Advanced Academics News
ADVANCED ACADEMIC PROGRAMS (AAP) ELEMENTARY CONTINUUM OF SERVICES
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) offers a continuum of advanced academic services for all students in Grades K-8. Learning experiences are designed to develop higher-level thinking through enrichment, acceleration, and extension of the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs). Teachers, administrators, and Advanced Academic Resource Teachers (AARTs) work together to provide the following levels of services. A video showing each level of service in action, as well as information about middle and high school services, are available at https://www.fcps.edu/academics/elementary-school-academics-k-6/advanced-academics.
- Critical and Creative Thinking Lessons, Grades K-6 (Level I)
Level I services are provided to all students in Kindergarten through Grade 6. Level I services includes teaching students to use critical and creative thinking skills to process content. It also includes periodic opportunities to use advanced academic curriculum throughout the year. Student responses to these lessons are used as part of the identification process for Levels II-IV. Parents may practice the nine strategies during family conversations and activities. Descriptions and videos of the nine critical and creative thinking strategies can be found at https://www.fcps.edu/academics/elementary-school-academics-k-6/advanced-academics/critical-and-creative-thinking.
Because Level I services are for all FCPS students, there is not a screening process.
- Differentiated Lessons in Areas of Academic Strength, Grades K-6 (Level II)
Level II services are available for students in Kindergarten through Grade 6 for students with strength in a specific subject area. The AART collaborates with classroom teachers to provide additional challenges using materials from the AAP Curriculum Framework for Levels II-IV to extend and enrich in the subject area strength. Screening for this level of service is ongoing throughout the school year. Multiple criteria are used to screen for this level of service and decisions are made at the local school level.
To have your student screened for Level II services, complete the AAP School-Based Referral Form available at https://www.fcps.edu/sites/default/files/media/forms/AAPSchoolBasedServicesReferralForm_0.pdf.
- Part-Time Advanced Academic Programs, Grades 3-6 (Level III)
Level III services are available for students in Grades 3-6 who are eligible for part-time direct services from the AART. Students are identified by a screening committee at the local school. The AART uses materials from the AAP Curriculum Framework for Levels II-IV in the four core subject areas through either a weekly pull-out class or weekly co-teaching model with the classroom teacher. Screening for this level of service is ongoing throughout the school year. Multiple criteria are used to screen for this level of service and decisions are made at the local school level.
To have your student screened for Level III services, complete the AAP School-Based Referral Form available on the Forms page: https://www.fcps.edu/node/38893
- Full-Time Advanced Academic Programs, Grades 3-8 (Level IV)
Level IV services are available for students in Grades 3-8 who are found eligible through a central selection process. Eligible students use curriculum from the AAP Curriculum Framework for Levels II-IV in the four academic subject areas on a full-time basis.
Multiple criteria are reviewed to determine eligibility for all FCPS advanced academic services. The countywide central selection committee determines eligibility for full-time AAP Level IV placement.
Screening for Level IV services occurs during specific screening cycles:
- Fall screening is held for students who are new to FCPS and have been referred
- Spring screening is held for any FCPS-enrolled student who has been referred
Due to the volume of files screened centrally for Level IV services, deadlines are strictly held.
- A referral form may be turned in from the first day of school until the published deadline.
- The referral deadline is October 10, 2019 for students who are new to FCPS and January 9, 2020 for students who are not new to FCPS this school year.
- The referral form is available on the Forms page: https://www.fcps.edu/node/38893
Additional information about the holistic screening process and information used for screening can be found at https://www.fcps.edu/registration/advanced-academics-identification-and-placement/current-fcps-students.
Elementary Parent Information Meeting
A parent information meeting will be held at Gunston Elementary on October 17, 2019 at 5:00pm. The AART will provide information about levels of service and examples at Gunston Elementary as well as explain and answer questions about the screening processes for part-time school-based and full-time Level IV services.
In the fall, the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT) is administered to all FCPS first grade students and 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. Please contact the school testing coordinator Kristen Rucinski, @email no later than September 26 to request a one-time retest for either the NNAT or CogAT.
Please do not wait for test scores before submitting a referral for your student in Grades 2-7 as there will be no referrals for Level IV screening accepted past the January 9, 2020 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).
Looking for more resources? Check out these great articles on developing critical and creative thinking, children's literature, enrichment opportunities and more! Click here for more information.