School District 27J Early Access Guidelines
House Bill 08-1021 created the opportunity for Colorado administrative units (AUs) 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. ECEA Rules provide AUs guidance for the implementation of early access as well as clarify provisions for AUs to receive state education funds for early access children.
WHAT IS EARLY ACCESS? Early Access allows for schools to override the age limits mandated by state law. Current age limits in the state of Colorado are: age 5 by October 1st for kindergarten and age 6 by October 1st for 1st grade
School District 27J believes that some students not yet eligible to enter school due to age limits mandated by the Colorado Department of Education, may be acknowledged as a potential student with gifted qualities in an academic area, and encourages parents to consider their option to apply for early access.
Identification of a potential gifted student through early access will be based on best practices for identifying gifted learners with guidance from the Colorado Department of Education and will include a body of evidence in addition to the application itself. Criteria will identify highly advanced gifted children who are age four by the start of school for kindergarten or age five by the start of school for first grade. A child who may benefit from Early Access is academically gifted, socially and emotionally mature, in the top 2% of the gifted peer group per normed tests, motivated to learn, and ready to begin school.
The application process for Early Access opens January 9, 2017 and closes March 17, 2017. The application link is: https://goo.gl/forms/MjjCwKe6oTIdP2ty2
STEP 1: Complete the application online
Level 1: Once a completed application is submitted and reviewed, families will receive the Gifted Rating Scales (GRS-P) form (via post office mail). Parents must complete one form and provide the second form to an individual who can best complete and provide information regarding their student’s academic and social/emotional abilities, preferably a daycare provider or preschool teacher.
Level 2: Students determined eligible for level two screening, will be evaluated to determine their general aptitude level. Students who score at the 97%ile or higher will advance to level three screening.
Level 3: Students determined eligible for level three screening, will be evaluated to determine their general academic levels in both reading and math. Students who score at the 97%tile or higher will advance for final review.
An Early Access Review Committee will review all relevant data and make final decisions regarding acceptance for Early Access. Students accepted under Early Access will receive an Advanced Learning Plan to support their area of strength and ensure advanced learning opportunities throughout their educational career.
Students determined eligible for Early Access will be required to complete the Kindergarten or First grade enrollment packet at their neighborhood school and comply with all requirements of enrollment prior to the first day of school.