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Gifted Education

Every child deserves a challenging curriculum and the support they need to flourish. Eagle County School District offers gifted and talented programming options and supports to address the unique needs and strengths of advanced learners.

We believe district administration, teachers, families, and the community share the responsibility of providing relevant and challenging opportunities to develop the individual potential of advanced learners. Students, in turn, are responsible for maximizing those opportunities.

Our program ensures students are challenged to achieve their highest potential, and that curriculum and learning opportunities are in line with their specific needs, interests, and abilities. We identify gifted learners and work with school personnel and parents to monitor their growth and achievement. Gifted students include gifted students with disabilities (i.e. twice-exceptional) and students with exceptional abilities or potential from all socio-economic and ethnic, cultural populations.

Areas of Giftedness

A gifted child is someone over the age of four whose aptitude or competence in abilities, talents, and potential for accomplishment in one (or more) areas is so exceptional or developmentally advanced they they require special provisions to meet their educational programming needs. Gifted students are capable of high performance, exceptional production, or exceptional learning behavior in any of the following areas, either individually or in any combination:

High-achieving versus Gifted

Generally, a high achieving student is one who works hard to succeed; is attentive in class; learns with ease; memorizes facts; correctly answers questions; and earns good grades.

In comparison, a student who might be considered gifted in a particular area is performing at an outstanding level of accomplishment compared to grade level peers; generates complex, abstract ideas; comprehends complex ideas; infers and connects concepts; is self-directed in learning; can answer content-related questions but also ask complex questions.

No two gifted children are alike. The ECSD identification team ensures that gifted determinations are made according to the unique traits and characteristics of each child in the identification process.

Gifted Education Subjects


Gifted Education Coordinator
Sarah Murray (GCMS, EVHS)
Secondary Gifted Specialist
Chelsey Fysh (BCES)
Elementary Gifted Specialist
Deb Harrison (AES, EVES)
Elementary Gifted Specialist
Sebastian Melgarejo(GES, HPS, RHES) Elementary Gifted Specialist
Jeffrey Arenson (HPS, VSSA)
Secondary Gifted Specialist
Marjorie Oyler (BCMS, BMHS)
Secondary Gifted Specialist
Tracy Teetaert (EVMS, RCHS)
Secondary Gifted Specialist
Lisa Turilli (EES, RSES)
Elementary Gifted Specialist
Administrative Support Specialist

Gifted Education Services are a subset of our Exceptional Student Services.

Our goal is to tailor instruction for all students with exceptional needs. We educate all students to the same high standards, while providing learning opportunities to meet our students's individual needs. The Exceptional Student Services Department values teamwork, innovation, and professional pride. We hold a true commitment to our students who qualify and receive services through gifted and special education. We honor and respect the diversity of all our learners. Our staff strives to be responsive to the unique needs of students and families.


“Early Access” refers to early entrance into kindergarten at age 4, or into first grade at age 5 for highly advanced, gifted children who are placed in a grade level above their same aged peers. To qualify for early access, the student must:

  • by October 1, be age 4 for kindergarten or age 5 for first grade
  • be formally identified as gifted, and
  • meet requirements for accelerated placement as determined in a body of evidence

Regular public or private preschools or homeschooling meet the needs of the majority of gifted 4 and 5 year olds. The early access identification process recognizes there are highly advanced, gifted children who require comprehensive academic acceleration.

Applications for early access are due by April 1 for the following school year.

Early Access Information-Procedure

Early Access Application

Kingore Observation Inventory 

Early Access Information-Procedure - Spanish

Early Access Application - Spanish