GT Resource Page

Welcome to Shaffer's GT Resource Page! 

Below, you'll find information on:

Ways Shaffer Supports GT Families
Upcoming GT Events 
Materials from Previous GT Meetings
Contacts & Resource Links for GT Families
Definitions of Common GT terms

> Questions? - Please email your Shaffer Principal, Mr. Brasher (, or your Shaffer GT Parent Ambassador, Marnie DesMarteau (


1. We host Monthly Shaffer GT Parent "meetups."  
o The purpose of these monthly meetups is for parents and guardians to share personal experiences and challenges in raising gifted learners, as well as ideas for how to "cope," advocate and challenge our kids.
o Mr. Brasher typically attends to hear your thoughts and provide updates relating to GT education at Shaffer. 
o The GT Ambassador will also be there to help guide parents to resources and information and collate any issues/suggestions to share with Mr. Brasher and/or JAGC, or the Jeffco GT Department
2. Facebook Community: 
o We have a Facebook page for Shaffer GT families (and any other family interested in learning more). Like AND Follow "Shaffer GT Parent Community" on Facebook (Link:
3. Flyers and Information related to gifted programming: 
o Information on upcoming seminars and gifted programming will be distributed to Shaffer families via email, Friday Folders, the Pio, or Facebook. See below for 2017-18 Jeffco GT Parent Seminar Information.
4. Other: 
o We want to hear from you. Let us know what you would find valuable. We need your input to ensure what we do meets your needs!
o NEW: As a result of your input, we will be bringing an after-school robotics class to Shaffer in late Fall 2017.


~ Feb 13 from 5:45 - 6:30 pm (just prior to the next Shaffer Community Forum) 
• Debrief of Jan. 29 Jeffco GT Parent Seminar
• Upcoming GT education/information for parents
• Hot topic round table: Helping our kids break out of a rut

~ Mar 13 from 9:05 - 10:00 am (Topics TBD)
GT Parent/Guardian Meetups @ Shaffer:
Typically held monthly, after drop-off, at Shaffer. We'll have coffee and conversation on various GT topics with other parents and Mr. Brasher. See below for dates. The location is typically an available workroom at Shaffer:

o Thu., Oct. 12, 2017, 9:05-10:00 am
(Topics: Follow up discussion from Oct. 5 Dr. Heinigk talk, Social-Emotional support & resources for GT students and their parents)

o Thu., Nov. 9, 2017, 9:05-10:00 am
o December: TBD.

Jeffco Monthly GT Parent Seminars:
The Jeffco GT Department in partnership with JAGC host monthly Parent seminars, often bringing in experts in GT education and child development. Upcoming seminar location, time, and dates listed below:

Location: typically held in the 5th Floor Board Room at 1829 Denver West Drive, Bldg #27
Time: 6:30pm to 8:00pm

o January 9, 2018  Understanding Your Student's CogAT Data
o January 29, 2018  Various GT Topics based on parent feedback
o February 26, 2018  Creating 21st Century Innovators Presented by Ian Byrd


10/05/2017: GT Pathways Parent University GT Power Point Presentation
Link to previous Jeffco GT Parent Seminar Presentations (all materials from Jeffco GT Parent Seminars are housed on the Jeffco GT/Parent Resources Page):  >


GT-Specific Contacts:
o Shaffer Principal: Jeremy Brasher (
o GT Parent Ambassador: Marnie DesMarteau (
o GT Resource Teacher: Dr. Penelope Heinigk (
o Jeffco GT Department:  OR 303-982-6650

Facebook - Be sure to Like AND Follow:
o Shaffer GT Parent Community: 
o JAGC (Jefferson County Associate for Gifted Children):

o Jeffco Public Schools GT Page:

o SENG (Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted):

o Hoagies Gifted Discussion Group:

o 2e Newsletter (Twice-Exceptional):

Newsletters & Websites:

o Shaffer GT Monthly Email (Sent from GT Ambassador, Marnie DesMarteau) contains specific updates for Shaffer GT families. If you are interested in being on distribution list, please email Marnie (

o Shaffer Bi-Weekly Pioneer ("aka, "Pio"). Look for GT related updates (sent from Amy Hives)

o JAGC Monthly Newsletter:

o Jeffco Public Schools GT Gazette: click on and go to  heading "Our latest edition of the GT Gazette Newsletter is now available"

o 2e Newsletter:

o A great resource for any parent, especially those of gifted children with disabilities. Provides an  overview of conditions and disabilities and provides a wealth of resources to develop, and advocate for your gifted  2e child:


2E: Twice-exceptional students. Traditionally defined as a student who has both an ALP (for a relative strength) and a 504 Plan or IEP (for a relative impairment or disability).

504 Plan: Students with disabilities are protected under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ("this is part of the federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against public school students with disabilities...including students with learning and attention issues who meet certain criteria." 1). A 504 pan is typically generated as the result of a diagnosis by a medical or mental-health professional and provides for specific accommodations to facilitate the learning and development of a child with an identified impairment. 

ALP: Advanced Learning Plan. A document (mandated under Colorado Law) which is created for a student who qualifies under a specific GT Pathway. A student qualifying for an ALP may or may not be identified as Gifted. This document typically contains one or more goals in an identified strength area and is created each academic year in partnership between the teacher(s), parent(s), and student (as age-appropriate).
CogAT: Cognitive Abilities Test. An intellectual abilities test, given in October to all Jeffco 2nd graders. The results provide schools and parents with specific data on a student's relative strengths and weaknesses, as well as specific tips to help in the education and development of that particular student. The results can be used to identify giftedness, as well as the need for additional or special education for the student. The CogAT is also used as part of the Jeffco Gifted Centers Application Process and is administered two times per year. For more information on the CogAT and how it is used in Jeffco, please refer to: (under "Universal Screenings" heading).

GT: Gifted and Talented. "'Gifted and talented children' are those learners between the ages of four and eighteen whose abilities, talents, and/or potential for accomplishment are so exceptional or developmentally advanced that they require special provisions to meet their educational programming needs... 
o Gifted students include students with disabilities (i.e. twice-exceptional) and students with exceptional abilities or potential from all socio-economic and cultural populations. Gifted students are capable of high performance, extraordinary production, or exceptional learning behavior by virtue of any or a combination of these areas of giftedness." 2

GT Ambassador: A parent volunteer under JAGC. The GT Ambassador works closely with Principal Brasher to share information and provide resources to families seeking to learn more about or advocate for their child(ren)'s needs. The GT Ambassador also serves as a direct resource for Shaffer parents/guardians. 
o Marnie DesMarteau ( is Shaffer's GT Parent Ambassador for 2017-18.

GT Pathways: There are four "pathways," through which a student can be identified as gifted or qualifying for an ALP. Pathways are based on a body of evidence collected over a period of time (typically three data points from cognitive or standardized tests, as well as teacher input), within which the evidence demonstrates consistent achievement at or above the 95th percentile in one or more areas. 

GT Resource Teacher: A staff member of the Jeffco Public Schools GT (Gifted and Talented) Department, which is assigned to support our school. This person serves as a resource for parents and school professionals on GT education and the social-emotional development of gifted children. 
o Dr. Penelope Heinigk ( is Shaffer's GT Resource Teacher for 2017-18. 

IEP: Individualized Education Program:
"A federal law called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that public schools create an IEP for every child receiving special education services. Kids from age 3 through high school graduation or a maximum age of 22 (whichever comes first) may be eligible for an IEP.
The IEP is meant to address each child’s unique learning issues and include specific educational goals. It is a legally binding document. The school must provide everything it promises in the IEP." 3

JAGC: Jefferson County Association for Gifted Children ( an independent, non-profit organization which partners closely with Jeffco's GT department and Jeffco schools to develop and provide programming, resources, and advocacy for families of "GT" students. This is the local arm of CAGT (Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented, and NAGC (National Association for Gifted Children,

1 Stanberry, Kristin. “Understanding 504 Plans.”, UNDERSTOOD.ORG USA LLC, 10 Oct. 2017,
2Jefferson Country Gifted & Talented Department. "9-13-17 GT Parent Info Night.", 13 Sep 2017,
3 Stanberry, Kristin. “Understanding Individualized Education Programs.”, UNDERSTOOD.ORG USA LLC., 10 Oct. 2017,
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