Gifted and Talented

Meet our Gifted and Talented Staff

Lori Stevens

Lori Stevens

Job Title: Para
Phone Numbers:
School: 720-561-4543

Gifted and Talented (GT)

The BVSD Gifted & Talented (GT) Office supports schools and stakeholders, offers professional development, and oversees school-based programming. A wealth of information is available on the BVSD GT Webpage


BVSD schools provide programming for GT students based on their identified needs and in accordance with district identification guidelines which is based on a body of evidence (BOE). Students may be identified as Gifted & Talented in one or more of the following areas:

  • ​General or specific intellectual ability​

  • Specific academic aptitude

  • Creative or productive thinking​

  • ​Leadership abilities

  • Visual arts, performing arts, musical or psychomotor abilities


Schools follow the BVSD Acceleration policy when making decisions about subject or grade level acceleration for students. Some highly advanced gifted children may enter kindergarten or first grade early through the BVSD Early Access.  


The classroom teacher is the primary provider of advanced academic services to students. Programming is documented in the student's Advanced Learning Plan (ALP) or, at the secondary level, ​(ICAP​). Programming may include academic, enrichment,  and affective (social emotional) supports and extensions.  


BVSD sponsors district-wide enrichment activities. These are open to students whether they are identified as GT or not. 

More information is available at the links below.​​ 

 Please note that not all links have been updated to reflect 2023-2024 dates. 



The Gifted and Talented program at Coal Creek Elementary includes academic and enrichment programs, support for the social and emotional needs of gifted students, and follows BVSD GT policies and procedures. 


At Coal Creek Elementary, the Gifted and Talented Education Advisor (GTA) is responsible for GT-related communications and consultation with the classroom teacher and parent(s). Our GTA at Coal Creek is Lori Stevens. She may be reached via email at Randy Cummings will be leading the GT pull-out classes we offer at Coal Creek for identified GT students. He can be reached at Our GT Coordinator is Wendy Buffer and can be reached via email at


Students are identified as Gifted and Talented using multiple criteria. You can find more information on the BVSD identification flowchart


A student may be identified as Gifted and Talented if (s)he receives a qualifying score in three different areas:

  1. Ability i.e. Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT), Naglieri Nonverbal Abilities Test (NNAT)

  2. Achievement i.e. Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS), i-Ready, Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS)

  3. Scales for Identifying Gifted Students (SIGS)


Classroom teachers facilitate the design of the ALP for gifted and talented students at Coal Creek. This process normally includes differentiated activities and clustering of advanced students in the regular classroom as appropriate. The following descriptions are sample classroom and school-wide activities:

  • Students in Grades K-3 are clustered in reading groups that meet their instructional literacy levels.

  • Math activities in the classroom focus on problem solving, extensions, and application of math concepts presented within the curriculum. 

  • Critical thinking and verbal skills are developed using the “Habits of Mind” framework as developed by Drs. Arthur Costa and Bena Kallick.

  • Language Arts studies include vocabulary and grammar units, and differentiated writing assignments are created by the classroom teacher.

  • Advanced fourth grade math students are placed into an accelerated math class that includes fifth grade math standards. 

  • Advanced fifth grade math students are placed into an accelerated math class that includes sixth grade math standards. 

  • Each year, a team of faculty members stages a school-wide “Science Fair” open to all students.

  • Coal Creek participates in the Scripp’s National Spelling Bee.

  • A comprehensive program exists at the school that addresses our students’ fine arts, music, and physical education needs.

  • Ever-expanding opportunities for the integration and utilization of technology is available for children at Coal Creek.


The social emotional programming and support for gifted and talented students and their families may include:

  • The school Social Worker and/or Counselor addresses affective and social/emotional topics relevant to students, including those who are designated as GT.

  • Information about local programs and classes about the characteristics of gifted students and specific parenting strategies is shared with families of GT students. Also available are books about parenting gifted students.


Students may also be involved in the following enrichment activities and clubs:

  • Elementary Spanish Classes

  • Student Council (Grades 3, 4, and 5)

  • Instrumental Music (Grade 5)

  • Treblemakers Choir (Grades 4 and 5)

  • No Place for Hate

  • Scouting

  • Chess Club

  • Lego Club

Additional GT information can be found on the Colorado Department of Education Office of Gifted Education website. You may also find the Colorado Department of Education Gifted Identification Guidance Handbook helpful. 


For additional information, please contact:  

Jeff VanIwarden, Coal Creek Principal,

Lori Stevens, Coal Creek Gifted and Talented Education Advisor,  

Randy Cummings, Coal Creek Gifted and Talented Pull-Out Teacher,

Dr. Michelle DuBois, BVSD Gifted and Talented Coordinator,


To receive enrichment activity, parent presentation information, and articles and resources concerning gifted education either directly or indirectly please email