Twice Exceptional Learners (2e)
Twice Exceptional Learners (2e) in FCPS Advanced Academic Programs
Twice-exceptional learners are students who have the ability to think, reason, and problem-solve at very high levels but also have special education needs. These children are best served by teachers who recognize and build on their exceptional strengths while at the same time are flexible in areas where the students require accommodations and support. For example, teachers may modify assignments, offer flexible timelines, provide alternative learning experiences, and employ other strategies that are often used with students who have special needs. These adaptations provide the twice exceptional learner important access to the many advanced learning opportunities that Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) provides.
The school district has made a concerted effort in the past several years to raise teacher, parent, and student awareness of the learning profiles and needs of twice exceptional students. As a school district, FCPS embraces the importance of differentiation and a child-centered approach to delivering instruction that meets the needs of each individual child. The advanced academic programs staff works closely with special education staff to ensure that research-based best practices and interventions are implemented in order to support the success of 2e learners in 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, Kindergarten – grade twelve. These include courses offered through an FCPS Academy, presentations to school staff, sessions at the advanced academic institutes (fall and summer), full day institutes, and the 2e Newsletter.
We know the critical role parents play, and we encourage parents to meet with school teams if they have a child with twice exceptional needs and establish a partnership with the school. It takes the expertise of numerous individuals to problem-solve and find out what works best for each child. The ultimate goal is to work toward self-understanding for the child as this is the most powerful way for a child to become a self-advocate and experience success. Finding and serving twice exceptional learners is a complex task that requires commitment and support on multiple levels to ensure that every child who has the capacity to succeed in advanced academic programs has access, accommodations, and support. FCPS is continually working toward that goal.
Virginia Department of Education Resource
For more information please contact the Office of Special Education Instruction or the Advanced Academic Programs Office.