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American Academy

Gifted and Talented Program

The Gifted and Talented mission at American Academy is to promote intellectual, social and emotional growth in the gifted and twice exceptional student population through encouraging student-lead advocacy, providing active support and purposeful education programming and opportunities.

Gifted Program Vision

To develop an exemplary gifted education program that is comprehensive, fluid and adaptable where life-long learning and intellectual pursuits are encouraged, supported and valued.
American Academy's Gifted and Talented Coordinator is Karen Billings (

Definition of Giftedness
Gifted and talented students are those students between the ages of four and twenty-one whose abilities, talents, and potential for accomplishment are so exceptional or developmentally advanced that they require special provisions to meet their educational programming needs. Gifted students include students with disabilities (i.e. twice exceptional) and students with exceptional abilities or potential from all socio-economic and ethnic, 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:

• General or Specific Intellectual Ability
• Specific Academic Aptitude
• Creative or Productive Thinking
• Leadership Abilities
• Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Musical or Psychomotor Abilities

Gifted Program Goals

  1. To build a cohesive peer support group for learning and socialization.

  2. To equip and support faculty in their efforts to appropriately differentiate curriculum and instruction for gifted and twice exceptional students.

  3. To build a support system for the unique emotional needs of gifted and twice exceptional students.

  4. To challenge students in their area of talent on a regular basis.

  5. To create partnerships with the wider public that enhance both community life and student-centered objectives.

  6. To educate the school community about the gifted in order to remove barriers and to promote understanding.

Gifted and Talented Resources



Important Information: Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) (updated 1/14/2020)
Universal Screening
As part of the Douglas County School District’s Universal Screening Process, ALL students in Grade 2 will take the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT 7) during the testing window February 10-28, 2020. Please contact your homeroom teacher for specific times. 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 you have questions, please contact our Gifted and Talented Coordinator, Karen Billings, by email at or by phone at 720-292-5609.

Gifted Identification Referral Testing
If your child is in grades K, 1, 3, 4, or 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.  Our next testing window for referral students will be in the 2020-2021 school year.
If you have further questions please contact our Gifted and Talented Coordinator, Karen Billings, by email at or by phone at 720-292-5609.