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Serving Gifted Children Since 1994
Stargate was founded specifically to serve the gifted student population. The term “gifted” refers to learners who have advanced cognitive abilities and heightened intensity, whose thoughts and feelings are more complex and of greater depth than typical learners, even when compared to high achieving children. Because of the complexity of their thought processes and their emotional intensity and sensitivity, gifted children see or perceive the world differently. They are highly curious and have exceptional reasoning ability, perceptiveness, and insightfulness.
A Pioneering Vision for Gifted Education in our Community
Responding to cuts in gifted education program funding and new legislation allowing charter schools, Stargate's original charter was submitted in early 1994 by educator Nancy Hall and her husband, Doug Morrow. A series of informational meetings followed, communicating to prospective parents the necessity of a differentiated education for gifted children, and the possible consequences if their students' academic, emotional and social needs were not met. The goals for the school claimed that every child should have access to an education commensurate with his or her abilities, that parents should be significantly involved with their child's education, and that students would be educated in such a way as to help them become responsible, ethical, socially aware adults, who were not only life-long learners, but would contribute to their communities in a positive way.
Building a Unique Learning Environment
The first organizational meetings were held at the homes of enthusiastic prospective parents who logged hundreds of volunteer hours in preparation for the school's opening on August 29, 1994. The passion to create a differentiated education lay not only with the parents, but the teaching staff who outlined a diverse educational curriculum that would address individualized needs. Together, they created an environment where students were excited about going to school, enthusiastic about what they were learning, and were happy with their newfound peers who became friends. Parents, too, found peers and acceptance for their sometimes eccentric ways. A community was formed. The name, 'Stargate,' was voted on in the first months of school. It comes from "Adams Twelve Five Star Schools" - the school district, which serves five communities - and Gifted And Talented Education. The eagle mascot and school colors of purple and gold were selected soon after.
Growth and Expansion
Stargate opened with grades one to five and expanded each year with the students, until grade eight. The school utilized a number of facilities and mobile classrooms until 2003 when students moved in to an award-winning facility on Cottonwood Lakes Blvd, a facility that was expanded in 2007. Stargate continued at that location until the community decided to expand again, this time to increase enrollment at all grade levels and to become a K-12 school. Stargate broke ground in May 2015 on its current facility and started classes there in August 2016. The current campus is built to serve about 1600 students and sits on 43 acres near the intersection of Interstate 25 and East 144th Avenue. The campus includes two academic buildings, a fieldhouse, a performing arts center, dedicated 'maker' space for Stargate's Adroit program, access to a nature trail, unique common spaces and learning spaces created to reflect the school's innovative educational vision.
Continuing to Evolve
Today, Stargate is the largest school for gifted students in the state of Colorado. Of course, bringing together a group of highly intelligent, intensely focused perfectionist students and parents hasn't been easy. However, the school continues to evolve in response to the needs of current and prospective students. And, a quarter-century since its founding, the heart of Stargate remains unchanged – to combine the best efforts of parents, students and staff to provide a unique educational opportunity focused on the specialized needs of gifted children.
Note: Valicia (McPherson) Greenwood contributed content for some the Stargate History section.