Philosophy of Gifted Education Program:
Goochland County Public Schools recognizes that gifted students are endowed:
- with a combination of cognitive abilities that enable them to advance further and faster in knowledge acquisition and production of new knowledge than the majority of students;
- with creativity that enables them to be fluent, flexible, elaborate, and original thinkers and producers; and
- with task commitment which challenges them to set and achieve goals.
To meet the special needs of gifted learners from kindergarten through twelfth grade, Goochland County Public Schools will provide dynamic curriculum and programming that will compact, expand, enrich, accelerate, and differentiate the regular K-12 curriculum. These adjustments for gifted learners will be reflected in content, breadth, pace, process, and products. Appropriate experiences for gifted learners will be addressed as an integral part of the comprehensive educational program.
Goals of the Gifted Program
- Provide differentiated instruction responsive to student ability and learning needs.
- Assist students in achieving their maximum potential.
- Provide a continuum of service options.
- Address the social and emotional needs of the gifted student.
- Support an educational environment that enables students to perform at levels of excellence.
Local Gifted Plan
Annually, the GCPS School Board reviews and approves the comprehensive Local Plan for Gifted Education. The plan outlines in detail the division’s philosophy of gifted education; areas of giftedness that Goochland County Public Schools services; the screening, referral, and identification process; and the continuum of gifted service options available in the district.
Should you need a printed copy of this plan or have any questions regarding the plan or the contents of this website, please contact Dr. Beth Fowler, Advanced Programs and Equity Specialist, Goochland Co. Public Schools (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Academic Year Governor’s Schools
Goochland County Public Schools is pleased to participate in two-year-long academic Governor’s School programs. Eighth-grade students apply to these competitive programs and are found eligible for enrollment based on the procedures and criteria established by the Regional Planning Committee or local selection committee. Applications are available in the late fall of the year through the Goochland Middle School school counseling office or by contacting Dr. Beth Fowler, Advanced Programs and Equity Specialist (email@example.com).
For more information on these two Governors Schools, including admissions requirements, please visit their websites.
Advanced College Academy (ACA)
The Reynolds Community College Advance College Academy (ACA) provides outstanding high school students with the opportunity to earn a transferable Associate of Science degree in Social Science while completing their high school curriculum. Most students apply and are accepted to the program in 8th grade, but applications are also available to 9th and 10th-grade students. Successful applicants must have completed Algebra I by the end of their 8th-grade year. Minimum high school and college grade point averages (GPAs) are required to maintain enrollment in the program. ACA tuition and program fees do apply, but financial assistance is available for families who qualify.
See your child’s school counselor to learn more about the program or to obtain an application.
Advanced Placement Classes
AP classes provide a college-level, rigorous curriculum to high school students. College placement and course credit may be awarded for achievement on the end-of-course AP examination. In coordination with the College Board, Goochland County Public Schools offers Advanced Placement (AP) classes to its high school students in all four core disciplines (English, history, math, and science), as well as in world language. Additional AP classes may also be available online through Virtual Virginia.
For more information on AP courses, contact your child’s school counselor or consult the GCPS Program of Studies.
Dual enrollment classes are courses that earn students both high school and college credit simultaneously. Dual enrolled students are responsible for upholding the standards and expectations of each institution in which they are earning credit. Goochland County Public Schools is pleased to partner with many institutions to offer dual enrollment credits to its advanced students, including J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, University of Virginia, and Shenandoah University. Information on these courses, applicable fees, and admissions requirements can be found in the GCPS Program of Studies and by contacting your child’s school counselor.
Summer Gifted Opportunities
Many institutions offer summer programming designed for advanced or gifted learners of all ages. Please see the Gifted Resource Teacher or Gifted Advisor at your child’s school for the most updated information on those programs.
Additionally, Goochland County Public Schools supports student enrollments in the following summer enrichment programs:
- Summer Residential Governor’s School provides selected gifted high school rising juniors or seniors a month-long intensive enrichment program on a college campus that is focused on a particular area of interest. Opportunities exist in visual and performing arts, humanities, mathematics, science and technology, marine science, medicine/health sciences, and engineering. Admission is competitive.
- Summer Regional Governor’s Schools
Summer Regional Governor’s Schools are offered to gifted Goochland students in two areas.
- Hanover Regional Governor’s School for Career & Technical Advancement is a program for rising juniors and seniors focused on Workplace Readiness Skills.
- Math Science Innovation Center Summer Regional Governor’s School is open to gifted 6-8th graders interested in exploring specific math, science, and technology interests.
Gifted Identification Process and Timeline
Referral and Identification Process
Who may be referred for gifted services and when?Any student in grades K-12 who exhibits characteristics of giftedness in language arts, mathematics, or general intellectual aptitude may be referred for services. Visual and performing arts identification begins in 6th grade, as does Career and Technical Aptitude gifted identification. Referrals are accepted at any time, but identification occurs once per semester.
Who may refer for gifted services?Classroom teachers, parents, peers, and community members may refer a student for gifted evaluation. Students may also self-refer. Referral forms are available online or from the gifted advisor at the child’s school, as well as through GCPS central office.
How are students referred for gifted services?Every referral for gifted services begins with the completion of a Gifted Services Referral form (if you are a parent, please use this form). Completed forms should be returned to the gifted advisor at the student’s school. The gifted advisor is responsible for gathering referrals and relevant data for the Identification and Placement Committee’s review. All referrals will be evaluated within 90 school days of their receipt.
What happens once a student is referred?If someone other than a parent made the referral for gifted services, the first step in the process is to obtain the parent or guardian’s written permission to evaluate the student holistically. Next, the gifted advisor gathers standardized testing results, structured work samples, teacher input, and achievement data for consideration by the Identification and Placement Committee. Interviews may also be considered. No one criterion alone can keep a student for being found eligible for gifted services.
Who makes up the Identification and Placement Committee?The Identification and Placement Committee is comprised of at least one teacher, the gifted resource teacher, an administrator (or designee), and a school counselor from the child’s school. School psychologists may also participate. The division gifted coordinator attends all committee meetings but does not serve as a member of the committee.
What factors are considered by the committee to determine gifted eligibility?Goochland County Public Schools takes a holistic approach to gifted identification. Multiple criteria are considered during the eligibility process, including academic performance, standardized test results, teacher observation, and structured work samples. Individual circumstances may also be considered by the committee as they evaluate the student’s potential for outstanding accomplishment as compared to” others of the same age, experience, or environment” (Va. Dept. of Education, 2012). Failure to meet a standard in a single criterion does not hinder a student from being found eligible for gifted services.
What if a child is not found eligible for gifted services?Some students exhibit strong aptitude but do not yet meet gifted identification criteria. In such instances, students may be placed on gifted “monitor” status. Monitored students receive services to nurture their potential and are re-evaluated for the program with parental permission at a later time. Many opportunities for extension and enrichment exist for Goochland County Public Schools students outside of the Gifted Program. Please consult your child’s school counselor to determine the most appropriate path for maximizing his/her potential.
Questions about this content? Contact Dr. Beth Fowler, Advanced Programs and Equity Specialist, GCPS at firstname.lastname@example.org
Gifted Coordinator Contact Information by School
- Ms. Beth Eaton- Byrd Elementary School email@example.com
- Ms. Caroline Van Ness- Goochland Elementary School firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ms. Eliza Gemmill- Randolph Elementary School email@example.com
- Ms. Michele Hope- Goochland Middle School firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ms. Elizabeth Coiner- Goochland High School email@example.com