Gust Elementary

Gifted & Talented

Hello, I’m Barbara Laff, the Gifted/Talented Coordinator at Gust. This is my ninth year at Gust, and I am so happy to be here! Using state and district assessments, together with parent and teacher recommendations, I identify students who are gifted in many different ways. I then support their learning throughout their school experience here at Gust, by creating Advanced Learning Plans with their classroom teachers. I help enrich the curriculum for students in the HGT (Highly Gifted and Talented) classrooms, by providing higher-level math and reading groups, and providing integrated lessons and projects over several weeks about holidays, geography, science, and museum exhibits. The activities I sponsor are open to all students (generally grades 3-5), and include the Spelling Team, Destination Imagination, Shakespeare Festival, and Science Fair. You can find me backstage, and can reach me at 720-982-3818, or


Spelling Bee.  Congratulations to the students who will be competing in the Gust Spelling Bee on Thursday, November 8, from 2:00-3:00 pm in the library!  These students were the top spellers in their classes.

The top ten spellers from the bee will make up the Gust Tiger Spelling Team!  They will compete in two spelling bees with students from other schools on December 6 and January 24.  Those competitions will take place at Gust! The team will also compete in the City Written Spelling Bee for a chance to represent Denver Public Schools in the State Spelling Bee in March. Congratulations to everyone who competed in the school and classroom spelling bees!

Math Olympiad.  Here’s a math question:  20 students from 3rd, 4th and 5th grade math classes compete against students from around the world in 5 monthly math contests. How much fun do they have?  Answer: A lot! Mrs. Laff works with Math Olympians on a weekly basis to learn higher-level problem solving skills and share strategies. Team members will receive certificates of participation, and our school winner, announced after the March 2019 Olympiad, will receive a trophy.  Over 46,000 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students will participate in Math Olympiad around the world this year!