Advanced Academic Programs
- Young Scholars is designed to find and nurture advanced academic potential in students from historically underrepresented populations. Curricular interventions and support are provided through the collaboration of the classroom teacher and the Advanced Academic Resource Teacher. As students progress through elementary and secondary school, continuing support and opportunities for accessing rigorous coursework are provided by school staff.
Level I, Critical and Creative Thinking Lessons, Grades K-6
- The Advanced Academic Resource Teacher (AART) and classroom teachers teach nine higher order thinking strategies (Level I) across all subject areas and grade levels. The strategies are embedded in lessons that incorporate 21st Century thinking skills and extend and enrich the Program of Studies (POS) for all learners. Student responses to the lessons are also used to collect evidence of advanced academic potential in order to ensure equity and increase access to Advanced Academic Programs. Parents may also practice these strategies during family conversations and activities.
Level II, Differentiated Lessons in Areas of Academic Strength, Grades K-6
- Students identified by a local school screening committee are offered differentiated lessons (Level II) in areas of specific academic strength. The AART collaborates with classroom teachers to provide additional challenges and resources within the general education program. Screening for this level of service is ongoing throughout the school year.
- Parents/guardians may initiate a referral.
Level III, Part-Time Advanced Academic Programs, Grades 3-6
- Students identified by a local school screening committee for advanced academic services (Level III) are challenged through models and strategies designed to extend and enrich the POS in the four core subject areas. Students receive direct instruction from the Advanced Academic Resource Teacher in their local schools.
- Parents/guardians may initiate a referral.
Level IV, Full-time Program, Grades 3-6
- Students found eligible for placement in a full-time Advanced Academic Program (Level IV) through a central selection process receive a highly challenging instructional program in the four core subject areas.
- The full-time advanced academic program is differentiated in depth, breadth, and pace of instruction. It provides an appropriate level of challenge for highly gifted learners with a strong emphasis on critical and creative thinking, and problem-solving. The mathematics curriculum is accelerated by one grade level and readings and resources that are used in other subject areas are also presented at advanced levels. Students have opportunities for ongoing opportunities for reflection and self-assessment.
Centre Ridge Level IV program - How the Local Level IV differs from the Level IV Center
- Local Level IV Services provide an important option for advanced learners who need the challenge of a full-time AAP center curriculum and do not want to leave their local school.
- The teachers in both settings are trained in gifted education and teach the same advanced academic curriculum to students who are ready for a highly challenging instructional program in the four core subject areas.
- The main difference is in the make-up of the class. All of the students in full-time, center-based classes have been identified as center-eligible by a central selection committee and will be coming from several neighborhood schools to comprise the center class. In a Local Level IV classroom, the students are a mix of students who are center-eligible and high achieving students who are capable of working at advanced levels, all enrolled in their local school. The curriculum utilized in the Level IV classrooms is the same at Local Level IV as it is at a Level IV center.
- All of our students in our Local Level IV program are participating in challenging learning experiences each day using the curriculum designed for advanced learners. In all four of our Level IV classes (grades 3 - 6), students are focusing on critical and creative thinking as they participate in Socratic Seminars, Caesar’s English with Latin Stems, Literature Circles, and Project M3 for math.
Testing and Referrals
- In the spring, the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT) is administered to all FCPS first grade students. In the fall, the CogAT-Custom Form is administered to all FCPS second grade students. During the fall testing cycle, the NNAT and/or Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) may be administered to students in grades 3-6 who do not have an ability test score.
- Parents or guardians may exercise a one-time retest option during the fall testing cycle.
- An initial second-grade screening pool for AAP Level IV is established using the test results from first and second-grade testing. Parents of students in the second-grade screening pool receive a letter notifying them that their child will be screened for the full-time advanced academic program. Parents may decline screening.
- Students who are not in the second grade pool will not receive notification. The benchmark score used to create the second-grade initial pool will be published on the FCPS AAP website by mid-January.
- Information packets with referral forms are also available at our school.
- The Level IV screening file for referred students is prepared by the local school Advanced Academic Programs screening committee and submitted to the FCPS central selection committee. Eligibility decisions are made by the central selection committee, and reviewed by an oversight committee. Parent/guardian(s) are notified by mail regarding eligibility.