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|So My Child Is Gifted…. |
Gifted children are considered special needs children. That means that they have special educational needs based on their intellectual as well as social and emotional traits. Like all special needs children, gifted children may not reach their potential if they are not provided with an appropriate educational environment.
Gifted And Talented Education (GATE) is an umbrella term used to describe the program that serves the needs of gifted and talented students in Washington County Schools. The services include differentiated instruction, enrichment activities and other associated middle and high school activities, including Governor’s Schools, regional and state band and chorus, and Advanced Placement classes. Instruction is differentiated when the teacher adapts coursework to challenge gifted students within the context of the classroom. Gifted Education Plans (GEPs) at the individual campuses will drive the GATE academic and enrichment programs.
Recognizing the importance of in-class instructional time, some parts of the gifted program will be delivered after school hours. These activities may be part of the individual school programs or part of the countywide program. Countywide programs offered after school may involve community resources such as William King Regional Arts Center (WKRAC), Barter Theatre, etc. Summer programs for gifted students include the Emory & Henry Summer Scholars program and Governor’s Schools offered at Virginia Highlands Community College, UVA-Wise and at State Universities. In addition, the WCS GATE program provides summer camp opportunities for elementary school, middle school and rising high school students. WCS Summer GATE Camp is free to all WCS GATE students.
A distance learning network in our high schools provides continuous presence two-way voice and video communication between schools. This allows classes to be offered in schools where it is not cost effective to have a teacher onsite. Classes include Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment for high school students. The A. Linwood Holton Governor’s School offers many dual enrollment classes using Internet-based telecommunications technologies. Courses include Engineering and Computer Science (Advanced Multimedia Applications; Engineering and Robotics I & II; Introduction to Engineering Methods and Computer Programming), English (Methods of Research), History (Appalachian History; Western Civilization I & II; World Civilization I & II),Life Sciences (Human Anatomy and Physiology I & II), Mathematics (Probability & Statistics I & II), Natural Sciences (Astronomy I & II; Principles of Physics I & I). In addition, the Virginia Department of Education offers many classes through their Virtual Virginia Advanced Placement School. These classes are taught using an asynchronous Internet-based technology (SVETN). These programs are at no cost to WCS students.
Elementary School - Each elementary school provides differentiation opportunities within the classroom to match the curriculum with the academic abilities of gifted students. Each school has a gifted program to provide specialized educational opportunities that may include enrichment and acceleration. A common countywide program is also offered to gifted students across Washington County. Elementary school students are eligible to attend Washington County Summer GATE Camp.
Middle School - Programs for middle school age gifted students are based upon differentiated classroom
instruction. Acceleration and enrichment are offered as deemed necessary. Gifted education funds pay for
fees and other expenses permitting eligible students to participate in the Regional and State competitions for band and chorus. Middle school students can participate in the Theater Program produced and directed by Emory and Henry theater students. Students who qualify may enroll in World Geography, Algebra I & Spanish I for high school credit. Middle school students are eligible to attend the Emory & Henry Summer Scholars program, along with the Washington County Summer GATE Camp.
High School - Through selecting courses for the desired diploma, an individual plan of study is created for high school students. The program for the gifted involves various curricular and non-curricular offerings. These include the A. Linwood Holton Governor’s School, the VDOE Virtual Advanced Placement School, SWAC (Southwest Academic Conference), Advanced Placement courses, and Regional and State Band and Chorus opportunities. Dual credit opportunities allow high school students to earn college credit. Additionally, mentorship experiences may be available for qualifying students. Summer Residential Governor’s Schools and Regional Governor’s School opportunities are available to students who apply and are selected
A. Linwood Holton Governor’s School (LHGS) is a year-long school that is said to be a “virtual school.” By virtual, its leaders mean that a student may attend - take the courses that are offered by the A. Linwood Holton Governor’s School - without a student having to leave the high school where he/she is enrolled. Courses offered by the school are designed to be academically rigorous. Students apply for these courses during the scheduling process that will take place at your child’s school in the late winter (often early February) of the previous year. Courses offered include: Engineering and Computer Science (Advanced Multimedia Applications; Engineering and Robotics I & II; Introduction to Engineering Methods and Computer Programming), English (Methods of Research), History (Appalachian History; Western Civilization I & II; World Civilization I & II),Life Sciences (Human Anatomy and Physiology I & II), Mathematics (Probability & Statistics I & II; Calculus & Analytical Geometry), Natural Sciences (Astronomy I & II; Principles of Physics I & I). Pre-requisites apply. Dual credit may be awarded for courses completed successfully through the A. Linwood Holton Governor’s School. LHGS program is free to all WCS students who qualify.
Associate Degree in Arts and Sciences in General Studies
Washington County Public Schools in conjunction with Virginia Highlands Community College offers to its students the opportunity to earn an associate degree in Arts and Sciences in General Studies. Washington County students will begin this as a cohort group and follow course sequence. This new program enables students to earn enough college credits to graduate with an associate degree through Virginia Highlands Community College as well as an advanced studies or standard diploma through their local high school graduation. The associate degree requires a minimum of 63 college credits. Credits must be earned in the areas of English (12); History (12); Social Science (12); Science (8); Mathematics (6); Humanities (3); Speech (3); Health (3); Computer Literacy (3); and Student Development (1). These courses will be offered and must be taken in sequence. The courses must be taken in addition to the high school courses required for graduation. Placement tests will apply to all VHCC courses. Cost per credit hour will be determined based on the location of the course. Locations: Washington County Public Schools, Virginia Highlands Community College, Virginia Highlands distance learning, Linwood Holton Governor’s School, SVETN- Southwest Virginia Education and Training Network.
Advanced Studies Diploma = 26 high Carnegie units.
The Summer Residential Governor’s School application process begins in October. Students apply in October - December to attend month long summer programs in Humanities, Math/Science, Vocational, or Visual and Performing Arts. There are also a very limited number of mentorship opportunities available in medicine, marine biology, and space technology. Students who are selected to attend these most prestigious programs will attend free of charge and will consider the experiences in these programs to have been the best experiences of their lives. To apply, a student must be a rising junior or senior, must obtain and complete the forms available from the school’s gifted coordinator or guidance counselor, and must comply with the deadlines and other application conditions. Visual and Performing Arts applicants must complete an application as well as an audition. This program is free to WCS students who qualify.
Summer Regional Governor’s Schools
Students who attend these programs are usually rising sophomores and rising juniors. The three week programs are free to students and are designed to parallel learning experiences that students will have in college. Application is made in April or May. These programs are free to WCS students who qualify.
University of Virginia Wise: This is a residential program in Theater Arts.
Virginia Highlands Community College: This is a non-residential program in Mathematical Modeling or Theater.
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