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Achieve Institute

achieve institute banner with student at work

"School within a school"

This model allows for two types of programming (general education and gifted education) to operate on one campus. This option allows for the students at Achieve Institute to have a learning community focused on gifted learners, but a large school community with access to all educational opportunities. Full campus opportunities will include special area classes, lunch and recess with grade level peers, school wide fundraising, family events and more.

Kindergarten-5th grade has self-contained GT classrooms
Location: Pennock Elementary, 3707 Estrella St., Brighton, CO 80601

6th-8th Grade GT Programming
Location: Vikan Middle School, 879 Jessup St.•Brighton, CO 80601

Click HERE to view a brief informational video with an overview of the Achieve Institute at Vikan Middle School for the 2023-24 school year

What makes Achieve Institute unique?

Passion Projects

Gifted learners have a passion to learn but many times it is about topics that are not being covered in class. At Achieve Institute, time will be set aside to allow students to explore their own passion. The students will create their own inquiry based questions and explore the learning to find the answer.

Social-Emotional Development

The social emotional needs of the gifted learners are a critical part of their development. Topics will be addressed through literacy, discussions, and learning opportunities. Addressing the emotional components is key to helping our gifted learners truly understand themselves.

Accelerated Learning

The Achieve classrooms contain students that require less repetitions to learn new material, therefore allowing for the teachers to move through the material at a quicker pace than a traditional classroom.

Frequently Asked Questions

How are the needs of my gifted child met in the Achieve Institute program?

Your child’s academic and social-emotional needs will be met by our teachers who are trained in gifted education. They will receive targeted gifted education in all of their core academic classes, and will also experience the exploratory classes (Art, PE, Music, etc) that every child in 27J Schools gets to experience.

Can you give an example of targeted gifted education?

Gifted learners often need only one or two repetitions to master the basics of a concept or skill, so the teachers can spend more time having their gifted learners go deeper with concepts, think about them in a more complex manner, or through a variety of perspectives.

What if my child is gifted in one area, but not in another? Will they be overwhelmed in the subjects they are not gifted in?

The one commonality that all of our Achieve students share is a high cognitive ability, which suggests that they’ll readily be able to engage in deep conversations and conceptual thinking. Beyond that, students are challenged at the level for which they are ready. At the elementary level, you can see some kids in a class working at grade-level Math, while others in the class are working one or two grade levels ahead. Once those students get to the middle school level, they are placed in a Math class that meets their needs.

Is transportation available for the Achieve Institute?

Yes, transportation is available for any Achieve student who lives in the 27J attendance boundary. The locations for pick up and drop off are determined in May for the following school year. There is a monthly fee involved for the transportation, but we have kids from all over the district that attend our program who use the transportation options.

How far along does the Achieve Institute program go?

The Achieve program is Kindergarten through 5th grade at Pennock Elementary School, and then continues 6th through 8th grade at Vikan Middle School. We do have a partnership with Brighton High School regarding open enrollment, transportation and a couple of courses being offered, but we are generally a K-8 program.

What if I don’t know for sure if my child is gifted?

We will test your child if you would like to know if he/she is a gifted learner! Once you apply for the Achieve Institute program, we will reach out to families about potential testing days, and we will find a day that works for all of us.

How does my child qualify for the Achieve Institute?

In order to qualify for the Achieve Institute, we would need a G/T identification for your child. We typically look for a body of evidence that includes scores at or above the 95th percentile in nationally normed tests, academically, cognitively, and affectively. This data can come from several sources, and we look for an assessment that is a good fit for your child’s strengths.

Will my child have an Advanced Learning Plan (ALP) in the Achieve Institute?

Yes, your child will definitely have an ALP. However, since he/she will be receiving targeted G/T instruction throughout the day, the ALP will be more interest-based. We try to tap into the myriad of interests that our gifted learners have, and we encourage all of our students to dive in to explore those interests and passions.

Is there a Social-Emotional Learning focus at Achieve?

Yes! Throughout the elementary years, our Achieve students have time dedicated almost every day for social-emotional learning. Our teachers are trained in best practices for gifted learners, and SEL is included in the training. In the middle school years, that SEL focus lives in the students’ Advisory class, where they have an adult advocate for every kid.

Will my gifted learner have the opportunity to interact with general education learners?

Yes! Our Achieve students will have exploratory classes, lunch, and recess with their grade level peers. They’ll be able to take part in any field trips, fundraising activities, after school clubs, and athletics that any other student in the school is able to participate in. For the middle school students, they will have some general education learners in their classroom as well.