Programming Options for Gifted Students

  • Programming for gifted students in the Elizabeth School District is predominantly done within the regular classroom using differentiated instruction strategies.  

    Depth & Complexity Framework  Depth & Complexity Icons

    This model differentiates thinking by adding depth and complexity to programming for gifted students.

    Depth in the curriculum is ensured by including: the language of the discipline; details, rules, patterns, trends, ethical issues, unanswered questions and big ideas. Complexity is created by examining multiple perspectives, changes over time and interdisciplinary connections.

    Depth & Complexity for Parents

    Differentiated Instruction Model

    This model describes how to respond to the needs of gifted learners by modifying content, process and products to match students’ readiness,  interests and learning profiles.

    Whole grade acceleration (skipping a grade) is an option that follows extensive protocols outlined in the Iowa Acceleration Scale Manual.  This option is most often initiated by a parent.  

    Content acceleration (working one or two grade levels above peers) is the district's main differentiation strategy for gifted and advanced mathematics students at the secondary level.  The middle and high schools work together to schedule classes for students who need access to both campuses during the school day.  

    Flexible Groups

    Adjusting classroom groups based on student needs and pre-assessment results is a common strategy used by elementary teachers during math and reading instruction.  Groups are fluid based on the standards or concepts being taught and the specific needs of the child.

    High School 

    The high school offers a variety of programming options that allow students to differentiate their learning path based on personal interests and post-secondary goals.  

    • Advanced Placement 
    • Concurrent Enrollment 
    • Internships/Mentorships
    • Gifted Seminar
    • Talent Aptitude Pathways

    Extension and Enrichment Opportunities

    High School Students have opportunities to participate in a variety of clubs, competitions and other extracurricular activities. Field trips, guest speakers and college visits are also planned throughout the year by the high school gifted education liaison. A gifted elective seminar class is also available for those gifted students who are interested.  

    Middle School and Elementary Students are invited to attend Discovery Days throughout the year.  The program’s purpose is to: 

    • Discover the dynamism that occurs when students of like abilities, interests, and shared characteristics interact socially and academically.

    • Discover personal affective strengths and weaknesses to better understand what it means to be gifted and how to use that information to succeed, achieve, and excel at life and learning.

    • Discover the success skills required in various careers and interact with adult experts in the field.

    Gifted students' general affective Advanced Learning Plan goals are tied to the Discovery Days.

    As well, elementary and middle school students often participate in a variety of clubs that match their interests.

    Secondary Students are invited to attend the Ultimate Scavenger Hunt, a 3-day retreat for grades 7-12. This event brings gifted students from Colorado’s north and eastern plains together with experts to think about big ideas, network with gifted peers, experience team work, collaborate through physical and mental problem solving and take educated risks outside their comfort zones at mountain retreats and colleges around the state.

    Elementary Students are invited to participate in the Ultimate Celebration twice a year.  This regional event, hosted by the Northeast Region, gets students grades 3-6 together to interact with like-ability peers and explore content areas through inquiry led by Colorado experts from a variety of fields.

    STEAM Camp is a week-long science, technology, engineering, arts and math learning experience for identified gifted and talent pool students grades 3-8.  Elizabeth School District teachers facilitate this hands-on, inquiry-based program held in June at Singing Hills Elementary School.

    Western Academic Talent Search (WATS)  is offered through the Center for Bright Kids, one of several national non-profit Regional Talent Development Centers. WATS enables academically talented 3rd through 9th graders to take the ACT, SAT, or PSAT 8/9 test at a much earlier age. This above-level testing experience allows students to:

    • better evaluate their strengths
    • practice taking a more challenging test
    • compare their scores with other high-achieving students
    • qualify for special summer or academic year opportunities or scholarships
    • receive recognition of their outstanding abilities

    Application to WATS is strictly voluntary.  If you are a parent and wish to register your child for participation in the talent search, you will need the letter you received when your child was identified or you can contact the gifted education liaison at your child’s school to receive a formal qualifying letter from the district. For more information about this program, visit the website at 

    NOTE: The talent search was canceled for the 2022-2023 school year due to changes in testing requirements.