The Advanced Academic school-based program in the elementary and middle school is designed to provide opportunities for all students to develop academic strengths through a more rigorous and challenging program. School-based advanced academic services are located in every elementary and middle school throughout the county. Referrals may be submitted by parents/guardians or school personnel using a Advanced Academic Programs Referral form. The local screening committee considers ability and achievement test scores, the Gifted Behavior Rating Scale (GBRS), progress reports, and parent input to determine the need for gifted services.
The K-2 school-based program offers lessons for all students in critical and creative thinking through learning activities that are connected to the FCPS Program of Studies. Students who exhibit characteristics of emerging giftedness are considered for differentiated services within the classroom. These services are specifically planned for the identified child to provide more challenging content, assignments, resources and/or instructional grouping within the classroom.
In grades 3-6, school-based services are delivered through a collaborative model that supports a continuum of services. The model is designed to strengthen direct services for gifted learners and to enhance the quality of instruction offered to all students. The Advanced Academic resource teachers collaborate with classroom teachers to design differentiated lessons that challenge students to learn at a faster rate, think on a higher level, and study sophisticated and complex content through extensions of the FCPS Program of Studies.
in gifted and talented, pre-IB, or
Honors classes in English, math, science,
and social studies is provided in all
24 high schools. The Advanced Placement
(AP) program, the International Baccalaureate
(IB) program, and the Thomas Jefferson
High School for Science and Technology
provide additional curricular options
for high school students to accelerate
and pursue in-depth studies in areas
of academic strength. The IB program
is offered at Annandale, Edison, Lee,
Marshall, Mount Vernon, South Lakes,
and Stuart High Schools and Robinson
Secondary; the AP program is offered
at Centreville, Chantilly, Fairfax,
Falls Church, Herndon, Langley, McLean,
Madison, Oakton, Westfield, West Potomac,
West Springfield, and Woodson High
Schools, and Hayfield and Lake Braddock
Secondary Schools. Both the AP and
IB programs are open enrollment. Parents
and students may obtain more information
about the AP and IB programs through
the FCPS website at www.fcps.edu or
by contacting the Advanced Academic Programs
Office at 571-423-4740. The Thomas
Jefferson High School for Science
and Technology, a regional Governor's
magnet school, offers a comprehensive
college preparatory program emphasizing
the sciences, mathematics, and technology.
Entrance is generally at the ninth
grade. Parents and students may obtain
information about application procedures
by contacting the school at:
6560 Braddock Road,
Alexandria, Virginia 22312
In kindergarten through grade six, the critical and creative thinking lessons are designed to elicit a higher level thinking response. These lessons can also be used to identify and nurture gifted potential among young learners. The problem-solving skills, thinking processes, and student products that result from these lessons provide observable evidence of a student's ability to think and reason on advanced levels.
Each lesson is structured around a five-stage model which provides students opportunities to connect content to prior knowledge, engage in new ideas, use thinking skills to consider possibilities, reflect on new learning, and connect the lesson to future learning.
For example, one second grade lesson teaches the students the art of persuasion using a picture book titled, I Wanna Iguana by Karen Kaufman Orloff. In the book, a child and his mother write letters about their points of view regarding adopting a pet.
Critical and Creative Thinking lessons are designed to be integrated in each K-6 classroom throughout the year. The Advanced Academics Resource teacher collaborates with the classroom teacher to model and coordinate several response lesson experiences throughout the year for all students.
Each of the lessons teaches a specific thinking strategy. The lessons may be used to develop creative and critical thinking skills in all learners. Each thinking strategy can be used at any grade level and in any curriculum area. Students are taught the name of the strategy, how it can help them become better thinkers, and are then given opportunities to practice using the thinking strategies in different content areas. Icons provide a visual representation that helps students identify and remember the thinking strategy.
The nine different strategies are:
Critical and Creative Thinking lessons represent a broad range of thinking strategies that extend and enrich the Virginia Standards of Learning and the Fairfax County Public Schools’ Program of Studies objectives. Each lesson can be expanded to encompass more complex thinking skills for those students ready for more advanced levels. Classroom teachers can introduce these “Thinking Lessons” in any order as stand-alone activities, or they can integrate the strategies with content-area material.
All students can be taught to sharpen their critical and creative thinking skills and to become more independent and effective learners. Using Thinking Lessons is the first level of gifted service and is one important way that classroom teachers can recognize and develop advanced thinking in all learners.
For more information about the model lessons, contact the Advanced Academic resource teacher at your local elementary school.
Critical and Creative Thinking Strategies in Action
Critical and Creative Thinking Strategies in Action
Dr. Carol V. Horn
K-12 Program Coordinator
Advanced Academic Programs Office
8270 Willow Oaks Corporate Drive - 4th Floor
Fairfax, VA 22031
This web page contains links to one or more web pages that are outside the FCPS network. FCPS does not control the content or relevancy of these pages.