Supporting the Unique Needs of Gifted Learners
Several years ago, the Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD was one of only five school districts of more than 1,040 districts in the state of Texas to receive a Recognized status for their gifted programming department from Texas Education Association. Known as Advanced Academic Services, their mission is “designing a quality education for all students and supporting the unique needs of gifted learners.”
In hopes of enhancing student motivation to participate in more challenging opportunities, the Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD (C-FB ISD) is dedicated to offering a wide variety of advanced programs. As explained on their
website, these services include:
- ACE (Academic Creative Education) -
designed to meet the special educational needs of gifted students at their home school campuses.
- LEAP (Leading Exceptional Academic Procedures) -
a self-contained district-wide program for exceptionally gifted students.
- Pre-Advanced Placement Program -
begins in sixth grade in English, mathematics, social studies and science. Classes are intended to ensure that middle and high school students are taught the skills, concepts, and habits of mind needed for college.
- Advanced Placement Program -
a cooperative educational endeavor between secondary schools and colleges and universities. It allows high school students to undertake college-level academic learning.
To ensure successful implementation of the above programs, the district also adheres to six guiding principles,
according to the Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD
multiple options that are available at all levels in areas of
giftedness recognized by the Texas State Plan for Gifted and
- Assure the commitment of the C-FB ISD learning community to reach the goal that all students benefit from a curriculum that enables them to meet their high potential.
- Provide options for all students to be assessed and served in challenging academic programs.
- Reach out to the total school community as a way to enhance
services for gifted students.
- Create and provide professional development options to assure that all C-FB ISD professionals are aware of and committed to the program for gifted students.
- Use technology and other media to expand entrepreneurial potential for gifted students.
In order for students to be
admitted to the Advanced Academic Services program, they must be referred by
teachers, parents, administrators, counselors, students and/or other members
of the community. After the referral forms have been submitted, each
school’s on-site Admissions, Review, Exit (ARE) committee meet and determine
student eligibility. Students who wish to participate in the ACE program
must have an aptitude test score of 125 or above. In order to be eligible
for the LEAP program, students must receive intelligence test scores of 140
or above. To be accepted into both programs, the student must show high
classroom performance, high scores on achievement testing, submit a student
portfolio, and if needed interview with the ARE committee.
By making gifted education a priority, the Advanced Academic Services program allows identified gifted students in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD the opportunity to interact and learn with classmates of similar abilities throughout their educational trajectory.
Myth: Acceleration options,
such as grade skipping or early entrance, can be socially harmful
to gifted students.
“The research evidence on the effectiveness of acceleration is very
positive. For example, contrary to many people’s expectation, the
evidence shows that acceleration does not damage students socially
or emotionally. In fact, grade skipping has been found to aid social
relations (as well as academic achievement)”, (Dr. Miraca Gross,
Regional and Remote Workshops for Parents about Gifted Education).
Grade accelerated students typically find they have more in common
and are more closely matched in intellectual ability with older
peers than with their age peers.
If you are interested in
learning more about the social impacts of acceleration, please see
the following articles:
Applications Available for 2008-2009 School Year
A free, public school for profoundly gifted pupils on the University
of Nevada, Reno campus, The Davidson Academy of Nevada is seeking
qualified students to apply for the 2008-2009 school year. The
Academy is specifically designed to meet the needs of profoundly
gifted middle and high school students, starting at the sixth grade
level and beyond. For admission details, please visit
On Monday, Nov. 19, 2007, The Davidson Academy will be
hosting a tour for prospective students and their families. For
2008 THINK Summer Institute Application Available
download an application, please visit
2008 Davidson Fellows Scholarship Applications Available
For more information on the Davidson Fellows, or to download an
application, please visit
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