Gifted and Talented Programming

Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) Information Dear Parents/Guardians,

DCSD is committed to implementing equitable practices to increase access to advanced/gifted learning opportunities. Based on state and national recommendations and requirements, we implement Universal Screening for students in 2nd grade (February) and 5th or 6th grade--a student's final year of elementary school (November).


5th/6th Grade Universal Screen

As part of this process, ALL students in 6th not identified for gifted programming will take the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) the week of November 15th.  This assessment indicates the level and pattern of cognitive development of a student in comparison to grade and age mates.  These general reasoning abilities, which start developing at birth and continue through early adulthood, are influenced by experiences gained both in and out of school.  

If your child missed their regular universal CogAT screening last year, they will be assessed during this window.  This would pertain to students currently in 3rd and possibly 6th or 7th grade (depending on the last grade in elementary).

If your child is already identified for gifted programming, they will not participate in this universal screen testing. Your Gifted Education Facilitator will contact you directly with information about this process. 

Gifted Identification Referral Testing

  • If your child is in grades 3, 4, and 5 and you believe he/she needs evaluation for Gifted Identification and Services, you may refer your child for testing by initiating the Gifted Identification Process.  
  • NOTE: Requesting this assessment automatically initiates the process to evaluate for Gifted Identification. 
  • Please request CogAT testing for your child by completing the Referral for Gifted Identification linked HERE
  •  Upon receipt of this form, the Gifted Education Facilitator will connect with you to discuss next steps in the gifted identification process.

DCAGT October Newsletter

TONIGHT! October 4, 5:00 to 7:30 P.M. Virtual  GT 101

Join DCSD's Advanced Academics and Gifted Programming and Douglas County Association for Gifted and Talented (DCAGT) as we provide a variety of breakout sessions for parents that are new to gifted as well as those who have lived the gifted life for some time. We will cover topics of interest to those with young students to those who are well into high school. All sessions are only 30 minutes each. 


Attend sessions in a specific strand or pick your sessions a la carte!  We want to provide you and your family with the information that is most valuable to you. Due to the nature of engaging in conversation and encouraging families to ask questions in each breakout session, we will not be recording to maintain privacy.


Specific login information will be updated on the Virtual GT 101 Agenda or join us from 5:00 to 5:30 P.M. on Google Meets for our whole group introduction session and to receive the links for the sessions.

For descriptions of sessions, see THIS document. Questions? Please contact Heather Groff at

Gifted and Talented Program

Academy Charter School (ACS) is dedicated to high-quality gifted/talented and enrichment programming that will serve as a model for other Charter schools in the district, state, and county.

Meet the ACS Gifted and Talented Team

Melinda Kennedy is the GT Facilitator and the GT program lead. She has 25 years of teaching experience and has worked with students as a classroom teacher, a technology specialist, and a gifted and talented teacher. Melinda joined ACS in 2009. She has a Bachelor’s degree in English, a Master’s degree in Curriculum & Instruction, and the Gifted Education Specialist endorsement.  


Hillary Fendrich is the Enrichment Teacher. She works with kindergarten through eighth grade. Hillary joined ACS in 2015. She has a Bachelor's degree in Geology, a Master's degree in Elementary Education, and a Science Endorsement, 7-12. She is an ACS alumni. 


Please click through the tabs below to learn more about:
-Gifted and Talented Definition
-Gifted Identification
-Programing objectives
-Opportunities for Gifted Students

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