Thomas Jefferson

High School | Home of the Spartans

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 (magnet eligible)
  • GT – Gifted & Talented
  • 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 134 during the lunch period
  2. GT Drop-In Office Hours – Wednesdays, Room 146A, 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, but must be in partnership with school officials. This service is by appointment only as part of our MTSS (Multi-Tiered Support Systems) and a Goal Mentoring Pilot (this aims to authenticate the goal processes of Advanced Learning Plans – High School Advanced Learning Plans in DPS are still in the planning phase and should be mainstreamed in the 2016-2017 school year).
  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 theater 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)
  • Dynamic Learning Environments DU Student Panel (by nomination)
  • Colorado Film Festivals – new!
  • Financial Literacy – new!
  • GT Student Liaisons to Professionals – new!
  • Latin – outside the school day, for credit (use this link to express interest
  • Legislative Day – Field trip to the Capitol in February (use this link to express interest
  • Mayor’s Youth Commission: Existing student leadership appointments
  • Opera: Spring fieldtrip to the “Scarlet Letter” with accompanying study (use this link to express interest
  • Portfolios and Academic Identity Management for Distinguished Students
  • School, life, and technology use balance Task Force for Professional Presentation in March (by nomination)
  • Smart = Cool Task Force: Open to all! Please send Mr. Weaver an email of interest
  • TEDx Youth Mile High: Please let Mr. Weaver know if you are interested
  • GT-tailored test prep, recommendations and “Business of School” toward college (through office hours and tutorial)
  • “Think It Up” Idea Proposals: Open to all, get your brilliant idea funded by Hollywood!

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.