Early Access

Durango School District 9-R provides Early Access for eligible Kindergarten students whose birthdays fall after October 1st.  Early Access supports students who are evaluated as exceptional in cognitive reasoning, academics, school readiness, and motivation. Early Access is an acceleration pattern recommended for less than two percent of gifted children, most of whom benefit from preschool or kindergarten programming in their strength area. The purpose of Early Access is to identify and serve the few highly advanced gifted children who require comprehensive academic acceleration. Accelerating children can have a profound effect on their academic and social performance for the remainder of their school career. Therefore, Durango School District 9-R uses a thorough, research-based procedure to determine if children are eligible for Early Access.

Early Access Timeline

  • Families access packets: February 1st
    • By pick up at the Durango School District Administration Building, 201 East 12th Street; 
    • By mail to families’ homes; 
    • By email
  • Families submit applications and screening portfolios no later than: April 1st (Applications submitted after April 1st will only be accepted under unusual circumstances, i.e., a family moving to our area after the deadline but before school starts).
  • Early Access Team evaluates portfolios to see if further testing is warranted.
  • Early Access Team administers assessments.
  • Families receive their determination letters within 60 calendar days of application submission and no later than June 1
  • Families may appeal the decision by asking for reconsideration of the results of any part of the identification process:
    • Families should submit an appeal letter to the executive director of student support services outlining the nature of the concern.
    • Families should attach supporting documentation.
    • Families must provide evidence that the child's knowledge, skills, and abilities are superior to those demonstrated and measured by school personnel. 
    • Testing from an outside source will be considered, but Durango School District 9-R is not responsible for any costs incurred if families choose to obtain information this way. 
    • The executive director will issue a written final decision within 30 days of receiving an appeal.
  • Gifted facilitators create an Advanced Learning Plan by September 30th and monitor progress every 5 weeks throughout the first year of Early Access.

For further information or application assistance, please call Jennifer Baufield, the Coordinator of Early Childhood Programs, at 247-5411, ext. 1468 or Erin Henthorn, Administrative Assistant at ext.1461.