Advanced Academic Programs (AAP)
ADVANCED ACADEMIC PROGRAMS (AAP) ELEMENTARY CONTINUUM OF SERVICES
Our Advanced Academic Resource Teacher
Gifted Education Teacher, ES
Our Gunston ES Advanced Academic Resource Teacher (AART) collaborates with the school staff to determine the appropriate level of advanced academic services. Ongoing observation and assessment ensures that student needs are being met.
Parents may refer their child for advanced academic services or get additional information on the screening process at Gunston ES by contacting Ms Chang.
Advanced Academic Programs (AAP) are divided into four levels, and Gunston offers students all of the levels, including a Local Level IV program as an option in grades 3-6. Here is a description of each of the four levels of service:
Advanced Academics Lessons, Grades K-6
The first level is provided to all students in kindergarten through grade six. The lessons are modeled in all classrooms by the Advanced Academic Resource Teacher (AART) and the strategies are then used throughout the year by classroom and other teachers who work with students. All Gunston students or their teachers have class/consultation with Ms. Chang on a regular basis. Lessons focus on one of the nine critical and creative thinking strategies, Socratic Seminar and/or Jacob's Ladder techniques. Student responses to these lessons are used as part of the identification process for Levels II-IV. Parents may also practice some of these strategies during family conversations and activities.
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 through lessons and resources within the general education program. Screening for this level of service is ongoing throughout the school year.
Part-Time Advanced Academic Programs, Grades 3-6
Students identified by a local school screening committee for Level III part-time advanced academic services are challenged through models and strategies designed to extend and enrich the POS in one or more of the core subject areas. Students in grades 3-5 receive these services through direct instruction from the Level IV Classroom Teacher or the Advanced Academic Resource Teacher in their local school.
Full-Time Advanced Academic Programs, Grades 3-6
Students found eligible for placement in full-time Level IV Advanced Academic Programs 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.
Gunston's Local Level IV program - How the Local Level IV differs from the Level IV Center
Gunston's Local Level IV program provides 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 Level IV Center for Gunston ES is located at Lorton Station ES.
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 at Lorton Station 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 at Gunston, 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 the local school.
The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) will not be offered this school year.
The one-time retest option for the Naglieri Nonverbal Abilities Test (NNAT) or CogAT test will not be available this school year.
There will be a process for students without an abilities test on file to take the NNAT in December 2020. Local schools will determine which students require the NNAT and will reach out to families to schedule safe and socially distanced testing.
Note: While private testing that follows guidelines may be submitted, testing is only one type of data considered. All ability tests are considered within the larger context of the overall screening portfolio. FCPS does not encourage families to seek additional testing beyond what FCPS provides to all students.
Referrals for Full-Time AAP Level IV
Students who are not in the second-grade pool will not receive notification.
Parents or guardians of students not in the second-grade screening pool may initiate the full-time AAP Level IV screening process by completing and submitting an Advanced Academic Programs Level IV Referral Form to the local school. The referral form plus forms for additional optional information are available on the FCPS website (link below) and in the Parent Information Packet available at the local school.
FCPS LEVEL IV REFERRAL FORMS
FCPS AAP IDENTIFICATION AND PLACEMENT
Note: Please do not wait for test scores before submitting a referral for your student as there will be no referrals for Level IV screening accepted past the deadline. If you are waiting for test scores and would like your student screened for Level IV, please submit the referral by the published deadline (even if you have not received the test scores for your student).
The FCPS Testing and Identification Timeline link below includes the deadline for submitting the Advanced Academic Programs Level IV Referral Form for students in Grade 2 who are not in pool and students in Grades 3–6.
WHEN IS THE PARENT REFERRAL FORM DUE?
We also participate in the Young Scholars program, an initiative that is designed to increase the proportion of historically underrepresented students in gifted programs.