Advanced Academics Identification and Placement for Current FCPS Students

Current FCPS Families: Identification and placement process for full-time Advanced Academic Programs (Level IV services) as well as school-based Advanced Academic Programs (Level II and Level III services).

Advanced Academic Services

  • Elementary School:
  • Middle School:
    • Honors Classes - Open access at all FCPS middle schools
    • Level IV – Full-time, Grades 7-8
  • High School: Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate Program - Open access

Level IV Referral Deadline: January 10, 2019 

Parents of student in grades 2-7 may refer for full-time Level IV placement.

View a complete list of forms at the bottom of this page.

Part-Time Advanced Academic Services (Level II and III)

All students are evaluated for school-based services using multiple measures during the spring screening timeframe in May. For consideration outside of the screening window, please follow the steps detailed below. All decisions regarding these services are made at the local school.

Step 1

  • Submit the Level II-III Referral Form below to the Advanced Academic Resource Teacher (AART) at your local elementary school.
  • Questions regarding student eligibility or placement in school-based services should be directed to the AART.

Step 2

  • The school will notify you of the eligibility decision by mail within approximately 30 days.
  • The AART reviews all pertinent information with the local screening committee.

Step 3


Student will begin receiving services immediately after decision is processed.


The decision may be appealed once per school year by contacting the AART in writing and providing new information about the student.

Full-Time Level IV Services and Screening Procedures

All decisions regarding full-time placement in Level IV are made by a central selection committee.

Pathway 1: A second grade screening pool is created based on scores from FCPS-administered ability tests given to students in Grades 1 and 2. Pool students are not guaranteed eligibility, but they are automatically referred for screening.

Pathway 2: Parents or guardians may refer students in Grade 2 who are not in the screening pool, and students in Grades 3-7 by submitting the Advanced Academic Programs Level IV Referral Form to the school.

Identification of Students for Screening

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

In order to be considered for full-time AAP placement, students must have results from at least one ability test (using the most recent form/edition) on the following approved list:

  • FCPS CogAT Custom Form, Grade 2 Test
  • Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT)
  • Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT)
  • Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC V)
  • For other tests, please check with your AART/DSS

The local school mails FCPS-administered test results to parents or guardians. Parents or guardians may request one retest through FCPS in Grades 2–7 during the regularly scheduled October/November CogAT/NNAT testing cycle by contacting the Assistant Principal.

Additional testing can be done:

  • at GMU through the Cognitive Assessment Program (703-993-4200). GMU offers group testing at no charge for children who qualify for free or reduced lunch.
  • through a private, state-licensed psychologist. A copy of their license must accompany results. Test results need to be reported in ability index format as well as percentile.

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. State regulations require that parents or guardians of students who are undergoing screening for full-time placement be notified prior to collecting additional data.

Grade 2 Screening Pool

All first grade students attending FCPS are administered the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT). All second grade students attending FCPS are administered the Fairfax County Public Schools CogAT-Custom Form, Grade 2 Test. The second grade pool is determined through a review of the first grade NNAT results and the second grade FCPS CogAT Custom Form, Grade 2 Test results. Each year the benchmark score varies slightly. Parents or guardians of students who score at or above the benchmark score are notified in writing that their student will be automatically screened as part of the second grade pool. All pool candidates are screened for possible full-time placement unless parents submit a written request that their child not be screened.

Grade 2-7 Referrals

Second grade students not in the screening pool and students in third through seventh grade may be screened by referral. 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 who acknowledges, in writing, receipt of the referral. Do not wait for test scores before submitting a referral for your student as there will be no referrals for Level IV screening accepted past the January deadline. If you are waiting for test scores and would like your student screened for Level IV, submit the referral by the published deadline even if you do not yet have scores for your student.

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 January deadline.

Documents Needed

  • Advanced Academic Programs Level IV Screening Summary Sheet - Provided by school
  • Ability Test Scores - Provided by school, GMU, or state-licensed psychologist
  • Advanced Academic Programs Level IV Referral Form - Completed by parents, guardian, teacher, or student
  • Gifted Behaviors Rating Scale with Commentary - Provided by school
  • Progress Reports - Provided by school
  • Achievement Test Scores (optional) - Provided by school
  • Parent/Guardian Questionnaire (optional) - Provided by parents or guardian
  • Student Work Samples - limit 6 - Up to 4 optional samples submitted by parents or guardian. School includes at least 2 work samples, at least one of a response to a critical/creative-thinking lesson
  • Student Awards or Commendations - limit 5 (optional) - Submitted by parents or guardian

Guidelines for Optional Materials

A maximum of four additional pages of student work samples on single-sided 8½” x 11” pages. (The school will include two work samples that were produced at school.) 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” writing, copying, photographic, or bond paper. Large/oversize pages, small pages, cardboard, tag board, or construction paper may not be submitted. Larger/smaller pages, projects, and photographs may be photocopied onto standard paper.  Videos, DVDs, three-dimensional art, spiral paper, notebooks, pocket folders, and two-sided pages may not be submitted. Work will not be returned.

A maximum of five single-sided, 8½” x 11” pages of certificates, awards, honors, accomplishments, letters of commendation, report of previous participation in advanced academic programs, and academic extracurricular activities. Letters of commendation may be handwritten or typed from adults who know the student, including parents or other relatives, music or art teacher, coach, etc. The appropriate input for FCPS personnel is the Gifted Behaviors Rating Scale with Commentary (GBRSw/C). Therefore, letters from FCPS staff members may not be submitted. Materials will not be returned.

Screening for Full-Time Eligibility

Local School Screening Committee

The local school screening committee consists of a teacher who works with the student, the AART, and an administrator. Other school staff may serve on the committee or be consulted for input on the Gifted Behaviors Rating Scale with Commentary (GBRSw/C). The local school committee completes the GBRSw/C 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

The countywide advanced academic central selection committee is composed of administrators, counselors, principals, teachers, school psychologists, and program specialists. To determine student eligibility for full-time AAP Level IV placement, 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 mails 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 mails letters to parents or guardians of ineligible students. This letter contains appeal information. Decisions are not released by phone, fax, e-mail, or in person.

Placement of Full-Time Eligible Students

Full-time AAP Level IV placement is available for all students found eligible. Written permission from parents or guardians is required for placement by submitting a completed permission form to the AAP office. Transportation is provided by FCPS to the assigned AAP Level IV site.

Students retain full-time eligibility through Grade 8. If parents or guardians defer eligibility at the time of notification, eligibility may be reactivated by submitting to the AAP office an AAP Level IV Reactivation Form available below. A copy of the eligibility letter should be included with the request.

Appeals for Students Found Ineligible

Only parents or guardians may submit an appeal. Appeal information is contained in the ineligibility letter and on the Level IV Appeals page. Appeals may only be from the most recent screening cycle and must contain new information not contained in the original screening file. Parents or guardians of a FCPS student may obtain a copy of the original screening file from the local school. The new information along with the AAP Level IV Appeal Form available below is submitted to the Advanced Academic Programs office according to the deadline in the ineligibility letter.

The AAP office convenes a screening appeals committee to review appeal packets submitted by the deadline. Appeals committee decisions are final. The AAP office notifies parents or guardians and the local school of the appeals committee decisions.

Students found ineligible upon appeal may be considered for part-time school-based services at the local elementary school or enroll in Honors classes at the local middle school. Parents or guardians of these students may also refer their children for full-time Level IV services during the next screening cycle according to the published timeline.

Specific Information Regarding Fall Screening

Fall screening for full-time Level IV is only available for FCPS students newly enrolled and attending after January of the previous school year. 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 January deadline for screening and possible full-time Level IV placement for the following year.

Parents or guardians of FCPS students requesting fall screening should  communicate with the local school to ensure that all required materials are available. In addition to submitting the Advanced Academic Programs Level IV Referral Form, parents or guardians should also supply if available the Gifted Behaviors Rating Scale with Commentary completed by the previous year’s teacher(s), report cards for at least 1½ years including teacher comments (if not included in the student’s academic file already received by the local FCPS school), and achievement test results.  Other information may be submitted according to published guidelines above.

FCPS students can be tested 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.


  • AAP School-Based Services (Level II-III) Referral Form

    Referral form for Level II and Level III AAP services (Grades K-6).

  • Advanced Academic Programs Level IV Referral Form

    Referral form for Level IV AAP services (Grades 2-7).

  • AAP: Gifted Behavior Rating Scale

    The local school completes the Gifted Behaviors Rating Scale with Commentary (GBRSw/C) for each full-time Advanced Academic Programs (Level IV) candidate.

  • AAP Parent/Guardian Questionnaire

    Parents/Guardians may complete the questionnaire to support AAP identification for Levels II-IV.

  • AAP Reactivation Full-Time (Level IV) Program

    This form is for students who have been found eligible through central selection but have deferred services, or were attending school outside of FCPS. For staffing purposes, this form must be submitted by July 1 for placement for the coming academic school year. Once you have made a commitment, you may not change placement for one academic year.

  • Full-Time Advanced Academic Programs Level IV Transfer Form

    For staffing purposes, this form must be submitted by July 1 for placement in the upcoming academic school year. Once you have made a commitment, you may not change placement for one academic year.

  • AAP Appeal Form

    The appeal must consist of new information that was not part of the original screening file. The new data that you are submitting will be added to the original screening file for review by the appeals committee. Please do not recopy or submit materials from the original screening file. Only appeals from the most recent screening cycle will be reviewed according to deadlines in the letter you received.