Thomas Jefferson

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Gifted & Talented

Thomas Jefferson High School Gifted & Talented




The Denver Public Schools Gifted and Talented Department endeavors to lead the nation in providing equitable, high-impact gifted programming.


We strive to ensure that gifted and talented students are engaged, rigorously challenged and supported to reach their full emotional, intellectual, and creative potential. By equipping students to become successful, critical, compassionate and collaborative individuals, we are preparing them to become leaders and citizens of the 21st Century.

What is Giftedness?

In DPS, “gifted and talented children” means those students whose demonstrated abilities, talents and/or potential for accomplishment are so exceptional or developmentally advanced that they require special provisions to meet their educational needs. These students perform, or show the potential of performing, at remarkably high levels in general intellectual ability, specific academic aptitude or specific talent aptitude when compared with others of their age and experience. Gifted and talented children are present in all student groups, regardless of gender, disability, English language proficiency, economic status, ethnic or cultural background.

Acronyms and Essential Terms

  • HSGT – High School Gifted & Talented
  • HGT – Highly Gifted & Talented
  • ME – Magnet Eligible
  • GTD – Gifted Talent Development
  • 2e – Twice-Exceptional
  • Tier 1 GT High School – Where a Central Specialist is on site weekly for the entire school community

GT Communication Pipelines at TJ for Families and Community

  • E-mail via Naviance to identified families
  • E-mail via Campus Messenger to identified families
  • TJ Journal and Spartan Edition
  • Text messaging for students – optional to anyone. To opt in, simply text @a9d9db to 81010. Text messages are fielded through a DPS ipad so students and parents may also reply if necessary.
  • Facebook Group for Parents (District wide, not school specific)
    • Search ‘DPS High School Gifted and Talented Parent Group’ and request access

Activities, Resources and Services to Enrich the High School Experience

The following align with the DPS GT Department Vision and Mission:

  1. GT Group Lunch – Wednesdays, Room 210 during the lunch period
  2. GT Drop-In Office Hours – Wednesdays, Room 210, 2:15 – 3:00
  3. Individual Student and Family Consultations with Specialist – By teacher, counselor, psychologist, social worker or administrative referral only. Students may self-refer for this service by first attending lunch and/or office hours/tutorial. Parents may request consultation services at any time, and must be in partnership with school officials. GT Goal Mentoring is by appointment only as part of our MTSS (Multi-Tiered Support Systems) and ensures the authentication of Advanced Learning Plans.
  4. Interest & Activity Groups. GT interest groups are dynamic and come in many ways, shapes and forms. Unlike clubs, they may or may not have specific meeting times. They are student, family and community driven, and thus ever-changing in nature. In previous years for example, Interest Groups included a televised Knowledge/Quiz Bowl tournament (PBS’ “Matchwits”) and an evening Opera soiree at the Temple Buell.

This year, our main interest groups (in alphabetical order) known and affiliated with the GT Office are:

  • Academic Mentorships with Community Resources, Inc. (by nomination)
  • Chess – open to all
  • Colorado Student Leaders Institute: An affiliate of The National Conference of Governor Schools (by nomination)
  • Annual DU Student Panel (by nomination)
  • Latin and National Junior Classical League (by nomination/teacher approval)
  • Legislative Day – Annual Field trip to the Capitol in February
  • Portfolios, Vitae and Academic Identity Management for Distinguished Students
  • GT-tailored test prep, recommendations and “Business of School” toward college (through office hours and tutorial)

Beyond the incredible options presented above, our adult communities of educators and professionals are consistently and increasingly engaging in professional learning about the nature and needs of Secondary GT learners, which is amazing for our students and the future of the program.