DCSD Discovery Program & Early Access

DCSD Discovery Program

The Discovery Program is a self-contained, center based, magnet program for highly gifted learners located regionally at selected 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. These students may be identified by the following characteristics: 

  • They make connections between and among disciplines and concepts beyond what may be expected among their age peers.
  • They are able to learn quickly and require 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 literacy and numeracy concepts. 
  • They have academic needs that require modifications beyond what can be expected in the regular classroom. 
  • They display a high level of cognitive potential. 
  • They have social and emotional needs which are suited to grouping with intellectual peers.

 The schools that provide Discovery Programs in DCSD are Northridge Elementary in Highlands Ranch, Pine Lane Elementary in Parker, and Renaissance in Castle Rock. 

Want more information about the district's Discovery Program?

Click here.

DCSD Early Access Process

Early Access is designed for “highly advanced gifted” 4 or 5 year old children. It allows early access to kindergarten or first-grade for students who are academically gifted, socially and emotionally mature, in the top 2% or less of the gifted peer group, motivated to learn, ready for advanced placement, and who have exhausted the resources of preschool or home schooling.

Colorado House Bill 08-1021

Early Access was made possible by the passage of House Bill 08-1021. HB 08-1021 provides the ability for school staff to override the age limits mandated by state law, in order to allow students who will be four years old at the beginning of the school year to begin kindergarten and students who will be five years old to begin first grade, if they are identified as "highly advanced gifted."

For more information on Early Access in DCSD, click here.