House Bill 08-1021 created the opportunity for Colorado administrative units to accelerate highly advanced gifted children under age 5 for kindergarten and/or under age 6 for first grade. 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. ECEA Rules provide AUs guidance for the implementation of Early Access.
Durango School District 9-R provides Early Access to those eligible students if their birthdays fall after October 1st. Early Access is intended to support students who are evaluated to be exceptional in aptitude/cognitive reasoning, academics, school readiness and motivation. Early Access is not an acceleration pattern recommended for the majority of age 4 or age 5 gifted children who will benefit from preschool or kindergarten programming that responds to the strength area. The purpose of Early Access is to identify and serve the few highly advanced gifted children who require comprehensive academic acceleration. The decision to accelerate a child can have a profound effect on the child’s academic and social performance for the remainder of his/her school career. Therefore, Durango School District 9-R takes this step very seriously and uses a thorough set of research based procedures to determine if a child is eligible for Early Access.
Early Access Timeline
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.