What is Early Access?
Young children who are highly gifted, and score in the 97th percentile or above on a normed cognitive, math, and reading assessment, may benefit from early entrance into kindergarten or first grade. Due to the rigorous academic demands of accelerating a student into kindergarten or first grade, students are screened using a number of nationally recognized assessments, and decisions are made by a team of teachers and psychologists in collaboration with parents to make sure each child's individual needs are met. A child may satisfy the requirements to be identified as gifted, but may not be highly gifted and meet the criteria for Early Access as determined by the Colorado Department of Education.
The following articles can help you gain a better understanding of what giftedness may look like in young children:
Application window for 2019-20 school year is closed.
Application for the 2020-2021 school year will be available October 1, 2019.
Aurora Public Schools (APS) will only test students whose families live in the APS boundaries. If you are interested in Early Access for an APS school and live in a surrounding district (Denver, Cherry Creek, etc.), please apply for Early Access in your home district.
General Overview of Process
- Apply: Complete and turn in the early access application with parent and teacher behavioral observation surveys.
- Assessments: Student is given a reading, math, and cognitive assessment. Writing and other work samples are also collected.
- Review Team: The body of evidence composed of achievement, behavioral, and ability assessments are reviewed by a Gifted and Talented team composed of teachers, psychologists, and district Gifted and Talented personnel to determine the best placement for the student.
- Determination Letters: Letters are sent to the student's home residence with results from the completed assessments and determination if early access will or will not be granted.
Click the link above for a handbook that provides background information on Early Access and a step-by-step process for applying, testing, and determining acceptance.
Children must be four years old by October 1 of the following school year to apply for Early Access to kindergarten, and children must be five years old by that date to apply for first grade.
Applications are available on this page and may be submitted to Jenny Bennetts at 15751 E 1st Ave, Aurora 80011 by December 22, 2019 for those applying to Quest and by March 21, 2019 for those who will be attending neighborhood schools. Individual screens will be by appointment and administered on one Saturday in January and one Saturday in April.
House Bill 08-1021 created the opportunity for Aurora Public Schools 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.
Questions or Comments? Please Contact:
Exceptional Student Services
15751 E. 1st Ave.— ESC2
Aurora, Colorado 80011
303-340-0510 ext. 28321
Gifted and Talented ToSA
Aurora Public Schools
303-340-0859 ext. 29283