Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What makes Stargate different from other schools?
A: At Stargate, we’ve spent more than 25 years nurturing gifted learners and their families. Because our differentiated programs are designed specifically to meet the needs of gifted students, we are uniquely able to challenge each student’s academic abilities, support their emotional needs, promote individual character development and encourage a life-long love of learning.
Q: What curriculum do you use?
A: Academic rigor has been a characteristic of Stargate since the school's founding. Our curriculum was developed using the District Twelve curriculum framework and Colorado State Standards, but is compacted, accelerated and adapted to better meet the needs of gifted learners.
Q: How much homework should I expect?
A: Homework varies. As a general rule, students should expect to spend about 10-15 minutes per grade, per night, plus reading requirements. A kindergarten student, for example, will probably spend at least 15 minutes per night on homework in addition to time spent reading aloud. In Elementary grades K-5, we utilize weekly homework folders to help families with time management. By high school, homework levels vary based on the types of classes a student decides to pursue.
Q: Are students allowed to work at their own pace? Are there experiential opportunities?
A: Stargate students are involved in the direction and pacing of their learning. Our teachers use needs-based grouping in math and language arts to optimize instructional strategies for each student. This model aligns individual strengths to the appropriate delivery system for gifted students. Teachers also use differentiated learning and project-based outcomes. Learning is further enriched with multiple field trips and other hands-on experimental learning activities.
Q: Do you have recess?
A: Elementary school students have recess. However, in all grades, unstructured time, physical education and athletics provide much needed opportunities for mental and physical release. Gifted students tend to work and think intensely. Recess helps provide balance and is an important way for us to help students retain/regain focus.
Q: Do you have a hot lunch program? What about before / after school care?
A: We offer fresh, healthy meals served on site via partnership with a local vendor. Our Eagle’s Landing program provides high quality care before and after school, as well as during staff development days.
Q: In light of district budget cuts, are you still able to offer electives? What about student support services like a psychologist or counselor?
A: Stargate students enjoy a creative environment that includes art, music, foreign language, technology and physical education as well as numerous extracurricular clubs and enrichment opportunities. Our students also benefit from an on-site support team that includes school psychologists, counselors, gifted specialists, English language learner support, occupational therapist, speech/language specialist, health aides and special education.
Q: Are there costs associated with attending Stargate?
A: Stargate is a public school, supported by taxpayer dollars. We do not charge a tuition fee for full-day Kindergarten or for other grades at Stargate. We charge tuition for our Before and After School Program, Eagles Landing. In addition, there are optional fees for activities.
Q: What are the benefits of being in a school with gifted peers?
A: Many gifted students are so far ahead of their same age peers that they know more than half of the grade level curriculum before the school year begins. Others learn new concepts quickly, but are made to wait until classmates catch up. Resulting boredom and frustration can lead to underachievement and poor work habits. Placement with peers at similar performance levels tends to motivate students because it adds to their own sense of ability.
Q: How can I tell if my child is gifted?
A: There are certain characteristics that distinguish gifted learners from typical learners. One way to recognize gifted learners is to look at the characteristics of giftedness. Gifted children will show some but not all of these characteristics.
- Learns rapidly
- High intensity and sensitivity
- Very imaginative
- Extensive vocabulary
- Early or avid reader
- High curiosity, asks many questions
- Sense of humor
- Wide range of interests
- Prefers older companions
- Good memory
- Long attention span
- Good problem-solver
- Shows compassion for others
- Ability with puzzles, mazes, numbers
- Often questions authority
- Intrinsic motivation
Q: How do I begin an application to Stargate?
A: Stargate is a school for identified intellectually gifted learners. For all students, families submit an online application. Regardless of grade, you should start by visiting the Admissions section of this site which is updated every Fall for the upcoming school year.
Q: If you have more applications than seats, how do you decide who get spots?
A: At any grade level where there is currently no wait list (Kindergarten every year), a lottery process will determine seating for all qualified students as seats become available. In the lottery process, qualified siblings receive the first available seats. Please review the Admissions Policy page found on this site.. Applicants not given a seat offer will remain in the wait pool in case seats open up between the lottery pull and the start of school.
Q: I hear that if you don’t get your child in for Kindergarten you shouldn’t bother applying to Stargate. Is that true?
A: No. We have openings every year, at almost every grade level. The number of open seats varies. However, we encourage any parent of a gifted child to apply.