Philosophy of Gifted Education:
Giftedness occurs in many different disciplines, in many different cultures, and in all socioeconomic levels. Identification should be based on multiple measures of success, including achievement and aptitude tests, teacher referrals and observations, parent referrals, and portfolio submissions. Students identified as gifted, no matter what area of giftedness, deserve to be challenged and helped to reach their full potential. Gifted students should be offered the chance to expand their knowledge base and develop their special talents. Differentiation for gifted learners should occur in the classroom, including offering different content, process, and products for these learners. Gifted students’ social and emotional needs should also be addressed as they may develop in different ways than their peers.
Richmond County offers services to academically gifted students and students talented in visual and performing arts in many ways. All G/T students are offered differentiated instruction through the regular classroom environment to ensure that each individual is challenged in an appropriate way. Twice per year teachers will send home to parents an individualized differentiated lesson plan summarizing the differentiation strategies that have been used for each student.
A new plan, aligned with state regulations, for 2012-2017 has been developed and approved by the local school board.
At the high school level, academic level classes are offered for the four core areas and Advanced Placement classes are offered in Calculus, English 11 and English 12, and US History. High school students also are offered several Dual Enrollment courses for college credit through Rappahannock Community College. G/T students on all levels are encouraged to participate in regional, state and local competitions in their area of strength.
G/T students may also apply to the Northern Neck Regional Governor's School [grades 3-7], Summer Residential Governor's School [grades 10-11], and Chesapeake Bay Governor's School [rising 10th-12th graders]. Admission to these programs is competitive and may be based on student test scores, teacher recommendations, work product samples, and/or grades.
The identification process is ongoing, with teacher and parent referrals being accepted and solicited throughout the year. Third grade students are all given a nationally normed screening test [NNAT, 2nd Ed.] in the fall to determine needs for further testing. Any student identified in this screening will be tested further during the second nine weeks of 3rd grade using a nationally normed achievement test [Stanford 10] if parent permission is received. The process also includes gathering information through teacher and parent checklists, grades, and SOL scores. After all information has been gathered, the Identification Team meets to determine whether individuals should be identified as gifted.
Northern Neck Regional Governor's School
Applications are available beginning in early April. Students explore themes like Bridges and Connections through literature and cultural studies in a week-long program during August. Identified G/T students in grades 3 through 7 are invited to apply; selection occurs anonymously and is competitive. Either a writing sample or portfolio and teacher recommendation are required.
Chesapeake Bay Governor's School
Chesapeake Bay Governor's School (CBGS) is an academic yearlong governor's school held daily on the campuses of Rappahannock Community College. Richmond County is allotted 12 slots, so admission is competitive. The program focuses on marine and environmental sciences, and offers students college level math courses as well as two sciences per year. Students in 9th through 11th grade are invited to apply. The completed application will include: three teacher recommendations, two standardized test scores [sessions are offered free of charge through the country], one essay, and a counselor information sheet. For more detailed information, visit the following web site: www.cbgs.k12.va.us.
Summer Residential Governor's School
The Summer Residential Governor's School allows identified gifted students to apply for month long programs of study in the following areas: Mentorship for Engineering or Marine Science; Agriculture; Humanities; Math, Science and Technology; Life Sciences and Medicine; Foreign Languages (Japanese, German, Spanish, French, Latin); and Visual and Performing Arts. Programs typically run during the month of July, or from the last week of June through the third week of July. Students applying for Visual and Performing Arts must attend an adjudication session to share their art portfolio, play their instrument or sing for a judging panel. Admission to Visual and Performing Arts is competitive, across the state. Richmond County is guaranteed admission for one student in either the Humanities or Math, Science and Technology schools. For more information about SRGS programs, visit the VDOE website at www.doe.virginia.gov/instruction/governors_school_programs/summer_residential/index.shtml.
For more information about Governor's Foreign Language academies, visit the VDOE website at www.doe.virginia.gov/instruction/foreign_language/language_academies/index.shtml. Please see Guidance Counselor, Lexi Brown for application materials.