Full-Time Academic Academic Programs (AAP) Level IV Services Identification Procedures

Current FCPS Families: Learn more about the identification procedures for full-time placement in AAP Level IV.

Announcement of the Process

Information regarding the timeline and process for identifying students for full-time placement in Level IV is disseminated through local school communications, news releases, the FCPS website, and parent meetings presented at your local school.

Identification of Students for Screening

Pathway 1: Grade 2-7 Staff and Family Referrals

All students in Grades 2-7 may be screened by referral. The referral window is open from the first day of school through December 15, annually. Do not wait for test scores or the universal screener referral. No referrals for Level IV screening will be accepted after the spring screening deadline of December 15, annually.

Administrators, teachers, parents or guardians, students or peers, or other adults who know of a child’s advanced potential may submit an Advanced Academic Level IV Referral Form. The completed form is submitted to the local school principal or AART. You will receive, in writing, receipt of the referral.

Pathway 2: Grade 2 Universal Screener Referral

The Grade 2 universal screener referral is determined by reviewing ability test results. Ability tests given by FCPS during specific testing windows are considered for the Grade 2 Universal Screener Referral. Parents or guardians of students who are identified for the Universal Screener Referral through the use of local building norms are notified in writing that their student will be automatically screened. All universal screener referral candidates are screened for possible full-time placement. Parents can submit a written request that their child not be screened.


Do not wait for test results before turning in the Level IV Referral Form, as no exceptions are made to the spring screening deadline. Forms may be submitted as early as the first day of school.

Students must have results from at least one ability test (using the most recent form/edition) on the following approved list:

  • Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT)
  • Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT3)
  • Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT) (7th Edition)
  • Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale
  • Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC V)
  • Cognitive Assessment System (CAS)
  • Differential Ability Scale Second Edition (DAS II)
  • Kaufman Assessment Battery
  • Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales (RIAS)
  • In-View Cognitive Abilities Assessment

For other tests, please check with your Advanced Academic Resource Teacher (AART) or Director of Student Services (DSS)

The local school mails FCPS-administered test results to parents or guardians.

Additional testing can be done:

  • At GMU through the Cognitive Assessment Program (CAP) 
    • Group tests include the CogAT and NNAT.
    • Individual tests include the WISC-V and DAS-II.
    • GMU offers testing at no charge for children who qualify for free or reduced lunch. Families must complete the Consent to Share Information form to qualify.
    • Email CAP at [email protected].
  • Through a private, state-licensed psychologist. A copy of their license must accompany the results. Test results need to be reported in ability index format as well as percentile.

If you are scheduling private testing, please make sure testing takes place before the spring screening deadline.

Screening Files

The local school screening committee prepares and submits completed Level IV screening files for students currently enrolled in and attending FCPS to be evaluated by the countywide central selection committee. Multiple sources of information are reviewed to determine eligibility for placement in Level IV. Documents included in the screening file are listed below. Parents or guardians are responsible only for those documents specifically noted, to be turned in to the AART by the spring screening deadline.

Documents Needed

  • Provided by Parent/Guardian:
    • Advanced Academic Programs Level IV Referral Form
    • Student Work Samples (no more than 2; optional)
    • Parent/Guardian Questionnaire (optional)
    • Private Ability Test Scores (optional) - Provided by GMU or state-licensed psychologist
  • Provided by School:
    • Advanced Academic Programs Level IV Screening Summary Sheet
    • Ability Test Scores
    • HOPE Rating Scale
    • Progress Reports
    • Student Work Samples
    • Achievement Test Scores (optional)

Guidelines for Optional Materials

  • No more than two additional pages of student work samples on single-sided 8½” x 11” pages can be submitted. (The school will include four work samples that were produced at school.)
    • Submissions may be emailed to the AART in Word, PDF, or image files (png, jpg).
    • Original stories, artwork, and other student work may be submitted in black and white or color, reduced or enlarged from the original, but must be on standard 8½“ x 11” 
    • Larger/smaller pages, projects, and photographs may be photocopied onto 8½” x 11” paper.
    • Large/oversize pages, small pages, cardboard, tag board, or construction paper may not be submitted.
    • Videos, DVDs, three-dimensional art, spiral paper, notebooks, pocket folders, and two-sided pages may not be submitted.
  • Materials will not be returned.

Screening for Full-Time Eligibility

Local School Screening Committee

A teacher who works with the student, the AART, and an administrator sit on the committee. Other school staff may serve on the committee or be consulted for input on the HOPE Rating Scale. The local school committee completes the HOPE Rating Scale and prepares screening files for all pool and referral candidates. Parents or guardians are notified if the local school screening committee does not refer the student to the central selection committee. If parents or guardians appeal the decision of the local screening committee, the file is forwarded for central selection committee review.

Central Selection Committee

Administrators, counselors, principals, teachers, school psychologists, and program specialists sit on the selection committee. The committee evaluates all available data using a holistic approach and looks for compelling evidence that a child’s needs cannot be met in a general education classroom. No specific score on any one measure determines eligibility. Due to the size of the district, number of files screened, and timeline for screening process, the committee does not produce individual eligibility reports.

Oversight Committee

The oversight committee reviews all ineligibility decisions. The committee monitors the consistency of the selection committee and may identify additional students who have profiles similar to the profiles of those found eligible.

Parent/Guardian Notification

Local schools are notified of all eligible decisions. The AAP office sends eligibility decisions and an AAP Level IV Permission for Placement Form to parents or guardians of eligible students. Eligible elementary students are invited to attend an orientation at their assigned AAP Level IV site in April.

The AAP office also sends letters to parents or guardians of ineligible students. This letter contains appeal information. Decisions are not released by phone, fax, or in person.

Placement of Full-Time Eligible Students

Full-time AAP Level IV placement is available for all students found eligible. Students retain full-time eligibility through Grade 8.

  • Submit the completed permission form to the AAP office (required).
  • Bus transportation is provided by FCPS to the assigned AAP Level IV site.

If parents or guardians defer eligibility at the time of notification, eligibility may be reactivated.

  • Submit to the AAP office an AAP Level IV Reactivation Form.
  • Include a copy of the eligibility letter with the form.
  • Transfer/Reactivation forms are due May 15.

Appeals for Students Found Ineligible

Parents or guardians may submit an appeal from the most recent screening cycle. Directions for appeals are contained in the ineligibility letter and on the Level IV Appeals page. Appeals committee decisions are final.

Specific Information Regarding Fall Screening

Fall screening for full-time Level IV is available for FCPS students enrolled after January of the previous school year. Parents or guardians of FCPS students requesting fall screening should communicate with the local school to ensure that all required materials are available:

  • the Advanced Academic Programs Level IV Referral Form,
  • report cards for at least 1 1/4 years including teacher comments,
  • achievement test results, and
  • ability test results.

FCPS students can have ability testing at the local school during the regularly-scheduled fall testing cycle. Test results will be added to the screening file by FCPS when they become available. Screening files are compiled by the local school according to guidelines and submitted according to the timeline. Other information may be submitted according to published guidelines above.

Eligible students may attend the Level IV program beginning second semester or defer placement until a later date. Ineligible students may be considered for school-based services and may also be referred by the spring screening deadline for screening and possible full-time Level IV placement for the following year.