Advanced learners need opportunities to think abstractly, work at various rates and levels of complexity, and pursue tasks independently. In addition, students eligible for gifted services need opportunities to learn with others of like abilities, as well as opportunities to develop socio-emotionally. APS Advanced Academics and Talent Development are implemented through school-based and countywide activities, which comply with School Board and State objectives. These school-based services are delivered in the following ways:
- APS’s collaborative young scholars model, in which the classroom teacher works with the AAC to develop and present appropriately differentiated learning experiences for advanced learners within the general education classroom
- In the general education classroom setting, identified students are cluster-grouped (minimum of 10) and through a variety of flexible groupings based on ongoing data
- Identified students work with teachers who are specifically trained in instructional needs of, and curriculum written for, gifted students
- Specific curricula which are differentiated or extended from concepts in the general education curriculum and, when appropriate, through opportunities for acceleration and extension.
The Collaborative Cluster Model
The collaborative cluster model provides services to advanced learners by allowing the AAC to “push in” to the classroom and collaborate with teachers through CLTs and individual planning sessions. Using this model, identified students are placed in gifted cluster classrooms with intellectual peers. The classroom teacher, with the support of the AAC, is the primary provider for advanced academics. Advantages of this model include:
- Students have intellectual peers necessary for academic and social development all day
- Students have more access to gifted curriculum and/or strategies in their classroom
- Non-identified students who also need challenges will have the opportunity to try out advanced curriculum or strategies
- Lessons or activities in a “pull-out” setting are not necessary
- AACs can monitor students that should be assessed for eligibility for gifted services.
AAC Roles and Responsibilities
- Regularly collaborate and co-plan with teachers
- Extend and deepen student learning through higher level discussion, rich content, and high expectations
- Provide supplemental resources
- Model lessons, co-instruct, or facilitate lessons
- Coaching best practices instructional strategies (i.e. APS’s Critical and Creative Thinking Strategies)
- Facilitate book clubs and extension projects
- Promote differentiation practices throughout the school
- Manage gifted and talented screening process and evaluation
- Facilitate professional development for teachers
For more information about Arlington Public Schools’ full plan for Gifted Services, please review: https://www.apsva.us/gifted-services/. For frequently asked questions, please review: https://www.apsva.us/gifted-services/frequently-asked-questions-faq/. If you have school-specific questions, or if you would like to learn more about differentiation, growth mindset practices, and advanced academics in our building, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Classroom Teachers’ Roles and Responsibilities
- Collaborate with the AAC to provide differentiated curriculum, extension opportunities, and supplemental curriculum resources
- Plan units and lessons to meet the learning needs of identified students
- Coordinate instructional needs of all learners in the classroom
- Keep open communication with AAC on students that may need to be screened for gifted services.