Gifted services are available in Virginia Beach City Public Schools at all levels through both site-based and city-wide programs.
A teacher, a parent/guardian, a peer, the student support team, the student, or any person who has knowledge of the student's abilities may initiate an application for gifted services by contacting the Gifted Resource Teacher at the child's neighborhood school. An online gifted application will be available early fall 2016.
In addition, the division screens all first and fifth graders to ensure consideration for gifted services. Parents or guardians can obtain screening results by accessing the childís Parent Portal account and navigating to the Standardized Test Results tab.
Student eligibility for citywide gifted services is determined through the use of multiple criteria. Students must demonstrate potential for exceptional performance and academic needs that cannot be met through general education curriculum. VBCPS identifies students in the areas of:
- General Intellectual Aptitude (advanced aptitudes demonstrated by skills and creative expression in general intellectual ability); and
- Visual and Performing Arts Aptitude (specific aptitudes in selected visual or performing arts demonstrated by skills and creative expression and excelling consistently in the development of a product or performance in any of the visual and/or performing arts).
Screening and Placement
Once a student has been tested, data is compiled and forwarded to an identification and placement committee that determines eligibility for gifted services. Criteria for selection include a combination of:
- Academic achievement
- Achievement test scores
- Teacher information
- Parent checklist of behaviors
- Ability test scores
- Audition or portfolio (visual and performing arts programs)
Parents or guardians are notified of the committee's decision by email.
Change in Program Placement
Students who are identified for gifted services retain their identification from the point of identification until graduation. It is the philosophy of the Virginia Beach City Public Schools that students need learning experiences based on their readiness level, their interest and their learning profile. Because a continuum of services and varied delivery models are offered, gifted services are dynamic and fluid. Parents/guardians may request that the students not take part in the gifted services that are offered. This is a school-level decision that is facilitated by the parents/guardians, teacher(s), principal and gifted resource teacher. When this occurs, parents/guardians write a letter requesting the change in service. This letter is then placed in the studentís file. The student maintains eligibility for gifted services and has the opportunity to take part in activities offered by the gifted program as feasible. Gifted staff remain in contact with the student and parent/guardian to make service modifications and disseminate program information, as needed.
At Old Donation School, support and intervention processes have been put in place. These plans provide opportunities for students to develop strategies to be successful in the event they experience difficulties. Rarely, a change in placement of where students receive gifted services may result. When this occurs, the Executive Director of the Office of Programs for Exceptional Children and the Senior Executive Director for Middle Schools will be notified in writing. However, students do not exit the gifted program. Every area of service (resource cluster, Old Donation School and resource model at the high school level) consistently assesses the needs of the students and modifications are made accordingly. There is an emphasis on the transition points, elementary to middle, middle to high and neighborhood school to select school, to ensure that students meet with success to minimize a need for a change in services.
Dr. Veleka S. Gatling
Executive Director for Programs for Exceptional Children