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Gifted and Talented Services

Welcome to the Gifted and Talented Education Program for Mapleton Public Schools. We have gathered information from a variety of sources to help families better understand different aspects of our program.

Mapleton is committed to providing equitable, culturally responsive identification and programming options, so that each of our gifted and talented students can thrive.

To support this commitment, we have identified specific teachers who have agreed to take on the responsibility of coordinating the GT program at their school; these teachers are referred to as “GT Leads.” Depending on the number of formally identified gifted students at each school, there are anywhere from one to four GT Leads supporting this collaborative work. For the name(s) of the GT Lead(s) at your child’s school, please click on the link below:


Contact Information

Brad Russell
Assistant Director, Teaching and Learning Services

What is Giftedness? (ECEA)

Colorado’s Exceptional Children's Educational Act (ECEA) defines “gifted children” as:

Those persons between the ages of four and twenty-one whose aptitude or competence in abilities, talents, and potential for accomplishment in one or more domains are so exceptional or developmentally advanced that they require special provisions to meet their educational programming needs. Gifted children are hereafter referred to as gifted students. Children under five who are gifted may also be provided with early childhood special educational services. Gifted students include gifted students with disabilities (i.e., twice exceptional) and students with exceptional abilities or potential from all socio-economic, ethnic, and cultural populations. 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:

 Areas of Identification for Gifted Students

General Intellectual Ability
Specific Academic Aptitude:

Social Studies
World Language

Specific Talent Aptitude:

Creative or Productive Thinking
Visual Arts
Performing Arts (theater, speech, debate)
Psychomotor (sports)

What are Characteristics of Gifted Students [1]
No two gifted students are exactly the same, but each has their own unique pattern of characteristics and traits. There are many traits that gifted individuals may have in common, but no gifted learner exhibits traits in every area.

The following chart is excerpted from the National Association of Gifted Students (NAGC) website to help our families better understand the common traits and characteristics of gifted students:

Synchronous versus Asynchronous Development

The following diagram illustrates the age-related development of a typical student in several areas:

Excerpted from:


On the other hand, the following diagram illustrates the “asynchrony” of age-related development of some gifted students where specific areas may develop significantly faster than others in relation to their age-based peers. At the same time, other areas may not develop as fully or be delayed compared to their age-based peers:

Impact of Asynchrony on Gifted Students
Gifted children with asynchrony often think and feel differently compared to their age-based peers. The following information has been excerpted and adapted from the Parenting for Brain website:

Gifted children not only think in different ways, but they also feel differently. When higher levels of emotional intensity combine with advanced cognitive skills, gifted children are more conscious of life events and experience more intense feelings. Their intelligence and compassion often make them aware that they are not emotionally ready to handle them. These children are often called “too sensitive” because they are highly sensitive to their environment and easily overwhelmed by it​​.

 Socialization can be a major issue for young children. Asynchronous children often feel lonely, not because they are unfriendly by nature but because their attempts to fit in are quickly defeated. They notice that other children do not talk the same way, like the same things, or think about the same issues as [they do]...

 For the gifted child to feel “normal,” sometimes they feel they must give up their beliefs, behaviors, and values in order to fit in.

Recognize that the more gifted a child is, the more asynchronous they may be.

For these reasons, it is particularly important to include a range of affective, or social emotional, supports for these children to meet their individual needs. By teaching them strategies they can apply in school and everyday life, they can continue to build on their strengths while understanding how to better interact with others. These strategies can be incorporated into the general education classroom, their individualized Advanced Learning Plan (ALP), and/or at home.

Here are a few websites that offer information about understanding the affective needs of gifted children