Discovery Program

Discovery Program logo

The Douglas County School District has designed intensive programming for elementary school students in grades 2 through 6 who require educational programming beyond what can reasonably be expected from the regular classroom.

These students can be identified by the following characteristics:

  • They make connections between and among disciplines and concepts beyond what could be expected among their age peers.
  • They are able to learn quickly and need appropriately paced instruction.
  • They are usually inquisitive and often passionate about one or more areas of interest.
  • They have interests beyond those which could be expected of their age peers.
  • They are advanced academically in language and/or math concepts.
  • They have curricular needs which must be modified beyond what is expected in the regular classroom.
  • They display a high level of cognitive potential.
  • Their social and emotional needs require grouping with intellectual peers not often available within the regular classroom.

Link to Discovery Program Timeline

The Douglas County School District uses a Response to Intervention (RtI) framework to guide instructional decisions in order to meet the needs of all learners, including those with advanced learning needs. Through a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) we provide a continuum of programming for Gifted and Talented learners including Neighborhood Schools Programming at the elementary and secondary levels and the Discovery Program Magnet in grades 2-6.

For students whose needs are so extensive that they cannot be met in the traditional classroom setting, the Discovery Program Magnet for gifted learners may be an appropriate placement.

The Discovery Application Process for the 2019 -2020 school year is now open.

The application process may be initiated by a teacher or other professional, parent, or student. The application deadline for the 2019-2020 school year is November 17, 2019. For applications submitted after that date, students identified for the program are placed on a space availability basis.

The Discovery Program is a self-contained, center based, magnet program for highly gifted learners located regionally at four elementary school sites in Douglas County. The program is intended for those students who require intensity of instruction and acceleration beyond what can reasonably be expected from the regular school gifted programming.

Due to the intensive nature of the Discovery Program, a body of evidence is needed to determine the best match between student and programming. Information considered includes documented cognitive ability, standardized achievement data, classroom performance data, student, parent, and teacher input. Three major criteria for placement are

1) Exceptional intellectual/cognitive ability

2) Documented above grade level performance in multiple content areas, and

3) no below grade level performance in any content area.

Multiple criteria will be considered in the placement process to provide evidence of the best match between student academic need and the rigorous environment of the program.

Please visit the DSCSD Gifted Education Webpage linked HERE for more information and application materials.

Parents and guardians may learn more by visiting the DCSD website under Gifted Education.

The Discovery Program application is due on November 1, 2019.


Colorado Department of Education - Gifted Information