Twice-Exceptional (2e) Learners in FCPS Advanced Academic Programs
Twice-exceptional (2e) learners are students who have the ability to think, reason, and problem-solve at very high levels, and they also have special education needs.
FCPS wants to provide 2e students with classroom settings that recognize and encourage their intellectual strengths. At the same time, FCPS aims to offer these students flexible instruction and accommodations designed to support their areas of need. For example, teachers may:
- provide extra help with planning and organization,
- modify learning materials and/or environments,
- offer flexible timelines, or
- provide alternative learning experiences.
These practices help the 2e learner successfully access the many advanced learning opportunities that Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) offers.
FCPS and the 2e Learner
Over the past several years, FCPS has made an effort to raise teacher, parent, and student awareness about some of the typical characteristics of 2e students. As a school district, FCPS designs class instruction to respect the strengths and learning styles of 2e students.
The Advanced Academic Programs staff works closely with the Special Education staff to ensure that 2e students are supported by the very best research-based practices and interventions. As a result, 2e learners are finding success at all levels of advanced academic programs.
Because we are a very large school district, we use multiple venues for providing professional development and support to schools and teachers. Our workplace training includes:
- teacher training courses offered through the FCPS Academy,
- professional presentations to school staff, and
- workshops delivered at FCPS's several advanced academic institutes throughout the year.
Families and School Partnership
We recognize the critical role parents play in helping schools meet the needs of 2e learners. We encourage parents to reach out and establish positive partnerships with their local schools. It takes the expertise of many people to problem-solve and find out what works best for each unique 2e learner.
The goal is to help our 2e students develop self-understanding. Recognizing which strategies and supports help them best learn is the critical first step towards encouraging each child to become his or her own advocate and to take ownership of academic success.
Identifying and serving 2e learners is a complex task that requires commitment and support on multiple levels. FCPS wants to make sure that every child who has the capacity to succeed in advanced academic programs is able to access the programs, accommodations, and support necessary to realize his or her potential.
FCPS Recommended Resources
We recommended the following resources for parents or school staff who support 2e learners.
Who are 2e Learners?
- Characteristics of 2e Learners - Examples of some strengths and challenges of 2e students.
- Supporting Social-Emotional Needs of 2e Students - Ways to support social and emotional needs of 2e students.
- Supporting 2e Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder - Information about some challenges for students with autism and ways schools and teachers can support students with autism.
- Common Misconceptions about 2e Learners - Seven “myths” about 2e students.
Resources for Parents and Schools
- School-based Intervention Programs for Behavior and Wellness - A list of behavior and wellness interventions that are used in Fairfax County Public Schools.
- Strategies to Support Homework and Classwork - A list of strategies to support 2e students with homework and classwork.
- School to Home Communication Tips - A list of tips to help parents talk to school staff.