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Gifted & Talented at Coyote Creek


                         Coyote Creek Gifted & Talented Facilitator:

                       Amber McFarland





Hi! I am very excited to join the Coyote Creek team this year! This will be my 25th year in education and my 17th year working with the gifted and talented community. I have my bachelor's degree in psychology from University of Houston, my master's in elementary education from University of St. Thomas and my principal's license and GT endorsement from Lamar University. 


I grew up in the Houston area of Texas and moved to Colorado in 2012. In Texas, I taught 3rd, 6th and 7th grade in the Fort Bend Independent School District. In 2012, I accepted a position as the Gifted and Talented Facilitator at Northridge Elementary School, here in Douglas County. Then, in 2018, I began teaching 6th grade in the Discovery program for gifted learners at Northridge. I am looking forward to supporting the gifted learners at Coyote Creek in the coming years. 


I have a 13 year old son, Seth, who will be starting 8th grade at Ranch View this year. He and I are active in his Boy Scout troop and spend many weekends camping with them. My mom lives with Seth and me, and my sister's family lives just down the street. When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my family! We love camping, hiking, watching movies and playing board and card games. Our current favorites are "Ramen Fury," "Taco, Cat, Goat, Cheese, Pizza," and "Othello." 


I am looking forward to getting to know the families and staff at Coyote Creek! 

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CogAT Testing for 2nd Graders and by Referral

DCSD is committed to implementing equitable practices to increase access to advanced/gifted learning opportunities. Based on state and national recommendations and requirements, we implement Universal Screening for students in 2nd grade (February) and 5th or 6th grade--a student's final year of elementary school (November).


2nd Grade Universal Screening

As part of this process, ALL students in 2nd grade not identified for gifted programming will take the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) the week of February 5th. This assessment indicates the level and pattern of cognitive development of a student in comparison to grade and age mates.  These general reasoning abilities, which start developing at birth and continue through early adulthood, are influenced by experiences gained both in and out of school.  


If your child is already identified for gifted programming, they will not participate in this universal screen testing. Your Gifted Education Facilitator will contact you directly with information about this process. 


Gifted Identification Referral Testing 

Kindergarten/ 1st Grade Gifted Identification Referral Testing 

  • If your child is in K or 1st  grade and you believe he/she needs evaluation for Gifted Identification and Services, you may refer your child for testing by initiating the Gifted Identification Process.  

  • NOTE:  Requesting this assessment automatically initiates the process to evaluate for Gifted Identification. 

  • Please request CogAT testing for your child by completing the Referral for Gifted Identification linked HERE.

  • Upon receipt of this form the Gifted Education Facilitator will connect with you to discuss next steps in the gifted identification process.


In-District Discovery Program Application Information

For more information, please visit the DCSD Gifted Website and click on the Discovery Program tab on the left side of the screen. You can also reach out to our Gifted and Talented Facilitator, Amber McFarland, with questions. Her email address is

Talent Pool & GT Interventions

Gifted & Talented also has an important role in our Interventions at CCE. These groups are flexible in order to give students the opportunity to flex in and out of groups as appropriate. Students who are not on an Advanced Learning Plan but have data showing potential for giftedness can be a part of these groups. While these groups are often academic (reading, writing, and math), there are also groups to support students showing characteristics of giftedness in areas of creative or productive thinking and leadership. Please view our Interventions at CCE page for more information on Intervention groups. 

Links & Resources:


Gifted Associations (links):


Gifted Organizations (links):


Gifted Expert Websites/Blogs (links):


Gifted Experts we follow on Twitter:


Other Resources (links):

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