What is Early Access?
Young children who are highly gifted, and score in the 97th percentile or above on a normed cognitive assessment, may benefit from early entrance into kindergarten or first grade. Due to the rigorous academic demands of accelerating a student into kindergarten or first grade, students are screened using a number of nationally recognized assessments, and decisions are made by a team of teachers and psychologists in collaboration with parents to make sure each child's individual needs are met. A child may satisfy the requirements to be identified as gifted, but may not be highly gifted and meet the criteria for Early Access as determined by the Colorado Department of Education.
The following articles can help you gain a better understanding of what giftedness may look like in young children:
Applications for 2018-19 School Year
General Overview of Process
- Apply: Complete and turn in the early access application with parent and teacher behavioral observation surveys.
- Assessments: Student is given a reading, math, and cognitive assessment. Writing and other work samples are also collected.
- Review Team: The body of evidence composed of achievement, behavioral, and ability assessments are reviewed by a Gifted and Talented team composed of teachers, psychologists, and district Gifted and Talented personnel to determine the best placement for the student.
- Determination Letters: Letters are sent to the student's home residence with results from the completed assessments and determination if early access will or will not be granted.
Children must be four years old by October 1 of the following school year to apply for Early Access to kindergarten, and children must be five years old by that date to apply for first grade.
Applications are available on this page and may be submitted to Jenny Bennetts at 15751 E 1st Ave, Aurora 80011 by January 9, 2018 for those applying to Quest and by March 22, 2018 for those who will be attending neighborhood schools. Individual screens will be by appointment and administered on one Saturday in January and one Saturday in April.
House Bill 08-1021 created the opportunity for Aurora Public Schools to accelerate highly advanced gifted children under age 4 for kindergarten and/or under age 5 for first grade pursuant to CRS 22-20-204(2). The Exceptional Children’s Educational Act (ECEA) is Colorado’s primary law with requirements for the implementation of specific elements and procedures for gifted education programs.