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Advanced Learning Plan (ALP)

Colorado’s Exceptional Children's Educational Act (ECEA) defines an “Advanced Learning Plan” (ALP) as:

A written record of a gifted student's strengths, academic and affective learning goals and the resulting programming utilized with each gifted child and considered in educational planning and decision making.

CDE’s Gifted Education Office provides guidance regarding Advanced Learning Plans (ALPs) to better align to the ECEA rules. The following text has been excerpted and adapted from CDE’s guidance document: [1]

  • The Advanced Learning Plan (ALP) is a legal document outlining programming for identified gifted students and is used as a guide for educational planning and decision-making. All goals in the ALP are standards-based.
  • For every student’s ALP, educators should incorporate cultural competence when developing deeply rooted and meaningful goals that are based on student strengths and interests. Development of ALP goals requires ongoing relationship-building through all parts of the gifted program.
  • An initial ALP is developed shortly after a student’s gifted identification. The initial ALP records the body of qualifying evidence used for identification, the area(s) of gifted identification, student interests and strengths (i.e., learner profile), and evidence of parent engagement. The initial ALP includes academic and affective goals aligned to area(s) of identification and psychosocial development.
  • In subsequent years, new achievement and affective goals are developed and monitored for progress. The student’s profile is updated (as appropriate), and data are reviewed for adding possible new areas of identification. Parent engagement must be documented annually.
  • ECEA rules support the development of an ALP that is meaningful and purposeful for everyone involved in the process:

Teachers: ALPs are meaningful and purposeful to teachers because they provide guidance that impacts instructional planning to ensure achievement and growth for each student.

Families: ALPS are meaningful and purposeful to families. The content within the ALPs describes to parents/guardians the annual instructional plan to meet the needs of their student and includes data to track progress and goal attainment.

Gifted Students: When the instructional plan described in the ALP is implemented with fidelity, the gifted student’s learning is meaningful and purposeful.

[1] Excerpted and adapted from Writing Standards-aligned Advanced Learning Plans (ALPs), Colorado Department of Education, Exceptional Student Services Unit, Denver, CO. 2020. The full document can be found at:

7 Thinking & Action Steps toward Meaningful ALPs
(excerpted from CDE’s ALP guidance document)

ALP Goals:

ALP goals should be student-driven and collaboratively developed between the student, family, and classroom teacher(s). Each year, Mapleton staff (e.g., GT Leads and classroom teachers) reach out to gifted students and their families to invite them into the ALP development process.

Each ALP must include two (2) goals:

1.     Affective Goal: This goal can include any of the following social emotional focus areas:

  • Further develop personal or social skills
  • Develop leadership and communication skills
  • Increase cultural awareness and understanding
  • Modify or eliminate personal or social behaviors that interfere with a student reaching their potential
  • Prepare students for post-secondary options: college and/or career

2.     Strength Goal: This goal should focus on one of more of the student’s identified area(s) of strength and how that academic and/or talent area can be further developed to help the student be more successful in the future.

ALP goals are developed in the fall – with additional opportunities for teachers and students to review those goals mid-year and end-year to support the student in meeting their goals effectively. Once developed, families receive a copy of the ALP for their reference and review.


For additional information about Mapleton’s Advanced Learning Plans (ALPs), please email: