Advanced Academic Programs Advisory Committee

Citizen Advisory Committee

Contact Us

Submit a Question

School Board Liaison

Seema Dixit

Staff Liaison

Kirsten Maloney, K-12 Program Coordinator, Department of Instructional Services

Committee Purpose

Va. Code §22.1-18.1—Each school board may appoint, in accordance with the regulations of the Board of Education, a local advisory committee on gifted education. The local advisory committee on gifted education shall annually review the local plan for the education of gifted students, including revisions, and determine the extent to which the plan for the previous year was implemented.

2023-24 Committee Charge

AAPAC will learn about research in the field of twice-exceptional (2e) and hear about central and school-based efforts to meet the needs of 2e learners in FCPS.

2023-24 Membership

The Advanced Academic Programs Advisory Committee consists of members representing School Board members, a student representative, and members nominated by community organizations and school administration.

School Board Member Representatives

Michelle Cades, Keys-Gamarra
Rebecca Goldin, At Large - Sizemore Heizer
Nasser Aljtar, At Large - Omeish
Caren Lee, Braddock District
Randi Cosentino, Dranesville District
Melissa Keppel, Hunter Mill District
Patricia Potter, Lee District
Leah Richardson, Mason District
Shikha Dixit, Mount Vernon District
Cara Berman, Providence District
Ramya Burgess, Springfield District
Meg Dombro, Sully District
Laura Bartleme, Fairfax City School Board
TBD, Student Representative

Organization Representatives

Lisa Bertin, Fairfax County Association for Gifted
Cheryl Napoli, FCCPTA
Maria Posey, League of Women Voters
Edward Osborne, MSAOC
Holly Glaser, George Mason University
Annamarie Swope, Fairfax Federation of Citizens Associations
Nancy Trainer, Fairfax Federation of Citizens Associations

FCPS Staff Representatives

Kirsten Maloney, Coordinator, Advanced Academic Programs
Cindy Agner, Elementary School Administrator
Linda Shannon, Elementary School Administrator
Michelle Beard, Middle School Administrator
Darin Thompson, High School Administrator
Patricia Edwards, Elementary Teacher
Dana Gorman, Middle School Teacher
TBD, High School Teacher

Meeting Dates

All Advanced Academic Programs Advisory Committee meetings will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m.  For more information, individuals may call the AAP office at 571-423-4740

October 3, 2023


Meeting Open Time: 7 p.m.


AAPAC norms were introduced and member looked over the norms
and shared if revisions were warranted.

During introductions, members shared who they represent and what
brought them to serve on the AAPAC committee.

Holly Glaser has agreed to continue on as a chair. It was asked of
the committee if anyone would like to be a co-chair. Time was given
to consider, anyone from the committee who is interested please
email Ms. Maloney.

AAP office updates
  • Staff response to the 2022-23 SY report recommendations were
    shared with the committee.
  • A reminder that the FCPS Local Plan for the Gifted is how our
    district meets the Virginia regulations that govern how gifted
    education is conducted in FCPS.
  • Language change with the service model. Focus has always been
    on the need of the student and matching that need with a service.
    Service descriptors have changed. We no longer use labels such as
    Levels I-IV. To support better understanding of AAP services,
    schools and central office now use full-time AAP, part-time AAP,
    subject specific AAP and Tier 1 access to rigor.
  • The HOPE Gifted RATING Scale will replace the GBRS in SY
    • There were concerns with the GBRS noted in the external review
      (no psychometric tests, parental influence) and from schools (not
      enough variance in ratings they could give and workload for writing
      commentary was not sustainable).
    • HOPE Gifted Rating Scale was developed at Purdue, focused on
      improving identification for students in low-income and culturally
      diverse communities. There are two types of prompts in academic
      and social realms. This student went through multiple studies and
      was improved based on those studies.
    • Question from member about 2e students being represented in the
      scale. Some will showcase the strengths where the student may
      shine – the process is a strength-based look at matching students to
      services on the continuum. Reminder to look at this holistically, no
      one piece has more value. The rating scale is one piece of the
      information, just like other single pieces (test scores, progress
      reports, work samples, parent input).
  • AAPAC Charge for this: AAPAC will learn about research in the field
    of twice-exceptional (23) and hear about central and school-based
    efforts to meet the need of 2e learners in FCPS.
    • Randi from ASCD shared how the committee looked at the area of
      dyslexia and assistive technology. Based on feedback from
      committee and other community groups that had anecdotal evidence
      that 2e students may not get as much access to higher level
      opportunities as neurotypical students. This anecdotal evidence was
      especially true for middle school and high school. To answer those
      needs they worked with the administration. They discovered there
      was the inability to pull data of those with 504 or IEP and identify
      them for services. In addition to data privacy around special
      education, there are currently two different databases used that do
      not currently merge information. Thus, they were unable to prove or
      disprove the anecdotal findings due to database needs. Randi will
      share the report if requested by members or they can read it on the
      ASCD page.
2e Intro

Dr. Oladimeji began by sharing how FCPS Strategic Planning Goals
connect to the goals and needs of 2e students.

This is an equity issue. Not only do students need to have access,
but the question is do they find success when engaged in
opportunities for advanced learning? This means, we are on a
journey to help change mindsets about 2e students.

Dr. Oladimeji shared recent research focused on 2e students with

She shared about her background and experiences as well as her
current role as a 2e specialist focused on collaboration with schools,
multiple central offices, and members of the FCPS community.

This work is a shared responsibility and the importance of increasing
capacity through ongoing teacher and staff training. There is a need
for stakeholders to work with parents to assess and plan for
appropriate inclusive programs at different levels and to reflect on
the impact of the programs on 2e students.

She shared about the need for flexibility in providing organized
structures that support staff in meeting Individualized education plan
(IEP) goals and accommodation and implementing strategies such
as Universal Design for Learning (UDL), curriculum differentiation, and
the appropriate learning environment to meet eh diverse needs of 2e
learners and different school contexts.

Members unpacked and discussed part 1 of the Fairfax County
Public Schools 2e Handbook.

A shared understanding of what is a 504 versus an IEP was

A member mentioned that identification and 2e students and needs
may not be prevalent in all places such as the AAP Website

Unpack our Need to
Knows for the charge

Ms. Maloney will send out a link to gather questions about 2e.
The link to the 2e Webinar will be sent out.

Webinars can be found on the Family Resource Center page.

Next StepsNext Steps

Meeting Adjourned Time: 8:31 p.m.


Committee Members in AttendanceCommittee Members AbsentStaff and Guest in Attendance
Cindy Agner
Lauren Bartelme
Michelle Beard
Cara Berman
Lisa Bertin
Ramya Burgess
Randi Cosentino
Shika Dixit
Patty Edwards
Holly Glaser
Rebecca Goldin
Dana Gorman
Melissa Keppel
Kirsten Maloney
Cheryl Napoli
Leah Richardson
Linda Shannon
Michelle Cades
Nancy Trainer/Annmarie Swope
Caren Lee
Meg Dombro
Darin Thompson
Nasser Aljtar
Pat Potter
Nonye Oladimeji
Lori Bedsole
Shaheen Khurana (School Board Staff Aide)

November 14, 2023


Meeting Open Time: 7 p.m.

AAP office updates
  • Colleen Eddy announced that Kirsten Maloney was awarded as
    National Association of Gifted Children Coordinator of the Year –
    congrats to her!
  • Tennessee visitors were here to witness the vertical articulated
    model of International Baccalaureate Schools in FCPS, from ES to
    MS to HS.
  • Visitor from Chesterfield County to observe talent development
    models across FCPS.
Notes and Clarifications
from October Meeting
  • The Enhancement Plan for Students with Disabilities (EPSWD),
    formerly known as the Special Education Enhancement Plan
    (SEEP), was informed by an audit conducted by an Association of
    Independent Research (AIR) to examine special education
    practices in FCPS. The audit highlighted needed considerations
    specific to 2E learners.
  • Awaiting school board actions in order to finalize Enhancement
    Plan for SWD.
  • As a county, we are leaning into high leverage practices to meet
    the needs of diverse learning - intentionality around universal
    design learning, which will have an impact on curriculum,
    instructional practices, and professional development.
  • ACSD requested data - wanted to establish a baseline - how many
    students with 504 or IEP were disproportionality not accessing
    advanced coursework at the secondary level. This data is not
    currently easy to capture with data systems and student data
    privacy; however, the EPSWD also has data system needs and 2e
    course enrollment patterns can be part of that system when it is
  • Lots of new types of data being gathered with alignment to new
    strategic plan.
  • Clarification of questions around the section 504 plan and
    distinctions between 504 and IEP.
Framing our work
through the strategic

What connections can you find with AAPAC’s 2E charge and the new
strategic plan?

This year as we learn from different presentations and discussions, each
subgroup will capture connections to the FCPS strategic plan that will be
important to capture in our final report.

Goal 1: Strong Start - Self-regulation has implications for the identification
of Twice-Exceptional (2E) students for the Advanced Academic Programs
(AAP), especially in cases where students employ masking behaviors.

Goal 2: Safe, Supported, Included and Empowered - Establishing
environments that cater to unique and individualized needs fosters a sense
of belonging. Allowing students to have their unique needs met contributes
to creating spaces where our 2e students feel a sense of belonging.

Goal 3: Academic Growth and Excellence -Concerns with this metric.
Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) are not a means of measuring
growth. Algebra may not be a suitable fit for every student.

Goal 4: Equitable Access and Opportunity - In looking at our data, Students
with Disabilities (SWD) with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) tend
to enroll in fewer honors-level courses, which is not the situation with
students under 504 plans.

Goal 5: Leading for Tomorrow’s Innovation - Success can be obtained
through various paths. Employing a backwards design approach is
essential, determining how we can meet students where they are in order to
support their individual definitions of success.

Update on 2e specialist

Dr. Oladimeji

School specific:

  • Need for collaboration and shared responsibilities between
    advanced academic and special education educators.
  • Need for key team members to work with parents to assess and
    plan for appropriate inclusive programs at different levels and to
    reflect on the impact of the program on 2e students.

Family specific:

  • Need for better understanding on ID process for 2e students for
  • Need for ongoing engagement and learning opportunities to
    understand policies and procedures for collaborating with school
    staff, accessing available resources and understanding dual
    programming needs for their 2e student.
Next Steps

Next meeting on Dec 12

  1. Read website overview of Special Education Enhancement Plan
    and submit questions for our December speaker by December 1.
  2. View portions of the 2 meetings sent out in October AAPAC

Check your email for updates between meetings.

Meeting Adjourned Time: 8:36 p.m.


Committee Members in AttendanceCommittee Members AbsentStaff and Guest in Attendance
Lauren Bartlem
Michelle Beard
Cara Berman
Lisa Bertin
Ramya Burgess
Randi Cosentino
Rebecca Goldin
Dana Gorman
Kirsten Maloney
Cheryl Napoli
Pat Potter
Leah Richardson
Nancy Trainer
Annmarie Swope
Melissa Keppel
Michelle Cades
Caren Lee
Shika Dixit
Meg Dombro
Nasser Aljtar
Linda Shannon
Cindy Agner
Patty Edwards
Darin Thompson
Shaheen Khurana
Colleen Eddy
Nonye Oladimeji
Jackie Kwon

December 12, 2023


Coming Soon

January 16, 2024

Canceled due to snow closure

February 6, 2024


Meeting Open Time: 6:30 p.m.

IntroductionsKirsten Maloney, Coordinator of Advanced Academic Programs
opened the meeting at 6:30pm thanking the committee for their
flexibility to switch to virtual this month. Last month’s meeting was
canceled due to weather.
Virtual Presentation by
Dr. Claire Hughes on 2e
Profiles and Strong Family/School
  • What is twice exceptionality:
    • Disability may dominate, hiding their exceptional
    • Exceptional abilities may dominate, hiding their
  • “Oughtism”
    • Oftentimes parents deal with this in saying - my child
      “ought” to be able to __ know what to do, how to
    • Every twice exceptional family is on their own path
      and have their own specific needs
  • Twice Exceptional to a professional may be: impaired social
    interactions; twice exceptional to a parent may be: not having
    your child go to birthday parties, or if she does, being the
    only parent who can’t leave because your child needs you.
    Twice exceptional to a teacher may be: physical altercationsor
    teaching them why punching is not a way to say “hello”.
  • Understanding the strengths educators and parents bring to
    the partnership. Research (typically where educators focus)
    vs. Hope (typically where parent is focused). Research can
    be “data says” or “reflect the past”. Hope can be “I
    think-intuition” or “focused on the future” or “I don’t care what
    the research says”.
  • Our goals is to mediate the disability and develop the
  • Collaboration between parents and schools is crucial to meet
    the needs of the child
  • Strength-Based Communication: uplifts not compares,
    assumes competency/kindness/good intent, focuses on
    goals and processes, growth mindset, and different from
    need-based communication and stereotype-based
Strategic Plan
Connection Focus
Group Time
AAPAC members went into small groups to make connections their
area of focus to connect to the strategic plan goals.
Next StepsKirsten Maloney will send a follow up email with a link to a form
where we will start to capture preliminary recommendations. Next
meeting will be on March 12.

Meeting Adjourned Time: 8:15 p.m.


Committee Members in AttendanceCommittee Members AbsentStaff and Guest in Attendance
Angelica Anderson
Cindy Agner
Michelle Beard
Cara Berman
Ramya Burgess
Randi Cosentino
Shika Dixit
Meg Dombro
Patty Edwards
Holly Glaser
Rebecca Goldin
Dana Gorman
Kirsten Maloney
Cheryl Napoli
Pat Potter
Leah Richardson
Linda Shannon
Nancy Trainer
Nasser Aljtar
Melissa Keppel
Michelle Cades
Caren Lee
Lauren Bartleme
Darin Thompson
Lisa Bertin
Nonye Oladimeji
Lawrence Randolph

March 12, 2024


Coming Soon

April 16, 2024


Coming Soon

May 14, 2024


Coming Soon

2022-23 Meetings

Meeting Date
October 11, 2022Leis CenterOctober Minutes
November 15, 2022Willow OaksNovember Minutes
December 6, 2022VirtualDecember Minutes
January 10, 2023Virtual 
February 7, 2023Leis Center 
March 14, 2023Willow Oaks 
April 18, 2023Willow Oaks 
May 2, 2023Willow Oaks