Gifted and Talented

Gifted and Talented Website 


SME Gifted and Talented Frequently Asked Questions



My child was just identified, when can I expect their ALP to be written?

We have 45 school days from the day your child has been identified to write their ALP.  Then, I will be sending it home. I can send it via email if you fill out the Electronic Permission Form.  Otherwise, you will receive your child’s ALP via a sealed envelope.  Then you will need to sign the signature page (highlighted page) and return it.  If you would like to see anything about your child’s ALP change I am more than happy to do that.  The ALP is a living document we can tweak at anytime. At the beginning of each school year you can anticipate your child’s ALP being written and shared with you by the end of September.


What is this program like at SME?

I facilitate the Gifted and Talented learners at SME.  As the GT Facilitator it is my job to plan, serve, and work to identify GT learners at SME. This means I meet with them and work with their teacher to ensure they are getting the correct programming in and out of their classroom.  I ensure your child is receiving differentiation with me and/or with their classroom teacher. It is my goal to help foster your child’s loves and interests, as it pertains to their ALP goals. I want to encourage and spark their interests and strengths and help to guide them towards success in the future.  


SME  is not the Discovery Program.  The Discovery Program is a separate program that is housed at other schools in our district (Northridge and Acres Green in HR).  The Discovery Program is something you need to apply for starting in second grade if you are interested. I can provide you with more information on this if you wish.  


What is an ALP?

ALP stands for Advanced Learning Plan.  This is where you will find your child’s standard-based goals.  You child may be identified in a specific content area, or they may be identified GIA (see below). You can find a breakdown of the ALP in general HERE.


My child has been identified GIA what does that mean?

General Intellectual Ability is exceptional capability or potential recognized through cognitive processes (i.e. memory, reasoning, rate of learning, spatial reasoning, ability to find and solve problems, ability to manipulate abstract ideas and make connections. connections).  If your child is not identified GIA then they have been identified in a specific content area (i.e. Reading, Writing, Math, etc).


What is the Talent Pool?

The talent pool is a defined group of students who demonstrate an advanced ability in a particular area, but at this time do not meet the criteria for gifted identification.  These students receive differentiation (intervention) in the classroom to develop their aptitude and promote achievement and growth. A review team continues to collect and review additional data over time to determine if gifted identification is appropriate at a later date.  

~Colorado Department of Education, Gifted Identification Guidebook, 2016


What is the schedule for the GT

You can find the general schedule for GT HEREThere are occasionally times when I am meeting with parents, teachers or staff I may have to cancel one of my groups.  I try to avoid doing this, but there are some things that are out of my control. Mrs. Southern is at SME on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.


When will my child meet with you?

I meet with students twice a week for a half an hour per content area they are identified in.  For Example, if a student (kindergarten-4th grade is identified in just Math, then they will meet with me twice a week for half an hour each time.  If a child is identified in Reading and Math they will meet with me twice a week, two times on each of the two days. My schedule was put together by Mrs. Franci.  It is specific to the Response to Intervention (RTI) times for the Stone Mountain student body. Along with meeting students I also work with classroom teachers to plan for specific programming for ALP students and those the talent pool.


How often will we hear from you?

I am most accessible via email.  I am at Stone Mountain on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays.  I am with students all day long so I will do my best to get back to you as quickly as possible.  It is my goal to also send a monthly newsletter. I will also communicate with you when ALPs have been updated and need reviewed.


How is my child's progress monitored and communicated?

I will be checking in with your child’s teacher often to see how they are doing in the classroom.  We will also use data points provided by iReady and other assessments used at Stone Mountain to help track a students progress.  A child’s progress towards their ALP goals will be communicated to you at all reporting times (i.e. when report cards are sent home) via ALPs.


Will you be at my child’s conferences?

I will be here for conferences.I will offer sign up times for those days.  I will communicate this with you in advance. You can sign up for the same time as your child’s conference with their classroom teacher or sign up for an additional time.   If you do sign up for the same time as your child’s classroom conference, I am happy to attend that conference. Please let me know if that is the case. Otherwise we can meet in my classroom.


If my child is already on an ALP do they need to take CogAT if they are not in the universal testing ages (3rd and 6th grade)?

All Douglas County students take CogAT (Cognitive Ability Test) in third and sixth grade.  This assessment is one assessment the district uses to help them identify GT students. Your child does not need to take CogAT if they are not in third or sixth grade.  When you see information come home about CogAT testing you do not need to worry about requesting to have your child tested. Even if your child is on an ALP they will, however, take CogAT within those universal testing ages (sixth and third grade).


Will my child remain on an ALP every year?

Your child will remain on an ALP throughout their career as a student.  Their programming may change depending on their growth and progress. This just means that they may be getting just what they need in their classroom with the wonderful differentiation provided by their classroom teacher.  This will be indicated in their ALP.


What is my child working on?

You can find out what we are working on in each group HERE.


How can we help ensure our child is doing what they are assigned as well as challenging themselves in a healthy way?

What we work on together is designed to extend and further the standards for each grade level.  This is not “busy work”. It is also not suppose to cause your child stress. It should be worked on at school.  You child may have to read a book for their book club at home, but that should be the extent of it. I work closely with each classroom teacher to ensure the work I provided replaces work they are responsible for in the classroom.  Something most GT students (really any students) always need help with is time management and responsibility. Asking your child about how they are balancing their time in class with their GT work and being involved in that is wonderful!  Self advocacy is important as well, I encourage students to come to me if things ever feel too overwhelming, I ask that you do the same. Please refrain from doing the work for them. Like I said, their GT work is designed to be worked on at school.  They may have read for a book club, that can be done at home, but I really want this program to be as authentic as possible for the school environment. 


How can I support the program?

The biggest thing is to trust that I want what is best for your child!  I am extremely passionate about doing what is best for students! I am so thankful for that trusting close relationship I can build with students, teachers and parents. I am so thankful for the SME community.  I love the way parents are positive and encouraging with their children. Kids have enough pressure nowadays! I want to ensure that school will be a place that helps your child grow and blossom!


My child is in 6th grade, how do the placement tests work for Middle School?

This usually occurs after Spring Break.  All 6th graders will be given a math test for placement.  That, combined with teacher and GT recommendations, will determine which class they will be assigned.  Language Arts is usually not tested but rather based on teacher recommendations and classroom data.


What extracurricular activities are offered for my child?

Here at SME we have various activities/clubs.  Please follow this LINK to view all those offered.