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Site-Based Gifted and Talented Services Overview

Average Number of GT Students at this School VS Total School Enrollment:

  • 45 GT students / 170 total students Approx 25% of our school population is Gifted and Talented.

GT Site Coordinator Contact Information:

Jenny Findlay M.A., 970-372-4242,

Overview of the GT Philosophy at this School:

All students at Compass receive the benefit of our small, agile educational model that naturally incorporates individualization, unique supports, and diverse opportunities to engage in enrichment, acceleration, and leadership. In addition, we have always recognized how important it is to couple our focus on academic achievement with the equally vital acquisition of essential skills and social emotional development. Compass, by design, meets and exceeds both state and district standards for Gifted and Talented curricular and developmental growth standards. Our commitment to delivering such exemplary education to every student is part of what makes Compass so unique.

Advanced Learning Plan (ALP) Process at this School:

Middle School (Grades 6-8):

Students choose and/or create their Advanced Learning Plan goal(s) in the fall and meet regularly with their Advisor throughout the school year to work towards, reflect upon, and monitor their goal(s). ALP paperwork is sent home before Winter Break and (upon request) at the end of the school year. The GT Coordinator is available to meet with parents, and checks in regularly with Advisory and content area teachers to monitor student performance, progress, and goal attainment.

Upper School (Grades 9-12):

Students write or update yearly Advanced Learning Plan goal(s). These goals are student driven, meaning that students develop goals based on their own interests and plans for the future. The ALP is part of the ICAP, and students have the opportunity to write this goal with their Advisor, with the Compass Future's Counselor, and/or independently if they so choose. The GT Coordinator is available to meet with parents, and checks in regularly with Advisory and content area teachers, as well as the Future's Counselor, to monitor student performance, progress, and goal attainment. The ICAP/ ALP is not sent home. Rather, each student keeps their ICAP/ALP updated in Compass's secure online system and parents can request to review the ICAP/ALP at any time throughout the school year.

Academic Programming and Enrichment Opportunities at this School:

Mastery-Based Acceleration/Advancement:

At Compass, students advance based on their level of mastery rather than just being placed according to their age or grade level - this opens access to higher-level courses and more choice, earlier in a student's academic career. Middle school students have an opportunity to begin to accumulate high-school level academic credit towards graduation. Upper School students can access College Concurrent Enrollment courses in both English and math as early as the 9th grade - both on site at Compass, as well as on the Front Range Campus.

Community-Is-Our-Campus Learning and Internships:

Community-engaged learning is at the heart of the Compass Community Collaborative School difference. Our model puts students in the driver’s seat of creating work that matters to them and their community, while challenging them to apply their knowledge and creativity across many subjects. Each school year students complete Venture Projects that are deep academic explorations with real-world applications. All Ventures are interdisciplinary, including applications of Social Studies, Science, English Language Arts and Mathematics. Internships may be substituted for Venture Projects by upper school students. Ventures meet five days per week - four days for 90 minutes and one day for almost three hours to facilitate community travel. Upper school students also have the opportunity to engage in course offerings at the PSD Future's Lab.

Performance Assessments and "Real-Life" Quality Expectations:

At Compass, we teach students how to take tests, write papers, research effectively, read critically, and develop quantitative reasoning and numerical literacy. Students will practice these skills and mindsets throughout their tenure at our school. IN ADDITION, we ask students to show us what they are learning by creating and sharing meaningful products. This is called performance assessment and it more closely mirrors expectations in the workplace than do standard “exams”. Many of the student products are made in collaboration with or benefit for a community partner. The skills a student learns just in the process of presenting their work are impressive! Looking people in the eye, shaking hands, explaining their thinking, answering questions, speaking in front of diverse audiences, etc. - it is a wonder to behold how our students improve as they practice!

Choice and Agility:

All teachers in the school implement choice in process and product for many of the courses offered. Tiered lessons and differentiation are common in all classrooms. Furthermore, as students advance through the Compass Levels of Autonomy, they are offered more and more choice to craft their own course of study, including: Independent Inquiries/Projects, College-Level Courses, Internships, Off-Campus "Leave-to- Learns", Shadow Days, and Service Opportunities, etc.

Affective Programming and Enrichment Opportunities at this School:

Compass offers an integrated SEL education as a fundamental piece of each student's holistic curricular experience. A Compass student's schedule includes a daily Advisory with curated lessons based in CASEL (Stanford University), and Six Seconds research-based Social Emotional Learning Curriculum, and is supported by an Advisory Teacher in addition to an in-house, full-time, SEL and Restorative Practices Specialist. Students will participate in group/collaborative learning and will have additional opportunities to work individually to support "just in time" and personalized strategic developmental opportunities.

College, Career, and Future's Programming and Enrichment Opportunities at this School: Middle School (Grades 6-8):

Middle School (Grades 6-8):

  • Advisory Future's "Push-In Topics"
  • Career Speaker Series and "Beginning to Think Externally" curriculum
  • Developing a Future-Ready Mindset using Snapshot software program
  • Informational Interviews with Community Members

Upper School (Grades 9-12):

  • Individualized Post-Secondary Planning with Future's Counselor: From Cost Analysis to College Applications
    • *Graduating Pathfinders meet with our Future's Counselor approx. 4x/week throughout their final year
  • CE College Concurrent Enrollment Classes at Compass AND on the Front Range Campus
  • PSD Futures Lab
  • Online Storyteller Planning Tool
  • You Science Aptitude Testing
  • Challenge Cards Planning Tool
  • Records of Internships, Apprenticeships, Job Shadows, Volunteerism
  • Personal Purpose/Goal Statement
  • Informational Interviews with Community Members

Clubs and Other Enrichment Opportunities:

  • Lego Robotics (both co-ed and all-girls teams available)
  • Esports Competition Club
  • Garden Club
  • Literary Journal
  • Yearbook Staff
  • Photography Club
  • Art Classes
  • Kickboxing
  • Environmental Club
  • Dungeons and Dragons Club
  • Chess Club
  • Compass Council School Leaders
  • Student Restorative Justice Group - Mindfulness / Yoga
  • Guitar
  • Choir
  • Carpentry