Students under the age of six who meet the criteria for Colorado's definition of "highly advanced gifted" are eligible for early school admittance. Children identified as highly advanced gifted comprise the top one to two percent of the gifted population. They exhibit exceptional ability or potential when compared to same-age children. The purpose of Early Access is to identify and serve the very few highly advanced gifted children who require comprehensive academic acceleration.
In accordance with Colorado House Bill 08-1021, Cherry Creek Schools has established a process for identifying "highly advanced gifted" children under the age of six who demonstrate a need for Early Access into Kindergarten or first grade. The purpose of the Early Access process is to identify and meet the needs of highly advanced gifted students who require comprehensive academic acceleration. Please remember that services and support provided by typical early childhood experiences will meet the needs of the vast majority of students, including gifted learners.
In order to go through the Early Access process, students must currently reside within Cherry Creek Schools. Early Access is available for the student's neighborhood school only.
The Early Access Process
- Portfolio Screening: Review of portfolio materials - Complete portfolio applications will be screened on an ongoing basis and families will be notified within 60 calendar days of receipt of a completed portfolio packet.
- Student Observation to assess current Academic and Social functioning and completion of work samples in the Preschool setting is possible
- Follow-up Communications: After the portfolio screening, all families will be contacted by letter. Students whose portfolios indicate traits of a "highly advanced gifted" learner and a strong potential need for Early Access will continue to steps 4-6 (see below).
- Assessment: Formal administration of cognitive, academic achievement, and developmental testing.
- Determination: The Early Access committee will review all of the information gathered about each student, and a decision will be made about whether or not the child's Body of Evidence meets the Early Access requirements.
- Parents/Guardians will meet with the Early Access Assessment Team to discuss assessment data and final determination. At this time you will receive written notification as to whether or not the child meets all of the criteria for Early Access.
An appeals process may be initiated by writing a formal letter of appeal and submitting it to the Office of Advanced Academic & Gifted Services. New information to clarify inaccuracies, or that might require a decision to be reviewed, should be included with the written appeal letter. If the applicant is still not satisfied with the decision, a formal meeting may be scheduled with the Director of Advanced Academic & Gifted Services.
Portfolios for the 2021-2022 school year will be avilable soon.
Office of Advanced Academic & Gifted Services
Student Achievement Resource Center
14188 E. Briarwood Ave.
Centennial, CO 80112
Complete portfolios must include all paperwork (see checklist) along with a check for $250 (made payable to Cherry Creek School District) to cover the cost of testing.*
Portfolio Checklist - Coming Soon
Early Access Family Packet - Coming Soon
Only complete portfolios will be screened. No late portfolios will be accepted.
*This fee is not applicable to families who qualify for free or reduced meals. If you are unsure whether or not you qualify, you may contact the district Foodservice office at 720-886-7175. If your child does not participate in steps 4-6, your application fee will be returned.