Extended Learning Program Overview

Extended Learning 

for Gifted Education and Talent Development


Access to a free and appropriate education is the right of each citizen. The Columbus Community School District is committed to an educational program that recognizes, identifies, and serves the needs of all students. Students learn at different rates and in different ways. We believe that educational programs should accommodate individual differences.



According to Iowa Code section 257.44 “gifted and talented children” are those children who are identified as possessing outstanding abilities and who are capable of high performance. Gifted and talented children are children who require appropriate instruction and educational services commensurate with their abilities and needs beyond those provided by the regular school program. 

Gifted and talented children include those children with demonstrated achievement or potential ability, or both, in any of the following areas or in combination: 

General intellectual ability. 

Creative thinking. 

Leadership ability. 

Visual and performing arts ability. 

Specific ability aptitude.



The Columbus Community School District seeks to provide high ability students with learning opportunities appropriate to their intellectual strengths and needs in compliance with Iowa Code Chapter 59 Gifted and Talented Programs through Extended Learning. 

Extended Learning serves gifted and high ability students. The mission of Extended Learning is to provide challenge, enrichment, and/or acceleration to meet these students' academic needs. Programming is designed to enable students in grades Kindergarten through12 to participate in differentiated learning options that meet their diverse and unique needs. The goals for these students are to: 

  • become independent, life-long learners.
  • develop their intellectual and academic abilities through challenging instructional activities and materials.
  • work with others of similar abilities.
  • receive appropriate academic guidance and counseling.
  • receive career counseling and exploration opportunities



The diversity of our student population increases the richness of our students’ education. We recognize that giftedness may be masked in English Language Learners and strive to identify academic talent and intellectual giftedness through multiple criteria.