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A Parent’s Instruction Guide to Performing Arts Aptitude Identification:

Advanced Performing Arts Aptitude is exceptional capability or potential in the Performing Arts, such as, but not limited to: acting, drama, speech/debate, scriptwriting, stage design, etc.

Identification in Performing Arts Aptitude is assessed through a body of evidence. 

STEP 1: Begin by reviewing the Parent’s Guide (this web-page) below for more specific information on this identification process. 

STEP 2: After reviewing this guide, make a referral.


STEP 3: Download any forms/information from the guide below for your future information and reference.

STEP 4: Upload/Email portfolio/product submissions by following the "How to Submit Your Portfolio/Evidence" guide at the bottom of this page.

Types of CDE approved, qualifying information for a Body of Evidence (BOE) in Performing Arts Aptitude in Jeffco: 

Performance/Portfolio/ Product Evaluation
  • Top place or ranking at a state or national contest related to the Performing Arts
  • Expert juried performance at the advanced/distinguished level
  • Portfolio/product review at the advanced/distinguished level

Norm-Referenced Observation

95th percentile or above on norm-referenced observation scale in the area of Performing Arts (SIGS, GRS, GES)

Research based checklist/scale (Haroutounian Scale)

Criterion/Norm-Referenced Test

95th percentile or above on an approved norm-referenced or criterion-referenced test for Creativity (Torrance Test of Creative Thinking, PCA, etc.)

95th percentile or above on an approved cognitive assessment (KBIT, CogAT, WISC, WPPSI, etc.)

Performing Arts Considerations:

An aptitude for performing arts encompases many possible manifestations, and students will have varied levels of efficacy in any of the following:

  • Performing arts suggests a broad range of engagement in the world of theater/drama & Speech/Debate--it could manifest as acting, technical design, script writing, or some other demonstration of exemplary performance.  
  • At its essence, an identification speaks to an individual’s imagination, creativity, sensitivity, and interpretation within the realm of performing arts.

What kind of evidence are we looking for?

  • The type of evidence we are looking for relates to performance/design/management skill, creativity, and presentation/production.  Not all students will have all of the following, these are just examples.
  • Student can: 
    • Demonstrate complexity in characters and the use of extended vocabulary. 
    • Include a larger world view in creation of stories, characters, events, and/or themes. 
    • Identify and explain multiple theatrical elements.
    • Identify questions which will expand the story or situation involved in play building. 
    • integrate a "better way" of including a given idea or character element. 
    • Analyze and evaluate theatrical creation.
    • Develop scripts/design projects/ with complexity of relationship and interpretation. 
      • Many older students in this developmental phase have the background and experience to move into more professional settings for playwriting, performance, and design.
    • Develop scripts, design or technical projects, and/or directorial leadership with complexity of relationships and varied interpretations. 
    • Demonstrate the development of performing arts skills and processes. 
      • Many older students in this developmental phase have the background and experience to work in professional settings for playwriting, performance, and design or technical theater.

What goes inside a portfolio?

Due to the varied nature of performance and disciplines within performing arts (acting, design, directing, stagecraft, etc.) it is difficult to define what a portfolio must be.  We are looking for evidence of advanced performing arts ability as referenced above.  A Performing Arts portfolio must be electronic and must include at least 5 artifacts.  Beyond that, some examples of Performing Arts media are:

  • Video of stage performance
  • Video of individual performance
  • Letters of recommendation for exceptional performing arts ability from directors, teachers, or other experts in the field of performing arts
  • Unique, individual scripts, stage directions, or other evidence of performing arts thinking and problem solving
  • Props, stage design, mark-ups, lighting schematics, audio programming, costume design, etc.
  • Self reflection on dramatic experiences
  • Pictures (photographs or sketches) of evidence related to performance art and/or speech and debate

Steps for the ID process:

  1. Review the considerations on this document and reach out to others who may have a specific understanding of your child's Performing Arts Aptitude.
  2. Fill out the online referral form for Performing Arts Aptitude.
  3. Begin to build/document a Performing Arts portfolio.  Review the rubric here.
  4. Submit the portfolio to the GT Department (directions are below in the “How to Submit Your Portfolio” section).
  5. GT Resource teachers and/or expert jurors will evaluate the portfolio and continue to build the body of evidence if necessary. 
  6. If additional information is needed, a GT Resource teacher may perform cognitive/creative testing and/or Performing Arts behavior scales with your student (such as the GRS or other research based observation scales).
  7. The GT Review team will review the BOE and inform parents of status/decision within 30 school days of the BOE review.
  8. Reach out to your school’s GT Resource teacher if you have any needs/questions throughout the process.

How to submit your portfolio:

  1. We require digital portfolio submissions.  The GT Department is unable to house and manage physical portfolios or items.
  2. We recommend utilizing your student's Jeffco google account for online portfolio submission.  You and/or your student can create a folder in their google drive called "Performing Arts Portfolio".  Inside the folder you can house any variety of artifacts (artwork, work samples, pictures of products, videos, sound files, etc.).  Then, copy the link to the folder and email it to [email protected] 
  1. Videos could also be uploaded privately to YouTube and then a link to the video submitted as a piece of the portfolio (please consider appropriate sharing settings if you do not want these to be publicly available)

If you are unable to submit a portfolio via the above methods, please reach out to your school's GT Resource Teacher for questions/assistance.

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