Seeking "Gifted and Talented" Preschool and Playgroups

Updated on March 06, 2008
K.H. asks from Castle Rock, CO
4 answers

My daughter Alex's preschool teacher has informed me that while she'd love to keep her in her class, she felt like Alex belonged in a gifted program. She's not quite 3 years old and already writes her name, is close to reading (at a very basic level; putting letter sounds together, etc. and typing words on her computer), and just in general functions more at a 4-5 year old place.

Is anyone aware of "gifted and talented" preschool programs in Colorado? We live in the Castle Rock/Parker area (about 30 minutes south of Denver), so close to us would be great; however, I would still like to know about any program in the state as it would be a great resource for me by phone. I have Googled everything I can think of and come up with nothing. Douglas County schools don't do official testing until the 2nd grade, but I have a call in to the preschool division to confirm their approach.

As finding this type of preschool seems to be difficult, I thought it would be nice to give her the opportunity to engage socially with other kids her age who are at her same place developmentally. Several of her friends are in the 4-5 year range, which is usually fine, but at a certain point the age difference gets frustrating for the older girls.

Please don't get me wrong -- she plays well with every child she meets and we absolutely encourage that. We just agree with her teacher that she would thrive and blossom in a different way being in an environment more tuned to where she is developmentally. Thanks so much for any insights you have to share!

Any insights would be so appreciated.

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So What Happened?

Thank you to everyone who responded to my question. My daugther's current preschool teacher used to work at Lone Tree Montessori. We talked with them about our daugther and felt good about the facility and their 3-5 year old combined approach. In the end, however, we opted to let her attend Ricks Center at Denver University. It is an amazing school, and seems to be exactly what my daughter needs on a social and academic level. I highly recommend the program for anyone seeking a talented and gifted resource for their children.

More Answers



answers from Denver on

You might consider a Montessri program. DCS off of Castle Pines Parkway starts children in preschool at age 3. Preschoolers age 3 and 4 are in class with the Kindergartners so there is a sense of mentoring. We didn't know much about Montessori until we started looking for preschool for our son. We have been very impressed! It offers independence in learning and allows children to go at their own pace. Our son started there in preschool and has done great. DCS goes through 6th grade. Do a search for Montessori on You Tube and you can see a demonstration of the classroom setting. Good luck!



answers from Denver on

Hi K.. My 7 year old is gifted and talented. We live in Douglas County, also. I don't know of preschools or kindergartens for gifted and talented. This is what I do know... Starting in 1st grade, children can be tested by Douglas County or any outside certified person to do testing to apply for the Discovery Program. The Discovery Program is for gifted and talented students which houses itself at 4 different schools in the county. If they are accepted, they begin the program in 2nd grade. Since Anna (my daughter) was so ahead of the other children at her preschool, I just supplemented her with older child workbooks and such which can be found at any educational store...even Walgreens! I just kept her to a point that she wouldn't be bored. She only attended half day Kindergarten last year, so it wasn't a big deal. She enjoyed both preschool and K very much. This year has been very different. Since it is 1st grade regular school, she has been very bored, but her teacher has not slowed her down. Although many of the children are at a lower reading level, she continues to have Anna read higher and higher level books, so her teacher has been just wonderful. When I was searching for someone to test Anna outside of the county, I ran into lots of one knew who to refer me to for a gifted child...only children with learning problems. I actually found the person by total luck by searching the internet. Here is the address for the county:



answers from Denver on

I think it depends on how dedicated you want to be with fostering your daughters abilities. The Rick's Center at DU is one of the best and it's right here in Denver. It has a gifted preschool, as well as higher levels of education, but is obviously at DU and is private. I don't know of anything in Douglas County---I would recommend checking out some of the Montessori preschools in the area as they will do mixed age groups and let the child learn at their own pace but with guidance of an instructor.

Best Wishes.



answers from Denver on

Hi K.,

I agree with the other posts. We also live in Douglas County. Montessori is a great option. We did tour some of the gifted programs in Denver, but opted for Montessori for a more well-rounded education and she did great but also had fun.

She was accepted into the Discovery Program (Douglas County's g/t program) but we actually turned it down. Same reason- we feel like it is important to keep her challenged, but also wanted her to have a well rounded social and extra-curricular life. So far the school has done an excellent job of recognizing all of the levels of the kids. We've been quite happy.

It is hard to find the right balance for your family. You want her to be challenged and live up to her g/t potential, but you don't want to squelch her joy of childhood.

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