Exceptional Student Services » Gifted and Talented

Gifted and Talented

"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. In the state of Colorado, providing identified and eligible gifted students with exceptional programming is a legal right similar to an Individualized Learning Plan (IEP) in Special Education (SPED). Gifted students include gifted students with disabilities (i.e. twice-exceptional /2E) and students with exceptional abilities or potential from all socio-economic, gendered, religious, ethnic, and cultural populations. Gifted students may be served under an IEP and an ALP at the same time. 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, dance or psychomotor abilities.


A student may be high-achieving, but not gifted. Generally, a high-achieving student is one who works hard to succeed; is attentive in class; learns with ease; memorizes facts; correctly answers questions; and earns good grades. In comparison, a student who might be considered gifted in a particular content area is performing at an outstanding level of accomplishment compared to grade level peers; generates complex, abstract ideas; comprehends complex ideas; infers and connects concepts; is self-directed in learning; and can answer content-related questions but also asks complex questions (Kingore, 2014).


In order to be determined to be eligible for gifted and talented programming, a student must either:

  • Previously been identified at GT and have an established Advanced Learning Plan (ALP)
  • Submit multiple sources of documentation supporting gifted and talented eligibility
  • Meet the requirements of multiple sources supporting GT eligibility





Colorado Department of Education Office of Gifted Education


Colorado Department of Education Gifted and Talented Identification Guidebook


Charter School Institute Gifted Education Resources


Kingore, B. (2009). Kingore Observation Inventory, 2nd Ed. Austin, TX: Professional Associates.