Past News Articles

December 14, 2016 Newsletter

Jeffco GT Parent Seminar - Several Breakout Sessions  January 31, 2017
Gifted Exchange Support Group - December 20th
Jeffco Gifted and Talented - Center School Spring Testing
Jeffco Early Access Testing for Entrance to Kindergarten or First Grade for the 2017-2018 School Year
Jeffco News - GT Survey and Parent Focus Group for CDE's Colorado Gifted Education Review (CGER) Process  January 9
Jeffco Gifted Department 6th Grade Hawaii Wilderness Adventure Extension Trip
School Interest Nights (Showcases)
GT Enrichment Corner - CoderDojo Denver FREE Saturday Kids Coding Camps - Regis University
Amazon Smile 
CAGT 2016 Conference Presenter Slides and Handouts
CAGT List of Gifted and Talented Testing and Counseling Professionals
Boulder Valley Gifted and Talented Videos of Presentations
Center for Bright Kids Western Academic Talent Search (WATS)
Mackintosh Academy Littleton Admissions Open House  January 10
DCAGT Presents "Challenges of Raising Gifted Children" with Kim Servia  January 12
Mackintosh Academy - Taste of the Apple Open House and Annual Meeting  January 19
Adams 12 GT Parents Group - Parent's Meeting: Lisa van Gemert, the "Gifted Guru"  February 2nd
DCAGT Presents an Educational Fit Panel Program  February 9
CAGT Legislative Day - Thursday, February 23, 2017
Beyond Giftedness Conference and Parent Mini-Conference  February 24
DCAGT Presents "Different by Design; Moving from Feeling Defective to Being Distinctive" with Sharon M. Barnes, MSSW, LCSW  March 9
DCAGT Presents College & Career Readiness by Barb Cousins  April 13
Helpful Links
   "When Bright Kids Become Disillusioned" by James T. Webb
   Douglas County Parent University Courses
   SENG Newsletters
   Previously broadcast SENGinars can be purchased
   Davidson Institute Newsletters
   Gifted Education Press Quarterly Newsletter - Summer 2016
JAGC GT Ambassadors
How you can help JAGC

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Jeffco GT Parent Seminar - Several Breakout Sessions  January 31, 2017

Please join the Jeffco GT Department for several breakout session opportunities:
   - High School: College Preparation
   - Early Access for Kindergarten/1st Grade
   - Social-Emotional Needs of Gifted Learners
   - Twice Exceptional Students (Gifted with a Learning Disability)
   - Interpreting Student Achievement Data

      Tuesday, January 31, 2017
      6:30pm-8:30pm 
      1829 Denver West Drive, Bldg. #27
      5th Floor Board Room

 Mark your calendars for the next Parent Seminars:
      Monday, February 27, 2017 - "Positive Advocacy for your Gifted Child's Needs" Presented by Dr. Jenny Ritchotte
      Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - GT Share Fair 6:30pm-8:00pm (Student projects from Destination Imagination, Tech Challenge, Service Learning, SPARKS,
           Passion Projects)

      Parent Seminars are typically held:
      6:30pm-8:30pm 
      1829 Denver West Drive, Bldg #27
      5th Floor Board Room

 More information about this school year's Parent Seminars can be found here.

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Gifted Exchange Support Group  Tuesday, December 20th

JAGC "Gifted Exchange" Support Group (3rd Tuesday of the month)
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
10:00am
Bean Fosters Coffeehouse
SE corner of 6th Avenue & Heritage Rd., across from Jeffco Courthouse
720 Golden Ridge Road, Unit D, Golden, CO 80401

The group is a place to find support and get new ideas. We look forward to seeing you.  Come share how things are going for your family, ask questions, and share your experiences with others who "get it."  Please help JAGC volunteers plan their time and also reserve enough space.  RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , noting your name.  Your RSVP also allows you to be contacted in the event of a last minute cancellation.

JAGC recognizes that not everyone can make it to a mid-day meeting.  The evening meetings can resume if there is sufficient interest; email us This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Many thanks to Diane Yehle for being your friendly JAGC host at the support group every month.

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Jeffco Gifted and Talented - Center School Spring Testing

Jeffco Gifted Center applications for spring testing will be open December 2, 2016 through January 9, 2017. Jeffco offers free testing for applicants who are 5 years of age (or older) by October 1, 2016. These children are eligible to apply for the start of the 2017-18 school year. Find the online application and additional information here. Testing will be Saturday, February 4, 2017, and takes approximately 2.5 hours. See the fall and spring 2016-2017 application process/timeline here.

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Jeffco Early Access Testing for Entrance to Kindergarten or First Grade for the 2017-2018 School Year

Colorado House Bill 08-1021, Early Kindergarten and First Grade for Gifted Children, extend the definition of “gifted child” to include four year olds who may be able to access Kindergarten and five year olds who can access First Grade, and adds a new classification of “highly advanced gifted child.” Essentially, Early Access applies to children in the 98th percentile or above on standardized tests and functioning levels typically two years or more above peers.

For early entrance to kindergarten, a child must be 4 years old by October 1, 2017 and for early entrance to first grade, a child must be 5 years old by October 1, 2017.

How to apply (the cost is $250):
  1.  Fill out the online application, which will open in January 2017 through sometime in March 2017: 
  2.  Once the application is submitted, you will receive, in the mail, an Early Access Packet (with portfolio requirements) and Developmental History Form from the GT Office. 
  3.  The Early Access Packet, Developmental History Form, and portfolio submissions will be due in March 2017.
  4.  Parents will be contacted to schedule Cognitive Testing (DAS-II - Differential Ability Scales).  Testing is typically scheduled in late March or early April and takes approximately 2 hours.
  5.  If the child scores in the 98th percentile or higher on DAS-II, a second session will be scheduled to take TEMA-3 (Test of Early Math Ability), TERA-3 (Test of Early Reading Ability), and an observable play opportunity. This testing will be scheduled in early April 2017 and takes approximately 2 hours.
  6.  Notification of acceptance and non-acceptance is typically sent to parents late in April.

Part of the Early Access process is submitting a portfolio of evidence. This may include examples of art work, writing, photos or videos of things that have been built or auditions. It may be documentation of connections the child has made. It may be statements from preschool teachers. Any way you can show what were ‘wow’ moments for you. Things you noticed that seem advanced for a child of their age at the time.

If accepted, Jeffco has four elementary schools offering Early Access: Coronado, Hackberry Hill, Kendrick Lakes, and Parmalee. GT Early Access follows the Choice Enrollment process. Transportation is not provided to Early Access locations and is the responsibility of the parent.

Jeffco brochure for Early Access.
Jeffco web page for Early Access.

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Jeffco News - GT Survey and Parent Focus Group for CDE's Colorado Gifted Education Review (CGER) Process  January 9

Every 4 years school districts are required to undergo the Colorado Gifted Education Review (CGER) in which the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) sends a team of GT specialists to review our procedures and practices for gifted identification, programming, ALP implementation, communication, professional development, budgeting, record keeping and evaluation.  CDE will visit Jeffco for this purpose on January 9-11, 2017.

As a part of this process, all families of students on Advanced Learning Plans (ALPs) were recently sent a request to complete a survey asking you to provide our school district with information about the gifted education program.  This feedback will be a critical part of the CGER process, and will also help us provide the best service possible for our gifted students.  If you have already completed this survey, we appreciate your time to give us your input.  If you have not, please take a few minutes to give us your valuable feedback on gifted programming in Jeffco by clicking one of the links below before midnight on December 16th.  The GT Parent survey is available in English and Spanish. Please select the survey language you prefer:

     English     Spanish 

When the CGER review team comes to visit, they will meet with focus groups of parents, as well as staff and students from schools that CDE randomly selected.  We would like to invite you to be a part of this GT Parent Focus group on Monday, January 9 from 5:30-6:30pm at the Jeffco Education Center, Room 3A/B (1829 Denver West Dr. #27, Golden, CO 80401) to give the visiting team your direct feedback on your experiences with gifted education in Jeffco.  Jeffco personnel will not be attending this meeting, so you will have the opportunity to share candidly with the CDE visiting team.  If you would like to be a part of this focus group, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by January 6, 2017.

We appreciate your perspectives, and the team will relay summary feedback to us as we continue to strengthen and improve gifted education in Jeffco.

Sincerely,
Roger Dowd
Director of Gifted Programming

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Jeffco Gifted Department 6th Grade Hawaii Wilderness Adventure Extension Trip

The Hawaii Adventure Education Program will focus on three broad areas which contribute to meeting Jeffco Public Schools curricula standards; Science, Geography and History. Find out more about the trip and eligibility information here

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School Interest Nights (Showcases)

School Interest Nights are when schools showcase their instructional programs and explain enrollment procedures.  These Interest Nights are typically held late October through February, but can be anytime.  For a list of schools offering showcases, check here

Gifted Center Specific Information Nights:
     Hackberry Hill Elementary    Wednesday, January 18, 2017  GT classroom visitations 
     North Arvada Middle School    Thursday, January 19, 2017  5:30pm-7:30pm
     Parmalee Elementary School    Wednesday, January 11, 2017  8:15am-9am  and  Tuesday, May 2, 2017  4pm-5pm
     Stevens Elementary School    Thursday, January 12, 2017  5:30pm-6:30pm

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GT Enrichment Corner - CoderDojo Denver FREE Saturday Kids Coding Camps - Regis University

CoderDojo is a community driven global network of FREE and inclusive technology clubs and classes for kids. CoderDojo Denver is volunteer run and community supported. Classes are held for kids between the ages of 6–18. CoderDojo makes development and learning to code a fun, sociable and awesome experience. The CoderDojo model was started in Ireland and has since spread all over the world. Within the CoderDojo Movement there is a focus on community, peer learning, youth mentoring and self-led learning, with an emphasis on showing how coding is a force for change in the world. The goal is to promote technology as a fun and educational activity that can solve problems and provide a path to a good career. Classes help kids with problem solving, teamwork, collaboration and engineering skills as well as with self-confidence. Classes are held on Saturdays from 1-3 pm at Regis University 3333 Regis Blvd. Denver, CO 80221. Register and find more information here.

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Amazon Smile

Through Amazon Smile part of your purchase price will be donated to JAGC.  When you shop at Amazon, first go to https://smile.amazon.com/ and select "Jefferson County Association for Gifted Children" before making your purchase. Thank you.

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CAGT 2016 Conference Presenter Slides and Handouts

Find Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented (CAGT) 2015 and 2016 Conference Presenter Slides and Handouts here.

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CAGT List of Gifted and Talented Testing and Counseling Professionals

Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented (CAGT) has an updated list of professionals offering testing and counseling for the gifted.

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Boulder Valley Gifted and Talented Videos of Presentations

Find videos of past presentations hosted by Boulder Valley Gifted and Talented here. Presenters include Brian Housand, Ph.D., Jim Delisle, Ph.D., Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., Dan Peters, Ph.D., and Thomas S. Greenspon, Ph.D.

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Center for Bright Kids Western Academic Talent Search (WATS)

The Center for Bright Kids (CBK) is the regional talent center in the Rocky Mountain area, serving 7 states, providing summer programs and other youth programs. The goal of CBK is to "offer K-12 enrichment and acceleration programming for high interest and high ability kids. Our focus is not only on how kids think and learn, but how they discover ways to navigate the world while thinking and learning differently. CBK is focused on providing safe spaces for kids to laugh and play while being intellectually challenged with intensive academic experiences and actively engaged in meaningful, authentic learning experiences."

In addition to their youth programs, CBK also offers testing without ceilings, provided by the Western Academic Talent Search (WATS). The benefit of this testing is to find a child's true potential in Reading, English, Math, and Science at the given time they take the test. Typical assessments used by school districts only test one or two grades up, not demonstrating some childrens' true potential in a subject. WATS testing goes far beyond one or two grades. WATS uses ACT, SAT, and new this year for grades 3-6, PSAT 8/9 tests. PSAT 8/9 is used for grades 3-6, while ACT and SAT are used for grades 6-9.

Testing is currently being offered. If your child has an ALP (Advanced Learning Plan) in Jeffco, you should have received a letter from the district allowing your child to test. Your child can qualify to test in other ways too if you are interested. If you allow results to be reported to your school district, at least in Jeffco, they will become part of your child's ALP, further aiding your child's teachers in challenging him or her academically.

Information about WATS testing.
Information about CBK youth programs

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Mackintosh Academy Littleton Admissions Open House  January 10

"Visit Mackintosh and see if our community of bright, caring, creative leaners is right for your child! As Colorado's oldest "School of Minds," we've been serving gifted children for almost 40 years. Tour our award-winning campus, meet our warm & welcoming community, and learn about our inquiry-based International Baccalaureate curriculum."

     Mackintosh Academy Littleton
     Tuesday, January 10, 2017
     9:00-10:00am
     7018 S. Prince St., Littleton, CO 80120

     Please RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
     Find more information here.

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DCAGT Presents "Challenges of Raising Gifted Children" with Kim Servia  January 12

Douglas County Association for Gifted and Talented presents "Challenges of Raising Gifted Children" with Kim Servia M.A.Ed., GT Specialist, SENG SMPG Facilitator. Gifted children experience some unique challenges.  Kim will provide insight to help us understand these challenges from the gifted child's perspective.  Strategies to support our children through these challenges will be offered.  Topics include: Intensity, Perfectionism & Stress, Idealism, Motivation, Enthusiasm & Underachievement.

  Thursday, January 12, 2017
  6:30-8pm
  Stonegate Village Community Center, 10326 Stonegate Pkwy, Parker, CO
  More information here.

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Mackintosh Academy - Taste of the Apple Open House and Annual Meeting  January 19

Come enjoy the Mackintosh experience and participate in teacher-guided inquiry. Find out why Mackintosh truly offers the whole apple, preparing children for a world yet to be imagined. Visit our award-winning school and meet parent, teacher and student ambassadors to learn more about our IB programming for gifted and creative learners. Also find out more about the "state of our school" at our annual meeting with the Board of Trustees. Light dinner provided.

     Mackintosh Academy Littleton
     Thursday, January 19, 2017
     5:00-7:30 pm
     7018 S. Prince St., Littleton, CO 80120

     Find more information here.

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Adams 12 GT Parents Group - Parent's Meeting: Lisa van Gemert, the "Gifted Guru"  February 2nd

Plans are in the works to host Lisa van Gemert to speak. Lisa is a well known Gifted Guru and we're excited that she may be able to spend some time in Colorado.

     Parent's Meeting: Lisa van Gemert, the "Gifted Guru"
     Thursday, February 2, 2017
     Educational Support Center for Adams 12
     1500 East 128th Avenue, Thornton
     6:00pm-7:30pm

     More Information.

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DCAGT Presents an Educational Fit Panel Program  February 9

Douglas County Association for Gifted and Talented is offering a panel program on educational fit. There will be a variety of educators including public school, private school and homeschool to discuss educational fit as it relates to gifted children, their intensities, and how their academic and social emotional needs may change over time.

  Thursday, February 9, 2017
  6:30-8pm
  Stonegate Village Community Center, 10326 Stonegate Pkwy, Parker, CO
  More information here.

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CAGT Legislative Day - Thursday, February 23, 2017

Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented (CAGT) will be hosting their annual Legislative Day on Thursday, February 23, 2017.  This event allows students (grades 8 – 12) a unique opportunity to shadow a state legislator for the day. The application process opens the first week of January. There is also an adult component to the day, where gifted advocates have an opportunity to learn about current legislative initiatives that affect our gifted children. Registration will be available here around January 1, 2017.

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Beyond Giftedness Conference and Parent Mini-Conference Friday, February 24, 2017 Arvada, CO

Our Gifted will host a conference for educators and parents at the Arvada Center for the Arts on Friday, February 24, 2017 from 8am-4pm. The Parent Mini-conference will be a special parent focused event from 9:20am-1pm including sessions, lunch and keynote. Featured keynote speaker this year: Nadia E. Webb, PsyD., ABPdN, author of "Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults." Conference features include certificates for 7.5 hours of Professional Development and breakout sessions for teachers, counselors, administrators, and parents. Find registration, updates, and more information here.

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DCAGT Presents "Different by Design; Moving from Feeling Defective to Being Distinctive" with Sharon M. Barnes, MSSW, LCSW  March 9

Douglas County Association for Gifted and Talented presents "Different by Design; Moving from Feeling Defective to Being Distinctive" with Sharon M. Barnes, MSSW, LCSW. Gifted and 2E students often notice early on that they’re different than others. This can lead many GT/2E kids to draw a secret inner conclusion that there is something essentially wrong with themselves.  This can be the hidden link to many of the emotional and behavior problems common to gifted and 2E kids and teens - Emotional meltdowns, verbal outbursts, hitting, kicking, punching AKA violence, going silent, underachievement, discouragement and despair. In this session, you’ll learn four stages of discouragement; how to identify discouragement before it takes over; and four stages of overcoming discouragement. We’ll also share powerful tools to help parents and teachers help their GT and 2E students overcome their discouragement and develop their true distinctiveness and make their unique creative contributions.

  Thursday, March 9, 2017
  6:30-8pm
  Stonegate Village Community Center, 10326 Stonegate Pkwy, Parker, CO
  More information here.

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DCAGT Presents College & Career Readiness by Barb Cousins  April 13

Douglas County Association for Gifted and Talented is offering a presentation on college & career readiness by Barb Cousins.

  Thursday, April 13, 2017
  6:30-8pm
  Stonegate Village Community Center, 10326 Stonegate Pkwy, Parker, CO
  More information here.

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Helpful Links
   "When Bright Kids Become Disillusioned" by James T. Webb  
   Douglas County Parent University Courses - Often there are Gifted topics.
   SENG Newsletters 
   Previously broadcast SENGinars can be purchased here.
   Davidson Institute Newsletters  
   Gifted Education Press Quarterly Newsletter - Summer 2016 - Find all issues here

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JAGC GT Ambassadors

JAGC works in positive partnership with the Jeffco School District's Gifted & Talented Department to provide leadership by promoting information about the educational and social-emotional needs of gifted and talented (GT) students. JAGC's Ambassador Program extends this leadership from the district level into individual school buildings. JAGC Ambassadors are volunteers who receive training in how to serve GT students, parents, and staff at the articulation area and school building levels. If you are interested in volunteering as a family or community member to help JAGC locally support the local GT community, please think about advocating for Jeffco's GT students in this capacity. JAGC would like to have a GT Ambassador at ALL schools, so please let us know if you can help.

What's involved in being a GT Ambassador?  Find out here.  Click here for additional information about this important role or contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions and/or to volunteer.

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Call for Volunteers

Are You a JAGC Member?
The Jefferson County Association for Gifted Children (JAGC) is a non-profit group providing leadership and support to families and educators of gifted young people in Jefferson County, Colorado. Membership in JAGC includes joint membership in CAGT (Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented). Combined dues are $40 annually.

Although JAGC often works in partnership with Jeffco Public Schools' Office of Gifted and Talented, JAGC is a volunteer organization. JAGC provides its newsletter and seminars to everyone in the community but membership, donations, and volunteers are essential to providing these resources. Locally, through JAGC, your membership helps support things such as: seminars, presentations, and speakers; printed literature; this website (including the JAGC newsletter); JAGC on Facebook; local advocacy. Through CAGT, your membership helps support such things as: CAGT's annual conference, CAGT's annual Parent Institute, CAGT's website, monthly "Happenings" email, the quarterly Kaleidoscope e-newsletter, state level legislative advocacy for gifted learners, and online learning opportunities.

Become a Member
Membership in JAGC and CAGT runs concurrent to the school year. Both are valid from September until August of the following year.  Download JAGC Membership Form (PDF).

Donate
Your contributions make a difference. 100% of your tax-deductible donation to JAGC will directly support distribution of information and GT advocacy in Jefferson County. Click here to download JAGC Donation Form (PDF).
Amazon Smile - Through Amazon Smile part of your purchase price will be donated to JAGC. When you shop at Amazon, first go to https://smile.amazon.com/ and select "Jefferson County Association for Gifted Children" before making your purchase.

Volunteer
Your time and talents help JAGC run as a volunteer organization. We particularly would like to have at least one JAGC GT Ambassador at each school, to share information at the local level. Help in other areas is also welcome; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to volunteer your particular area of interest/skill.

Did you know that JAGC is on Facebook?
You can "Like" JAGC on Facebook and read GT and Jeffco-related information as part of your Facebook feed. JAGC also has a private Facebook group; JAGC Online for the purposes of discussion. To join "friend" Jeffco Gifted and send a FB message to request group membership or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information. A big thank you to Susan Carter-Ruskell for sharing great gifted content and managing JAGC's Facebook presence!

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Note: This newsletter is intended to provide a wide array of information that readers may find helpful. In an effort to bring breadth of information, JAGC does not necessarily endorse or support opinions presented.  JAGC also does not endorse, approve for services, or recommend any specific program mentioned.