Gifted Education & Support
The Center for Gifted Resources at AcademyACL supports and advocates for gifted students by providing educators with professional development, offering families information and ideas, and increasing awareness of the specialized learning and social-emotional needs of gifted students.
What does it mean to be Gifted?
AcademyACL offers the following opportunities as part of its role in advocacy and support as a Gifted Resource Center for the Pikes Peak Region. Call the school office at 719.434.6566 to sign up or get more information.
- Parents/Guardians' Book Study and Support Group
- Youth Mental Health First Aid training.
- Student Teaching Observations and Opportunities. Periodic schedules available.
- Educator Tours. Scheduled through the office.
- Parent/Guardian Tours. Usually weekly on Tuesdays lasting from 8:45am to 10:00am. Scheduled through the office.
- Full- and Half-Day training in gifted education and teaching techniques available, taught by AcademyACL's gifted education specialists; tailored to an individual school or periodically offered to teachers across the state. Please contact the office for details and upcoming opportunities.
AcademyACL teachers attend and present sessions at conferences throughout the Pikes Peak region and beyond. We enjoyed attending the National Convention of the National Association for Gifted Children in Denver in 2012 and were able to present at Convention in 2021. We look forward to presenting again at the NAGC Convention in November 2023, held in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Our teachers have also presented at the Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented Conference several times. In October 2023, we will have five staff members presenting sessions at the Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented, and look forward to connecting with other educators and advocates for gifted students.
Resources in the Pikes Peak Region
Gifted learners have unique academic and social-emotional needs, and their families also have unique needs. This page will continue to develop as a source for connecting students, families and educators of gifted students to resources that they need.
References & Important Definitions in Gifted Education
- Colorado Definition of “Gifted”
- Federal Definition of “Gifted”
- Colorado Springs District 11, Gifted Education Department
- Early Access Law in Colorado, where highly advanced, gifted 4-year olds may qualify to attend kindergarten early, or highly advanced gifted 5-year olds may qualify to attend first grade early.
- Note: Early access shall not be an acceleration pattern recommended for the majority of age 4 or age 5 gifted children who will benefit from preschool gifted programming that responds to the strength area. The purpose of early access is to identify and serve the few highly advanced gifted children who require comprehensive academic acceleration.
- Other Colorado terms and definitions in gifted education law
- Advanced Learning Plans (ALP) in Colorado
- Acceleration Act in Colorado
- Twice-Exceptional Newsletter
- Profiles of Gifted Learners
- Diverse Gifted Learners
- Levels of Giftedness (mildly, highly, exceptionally, profoundly gifted)
Books for Parents and Educators
This is obviously a short list, designed to lead you to other books that might also be helpful.
- A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children, James. T. Webb, et al. 2007
- Smart Girls: A New Psychology of Girls, Women and Giftedness (Revised Edition), Barbara A. Kerr, 1997
- Smart Boys: Talent, Manhood, and the Search for Meaning, Barbara A. Kerr and Sandford J. Cohn, 2001
- Living with Intensity: Understanding the Sensitivity, Excitability, and the Emotional Development of Gifted Children, Susan Daniels and Michael M. Piechowski, 2008
- Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults: ADHD, Bipolar, OCD, Asperger’s, Depression and Other Disorders, James T. Webb, et al, 2005
- Bringing Out the Best: A Guide for Parents of Young Gifted Children [Preschool], Jacqulyn Saunders and Pamela Espeland, 1991.
- Bright, Talented & Black: A Guide for Families of African American Gifted Learners, Joy Lawson Davis, 2010
- Discovering and Developing Talents in Spanish-Speaking Students, Joan F. Smutny, et al., 2012
- 5 Levels of Gifted: School Issues and Educational Options, Deborah Ruf, 2009
Many resources are available on various diverse needs and issues in gifted education. Many can be located at Hoagie's Gifted Education Books.
Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted
The SENG Organization states the following:
SENG seeks to inform gifted individuals, their families, and the professionals who work with them, about the unique social and emotional needs of gifted persons.
We support programs that foster in gifted individuals the mental health and social competence necessary for them to be free to choose ways to develop and express their abilities and talents fully. With support, gifted individuals can develop abilities that enhance their own lives and the lives of others. Without understanding and support, they may be inhibited in the development of their gifts and talents, which can result in significant negative personal and societal consequences. Discover how SENG empowers caring families and communities to influence more positively and effectively the development of giftedness in those individuals entrusted to their care.
SENG has information and training available, including webinars, for parents, educators, and health care providers concerning the needs of gifted students.