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Advanced Learning: Mission, Vision, and Handbook

about 1 year ago

Welcome to the Advanced Learning page for Steamboat Springs School District. Here you will find information about programming for Advanced Learners, identification for the Gifted and Talented program and resources for extended learning for all students.

Program Mission and Vision:

Mission: To recognize and nurture exceptional abilities of all advanced students so that they develop high level, creative, and productive thinking, and healthy affective qualities.

Vision: Educational programming is designed and implemented to maximize students' potential. Student progress and achievement is monitored through ongoing dynamic assessment.

An English overview of the program can be found in the Advanced Learning Program Handbook

Se puede encontrar una visión general del programa en español en el Manual de Aprendizaje Avanzado

Advanced Learning Specialists

over 2 years ago


Strawberry Park Elementary School
Robin Alt

Soda Creek Elementary School
Jennifer McCannon

Middle School:

Pamela Karzen

High School:
Donna Weinman

If you have questions about curriculum or instruction programs at a district level you can contact Marty Lamansky, Director of Teaching and Learning either via e-mail at or by phone at 970-871-3194.

About us:

Robin Alt (Strawberry Park Elementary)

      In 1997 I graduated with honors from Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania with a BSW (Bachelor of Social Work) and a minor in political science.  My work experience prior to teaching is varied: an internship with a Pennsylvania State Representative, an internship in Washington DC with a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, a two-year commitment as an Americorps volunteer, and a construction supervisor position with Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver.  In 2000, I married and returned to school to earn my Master's in Education.  Before coming to Strawberry Park Elementary, I taught language arts at the secondary level for nine years.  I am thrilled to be part of the team at SPE! 

Jennifer McCannon (Soda Creek Elementary) 

     After graduating in 1987 from the University of Iowa with a degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Journalism, I immediately started teaching 6th grade in Iowa City, Iowa. I then moved to Des Moines where I continued teaching 6th grade for another year. After that year, my husband and I decided it was time to follow our desire to be in the mountains and moved here to beautiful Steamboat Springs. I taught for three years at Hayden Middle School in the areas of English/Language Arts, Social Studies, and Health. I also began my coaching career as a girls’ basketball coach which I continue today with the Steamboat 8th graders. In 1994, I started teaching with the Steamboat Springs School District at Soda Creek Elementary where I taught 4th & 5th grades and one year of PE. After 13 years at the elementary level, I made the jump back to middle school to teach 7th grade English/Language Arts and Social Studies for five years. During this time, I earned my Master’s Degree in Reading & Curriculum Design.  Currently, I am finishing up a second Master’s Degree in Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Education. Five years ago I became part of Steamboat’s first Instructional Coaches’ team. For the 2016-2017 school year, I am excited to add the title of Advanced Learner Coordinator at Soda Creek to my Instructional Coaching position. 

Pamela Karzen (Steamboat Springs Middle School)

    This year is my 4th year working at SSMS and my 10th year working with gifted and talented students.  I graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Journalism but later went back to college to earn my teaching certification in grades K-8.  In 2010, I received a Master's in Elementary Education from Piedmont College in Athens, Georgia while teaching gifted students in grades K-5th.  I am endorsed in both Gifted Education and middle school teaching (Language Arts and Social Studies) in the state of Colorado. Working as a Gifted and Talented coordinator in a middle school is very different than my experience teaching in an elementary school, but I truly love learning new things along with the students and I enjoy seeing them learn and grow throughout their middle school years.   It's great to be a part of SSMS and I look forward to an exciting year ahead!

Donna Weinman (Steamboat Springs High School)

     Public education was not my initial career choice, but the influence of my grandmother (a high school teacher) finally led me to find my true passion. After a short career in Geology, I went back to college to earn my teaching license in 1986. I obtained a Master’s Degree in School Counseling in 2008 and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership in 2011.  I began my career in education as a student teacher in a gifted and talented multi-age elementary classroom in the Denver Public Schools.  I have worked as an elementary teacher in Vail and Ft. Collins, a School-to-Career Curriculum Specialist in Steamboat, a middle and high school “at risk” teacher in Oak Creek and Steamboat Springs, and most recently I was a high school counselor in Craig.  I have lived in Steamboat for over 20 years (I was born and raised in New Jersey) and am a proud parent of 2 Steamboat Springs School District graduates. I love doing everything in the beautiful outdoors and can often be found cheering on my son at Nordic ski races.

Identification for the Advanced Learning Program

over 2 years ago

Eligibility for Steamboat Springs School District's Advanced Learning (Gifted and Talented) program is based on a body of evidence as described in the following document. Identification can occur at any time from 3rd grade to 12th grade. A screening of all 2nd graders occurs each year to aid with the identification process, but students are not formally identified before 3rd grade.

Identification Plan and Procedure


Resources and Enrichment Opportunities

over 4 years ago


The National Association of Gifted and Talented has an easy-to-use database of national summer enrichment opportunities:

Important Reading