Jefferson County Schools
Gifted Center Schools
Elementary - Coronado, Devinney, Hackberry Hill, Kendrick Lakes, Kyffin, Parmalee, Sheridan Greens, Stevens, Westridge
Middle Schools - Creighton, Evergreen, Everitt, Ken Caryl, North Arvada, West Jefferson
High Schools - Arvada, Wheat Ridge
2021-2022 GT Resource Teachers & Counselors
Identification and Assessment
Center School Map
High school credit for Middle School math and world languages courses
Transition resources for parents (Edutopia)
Transitioning from elementary to middle school (Davidson Institute)
Middle school transition tips for parents (Scholastic)
Middle School Math
Math acceleration in middle school is essential to accessing Advanced Placement (AP) math courses in high school. Optimally, Algebra 1 in seventh grade and Geometry in eighth grade will put your student in the strongest position for advanced math in high school. Students may apply for high school credit for high school math courses taken in middle school. Contact your GT counselor for information.
High school credit for Middle School math and world languages courses
Working With Teachers & Parents
As a GT Parent...
Tips for High School
There are several reasons to accelerate students in high school. First, to keep them engaged in school rather than bored and looking for other outlets for their time and energy. Second, if they plan to attend college it will help prepare them for college level work loads. Third, your student might be able to earn college credit while in high school through concurrent enrollment or taking college classes for high school credit, AP or IB courses, Jeffco Virtual Academy or MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), any of which could engage your student and save money on college tuition and fees. Before committing to a high school, find out if the principal has previously supported these opportunities outside his/her "four walls" for advanced students.
College Pathways: AP, IB, Dual Enrollment, Concurrent Enrollment
Students can choose various pathways for college credit. Course acceptance at universities and colleges varies from Institution to institution, and for programs within each institution. Check with individual universities and colleges for up to date information.
Concurrent and Dual Enrollment
In Concurrent Enrollment, students take courses at the community college site with college professors. In Dual Enrollment, classes are held on the high school campus.
Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB)
Excerpted from What's Better for You? IB or AP? (PrepScholar)
The Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) programs are both high school programs that offer college-level courses and the opportunity to earn college credit.
Key AP and IB Differences
The AP program was developed in the US to help high school students prepare for college by taking advanced courses, with no set program of courses. Students could take just one or even a dozen AP classes, depending on their school, schedule, and goals. In contrast, IB was developed in Switzerland to be an internationally recognized diploma. To earn the diploma, you have to take a certain amount of courses in a range of subjects. It is possible to just take a few IBs without earning the diploma, but IB was developed to be a set program of courses.
AP and IB Program Goals
The programs have different goals, as well. IB has more emphasis on writing and developing critical thinking skills – and not just on the exams themselves. The IB diploma also requires the extended essay, a long, college-style research paper. The IB program also has extracurricular requirements. In contrast, the AP is program focused on teaching students specific content and testing their knowledge on the exams. There is more multiple-choice and emphasis on meeting certain content goals. (Read all the detail by clicking here.)
Articles and Resources
The downside of concurrent enrollment grades vs pass/fail click here
Parent perspective on math acceleration click here
Jeffco Board level information regarding concurrent enrollment in Jeffco click here.
AP/IB vs. Dual Enrollment Courses - the Pros and Cons (University of Georgia)
AP Classes for College Admissions (TODAY article)
The PSAT - Fall of 11th Grade
Excerpted from One Day Matters, by Ginny Riley
So what’s the big deal? Well, The National Merit Scholarship Program (NMSP) is a competition to recognize and honor academically talented students. The PSAT is taken in a student’s junior year and serves as the initial screening for the NMSP competition. Each year, the Corporation recognizes, approximately, 50,000 students as scholars. Of those 50,000, 34,000 students will be Commended Students. The remaining 16,000 students (or less than 1% of students taking the test) become Semi-Finalists and are eligible to compete for NMSP scholarships.
Why does this matter? When your student takes the PSAT, they are asked if they would like to make their information available to colleges. Colleges regularly use the College Board, which administers the PSAT and SAT, to screen students who score well to identify potential applicants. Whether students are Commended Students, Semi-Finalists, or Finalists, colleges take these awards into consideration for admission, scholarship and Honors Program acceptance. (Read all the detail by clicking here.)
Test Prep & Testing (PSAT/SAT/ACT)
Effective test prep for the PSAT, ACT and SAT has been proven to improve students’ scores, and might just help your student reach the goals he or she has been striving for. But not all test prep is alike. Make sure the prep you choose has independent results to back up claims of its effectiveness. And, remember, quality test prep does not have to cost thousands of dollars or take weeks of your student’s time. A self-starter can prep on their own with online programs or study books. A student that performs best in a classroom can pursue a focused classroom type program that emphasizes strategies.
Also, remember the SAT and ACT can be taken multiple times in order to improve a test score, but be prepared to manage what scores are released to colleges with the individual testing companies.
Learn more about SAT and PSAT in Jeffco
Start the search early, second semester sophomore year, so your student is familiar with the testing requirements for their chosen schools, has built in time to retest if necessary and is aware of application dates. For instance, some schools close applications mid October of a student's senior year. Many incoming freshman merit scholarship applications close in December of senior year.
ALEKS online learning
Kahn Academy online learning
Colorado School of Mines (math & science)
Crash Course online learning
When to take Physics & Chemistry?
Most high schools promote physics for seniors (calculus is a pre-req), but most colleges ask their freshman to take chemistry. On campus it is known as "killer chem" because of the course & lab combination that weeds many kids out of the sciences and engineering. Think about taking chemistry as a high school senior so it is fresh in your mind if you are planning to attend college.
High School Math Progression
Freshman - Algebra II
Sophomore - Pre-Calc/Trig
Junior - AP Calc AB*
Senior - AP Calc BC*
High School Science Progression
Freshman - Misc. Science
Sophomore - AP Biology
Junior - AP Physics
Senior - AP Chemistry
*If you are capable of pushing into Calc 3 & 4, it will probably be online in Jeffco. Taking courses at a local college may also be an option. (Don't forget that School of Mines students provide tutoring services for high level math for a fee.)
AP/IB History/Lit and Reading (WPM)
Words per minute (WPM). As high schools offer more college level courses consider providing your student support in reading. For more detail click here.
Self Managed Test Prep
College Board (PSAT & SAT)
American College Testing (ACT)
SAT Subject Testing
During soph./junior year, identify your student's college choices and research the test requirements in order to:
a) Determine if a subject test is necessary (Usually the Ivies and competitive tech colleges)
b) Sign up for the subject test immediately following completion of the course so the information is fresh in the student's mind.