How Does APS Support Gifted and High Potential Students? 

Separate studies conducted during the last few decades have demonstrated both the need for and the benefits of gifted educational programming options and services. Gifted and talented students and those with high abilities need gifted education supports that will challenge them in regular classroom settings and enrichment and accelerated programs to enable them to make continuous progress in school. Read more about why gifted education programs are needed. There are documented benefits that occur for all children when gifted education strategies and programs are extended to other students as well. What you will find below are differentiated services the AAGS Team encourages and supports classroom teachers across the district to implement when supporting gifted and high achieving students.

Gifted and Talented Programming and Services 

Aurora Public Schools provides a comprehensive range of differentiated services to meet the academic and social emotional needs of high potential and gifted learners. The Gifted Education Facilitator at each school collaborates/consults with classroom teachers to appropriately plan instruction and learning opportunities to meet student needs. Services may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Affective Education - Helping students understand themselves as gifted, as learners, and as a part of a larger community and providing opportunities for self-expression, community service, leadership and risk-taking More Social-Emotional Support Books

  • Cluster grouping - Placing gifted students together in a regular classroom. The practice of cluster grouping, or placing students with similar abilities and/or performance together for instruction, has been shown to positively impact student learning gains. Grouping gifted children together allows for more appropriate, rapid, and advanced instruction, which matches the rapidly developing skills and capabilities of gifted students. Read more about grouping.

  • Content Acceleration - Pacing students through content at a rate that matches their advanced abilities. Educational acceleration is one of the cornerstones of exemplary gifted education practices, with more research supporting this intervention than any other in the literature on gifted individuals. The practice of educational acceleration has long been used to match high-level students’ general abilities and specific talents with optimal learning opportunities. Read more about acceleration.

  • Content Enrichment - Providing learning opportunities that expand and deepen student understanding

  • Content Novelty - Allowing students to research and study topics of strong interest to them

  • Content Sophistication - Providing content and learning that requires the use of higher level thinking

  • Cross Grade Level Grouping - Grouping students with others in a higher grade level

  • Curriculum Compacting - Providing students who demonstrate grade level proficiency with advanced, alternate learning, Independent Study--allowing students to design and implement their own study plans with close monitoring by the teacher. This important instructional strategy condenses, modifies, or streamlines the regular curriculum to reduce repetition of previously mastered material. “Compacting” what students already know allows time for acceleration or enrichment beyond the basic curriculum for students who would otherwise be simply practicing what they already know. Read more about curriculum compacting.

  • Subject Grouping - Grouping students with similar strengths for instruction in a subject

  • Tiered Assignments/Resources - Providing assignments and resources that ensure students explore ideas at a level that builds upon their prior knowledge

  • Other Programming Options:

    • Aurora Quest K-8, school for gifted students in grades K-8 with emphasis on content acceleration in literacy and math (applicants should be gifted or high potential in reading/writing or math)

    • International Baccalaureate, available at elementary, middle and high school

    • Honors classes

    • Advanced Placement, high school

    • STEAM Pathways

    • ASCENT Program, concurrent enrollment

    • Digital Badging

    • Capstone projects

    • Extra-curricular through on and off-site opportunities and community partnerships


Aurora Quest P-8

Aurora Quest K-8 is the gifted and talented magnet school program for Aurora Public Schools, located in Aurora, Colorado. They primarily service students that have been identified as Gifted and Talented or High Potential within Aurora Public Schools but also accept out-of-district students as well.

From kindergarten through eighth grade, their mission is to inspire and empower their unique students to develop and apply their high potential within a rigorous and supportive community. They are dedicated to providing strong and accelerated educational programming that supports the education of the whole child, provides a safe environment and prepares students for a life of continuous learning.

Application deadlines and other information can be found on Aurora Quest's website.


Students who are identified as gifted in talent domains will receive services in schools through existing ART, MUSIC and PE programs. The Advanced Academics & Gifted Services Office, in collaboration with College and Career Readiness, is developing community resources and opportunities for students who are identified as gifted in DANCE, LEADERSHIP, CREATIVITY and PERFORMING ARTS.

Please speak with your school's Gifted Education Facilitator for more information about Talent Area Idenification and Programming Services.