Morey’s Highly Gifted / Talented Magnet Program

Vision

The Denver Public Schools Gifted and Talented Department will lead the nation in providing equitable, high-impact gifted programming.

Mission

We strive to ensure that gifted and talented students are engaged, rigorously challenged and supported to reach their full emotional, intellectual, and creative potential. By equipping students to become successful, critical, compassionate, and collaborative individuals, we are preparing them to become leaders and citizens of the 21st century.

Programming Best Practices at Morey

  • Supports identification for students of all backgrounds with a wide variety of tools to capture students with a variety of intelligences.
  • Acceleration: students move through traditional curriculum at a quicker rate.
  • Curriculum Compacting: condenses, modifies, or streamlines the regular curriculum to reduce repetition of previously mastered material.
  • Grouping:
    • Homogeneous grouping in the core classes to allow gifted students to challenge one another through debate, critique, and higher-level questioning.
    • Heterogeneous grouping allows students at various instructional levels to work together, building community, personal responsibility, and respect for individual differences.
  • Trained Teachers – all teachers have strong understanding of how to identify, challenge, and support gifted students’ academic and social/emotional needs.

Identification Process

In the Denver Public Schools, “gifted and talented children” means those students whose demonstrated abilities, talents and/or potential for accomplishment are so exceptional or developmentally advanced that they require special provisions to meet their educational needs. These students perform, or show the potential of performing, at remarkably high levels in intellectual, specific academic or creative areas when compared with others of their age and experience. Gifted and talented children are present in all student groups, regardless of gender, disability, English language proficiency, economic status, ethnic or cultural background.

All identification will be based on a body of evidence, which must include standardized assessments. This year we will continue to universally assess all students for gifted services in the 6th grade using the NNAT assessment. The NNAT assessment is a timed multiple choice measure of abstract and visual-spatial reasoning skills. It is considered to be unbiased in terms of both culture and gender. It involves evaluating the sequential pattern of geometric designs and selecting the appropriate next design to complete the pattern.

Parent nomination forms for CogAt testing are available at your neighborhood school or at http://gt.dpsk12.org.The CogAt tool qualifies students based on their scores in quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning, and visual special abilities.The three areas are considered individually so students may qualify in one area or multiple areas from this assessment.

Students must receive a score of 95% on one of these ability assessments for gifted consideration and 98% for highly gifted review. This process will offer multiple opportunities and pathways for student identification in the following areas:

  • general or specific intellectual ability
  • specific academic aptitude (reading, writing math, science, social studies, and world language),
  • specific talent aptitude (visual or performing arts, musical, dance or psychomotor abilities, creative or productive thinking and/or leadership abilities).

The body of evidence must also contain a combination of the following: portfolios of work, rubrics, performance, observations, checklists and/or interviews. All information will be reviewed and evaluated by a highly qualified district team to determine the educational needs of the student and the most suitable level of gifted support. Depending on level of need, your child may or may not qualify for gifted services.

Advanced Learning Plan

Per Colorado House Bill 1244-07, identified gifted students in grades K – 8 will have an Advanced Learning Plan (ALP) developed. The ALP will provide documentation of gifted education services in the student’s area(s) of strengths, the student’s yearly growth, and the manner in which the child’s social and emotional needs will be addressed. It will serve as a roadmap for teachers and students that ensure advanced instruction and learning opportunities in the student’s area(s) of strength. The ALP is a document that can be revised anytime during the school year. The development of an ALP serves as a foundation for a partnership between the gifted student, the classroom teacher, the parent/guardian, and the gifted education teacher at the school. Bertie Fiz the Coordinator for Highly/Gifted and Talented is available to discuss these plans with students, families and teachers.

Portfolios

Portfolios are one type of performance assessment in which students highlight their work in progress and illustrate improvement over time. This is a systematic way for students to manage and compile a body of self-selected evidence supporting growth. The portfolio is the student’s responsibility. Submissions support the ALP and each piece of evidence may come from content area work, contests, performances, and clubs. It may include out-of-school efforts as certain abilities and interests may be limited in school settings. The student completes an evaluation of the work as it relates to a specific goal and indicates next steps ensuring continued personal or academic growth. Four to six pieces of evidence are submitted to justify growth over the calendar year. Completion supports the decision-making of the GT Coordinator to decide of the student’s goals are met or not met.

Passion Projects

A passion project is an in-depth exploration of an individual passion or interest. Sixth through eighth grade students are asked to see the complexity of their interests through an interdisciplinary lens. Students are provided with a timeline to support time management. As well, the students are given time and lessons in their Language Arts classrooms to facilitate the research process and outline presentation expectations. They are expected to brainstorm for a variety of ideas(creative thinking), critique their ideas for the best topic, then outline their process of inquiry. Students will delve into multiple sources to create a presentation with a visual component that demonstrates their depth of study and ability to explain it to others. Completion of the passion project also helps the student to meet the ALP goals. During their presentation of learning, students will have the opportunity to share their work with peers, educators, and community members.