meet with the Academy Director or Dean of Student Support to discuss placement and individual students’ needs.

Students who do not meet the requirement for the birthday cut-off but who have applied to District 11′s Early Access may be entered into the AcademyACL Lottery but will not receive a confirmed offer of enrollment unless qualifications for Early Access are fully met (typically the process is finalized in late spring).



Charter Contract with District 11

On October 1, 2009, the Steering Committee for Academy for Advanced and Creative Learning submitted its initial charter application. This application was approved, for a four-year contract, in December 2009 by the Board of Directors for Colorado Springs District 11.

AACL Charter Application Approval

A printed copy of this Charter Application is available for purchase from

Video Submissions as part of the presentation to the Board of Directors:


On November 1, 2013, AcademyACL submitted its application for charter renewal. This was approved for a five-year contract.

Charter Renewal Application, 2013-14, Board Approved

Video Submission to the D11 Board of Directors:

Colorado League of Charter Schools

The Colorado League of Charter Schools is an organization dedicated to quality in education. From its website:

  • The mission of the Colorado League of Charter Schools is to improve student achievement by supporting Colorado’s charter schools, positively reshaping the public school landscape, and advancing opportunities for innovation and expanded high-quality public school choice.
  • The vision of the Colorado League of Charter Schools is for all Colorado students to have access to high-quality, publicly-funded school options.

Visit the Colorado League of Charter Schools page for more resources in support of charter schools and this vision and mission.

Please note: The AcademyACL website provides links to websites maintained by other organizations for informational purposes only and has no responsibility for the content of any website to which a link is provided. The content of such other websites may not relate to programs of the AcademyACL website. By providing a link to another organization’s website AcademyACL does not imply or intend any approval or endorsements of the other organizations or the information, opinions, or other content of its websites.