• Gifted and Talented Education 



      Wendy King, Supervisor

     Jessica Mainhart, Elementary Gifted Coordinator

    Lyndria Bland, EDGE Coodinator (Empowering Diversity in Gifted Education)

     Susan Helsley, Secondary Gifted Resource Teacher

                                  PH: 571-252-1440     FX: 571-252-1635                               

    For news, announcements, and gifted referral forms, please click the Notifications tab below.  

  • NOTIFICATIONS - Important Info/Announcements


    Welcome to the Gifted Education office. We appreciate your interest in our programs and hope you will be able to find the information you need on this website page. If not, please contact one of the staff members listed above at your convenience. It will be our pleasure to speak with you.
     2020 Gifted Eligibility Process

    The gifted education eligibility process and timeline has been impacted by the closure of schools due to COVID-19. The Gifted Education Department will follow guidance provided by the Virginia Department of Education regarding how to move forward with evaluations for gifted services. We will update families as this situation evolves. Thank you for your continued support of your child’s education.

    Cognitive Ability Test Scores (LCPS 2nd Grade Students)

    Due to the impact of school closures on the LCPS gifted eligibility process, Cognitive Ability Test (CogAT) scores for second grade students will be released to parents/guardians in mid-May. To help you understand how the CogAT scores are used as part of the gifted eligibility process, please read the attached Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document about CogAT. If you have additional questions about these scores, you may email the SEARCH (gifted) teacher at your child’s school.

    To read the FAQ document in another language, please click here.

    Referral Form (English)
    Referral Form (Spanish) 

  • Gifted Information Nights - Elementary School

    Gifted information sessions will be held in January and February, 2020 to share information about the gifted services provided in Loudoun County Public Schools. Parents and guardians who are thinking about referring their children for evaluation for gifted services are highly encouraged to attend one of the sessions. Important information will be shared about the eligibility process and important deadlines. The elementary sessions are tailored for parents/guardians of students currently in grades 3-5.

  • Gifted Information Nights - Middle School

    Middle School Gifted Information Sessions (Winter, 2020)

    Parents and guardians who are considering referring their middle school child for gifted services and who are interested in learning more about middle school gifted education services offered through Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) are invited to attend an upcoming gifted information session.  The sessions are tailored for parents of students who are currently in grades 6 and 7.  The sessions will be presented by LCPS gifted education resource teachers and will address program goals, services, the screening and identification process, and important deadlines.  Following the presentation, teachers will be available to answer questions.  See below for session dates and locations.  Questions about the middle school gifted information sessions may be directed to the SPECTRUM teacher at your child’s school.  Spanish interpreters will be available at each session.

     Date  Location Time Room
     January 13, 2020
    LCPS Administration Building
    21000 Education Court
    Ashburn, VA 20148 
    7 pm - 8 pm102 A/B
     January 23, 2020
    LCPS Administration Building
    21000 Education Court
    Ashburn, VA 20148
    7 pm - 8 pm102 A/B

  • SEARCH (Grades K-3)

    SEARCH teachers provide model lessons in thinking skills to students in grades K-3. Classroom teachers work with the SEARCH teacher to screen students for referral and identification for gifted services. The bi-weekly SEARCH lessons are designed to foster an environment that encourages students to think, take intellectual risks, and develop an excitement for learning and discovery across a variety of thinking skills. 

    The SEARCH curriculum is problem-solving based and founded upon gifted education research.  The curriculum spirals developmentally through five components:  reasoning, perceiving, connecting, evaluating, and creating.  Each grade level learns about each component at increasingly more complex and abstract levels. 

  • 2019-20 Gifted Eligibility Information

    2019-2020 Gifted Eligibility Information

    The following information is to assist parents/guardians with their planning. The Gifted Education Department hopes this information is helpful to you in navigating the gifted eligibility process. We encourage you to attend a Gifted Information Night session in January, 2020 to get more detailed information about the gifted eligibility process. Gifted Information Night session dates, times, and locations will be announced soon and posted on this webpage under the Gifted Information Night tab. You may also contact the SEARCH (elementary) or SPECTRUM (middle school) teacher at your child's school for more information. 

    For Parents of 3rd Grade Students:
    District Referrals - Students with qualifying test scores on the CogAT and/or NNAT will receive a district referral via US mail after January 24. With parent permission (via a signed referral form* returned to school SEARCH teacher from January 27 – February 7, 2020), these students will be evaluated for gifted services.

    Parent Referrals - Parents of students who did not receive a district referral letter, but who wish to have their children evaluated for gifted services, may submit a parent referral form* to their child's SEARCH teacher from January 27 February 7, 2020.

    *Please submit hard copies only - no emailed or faxed referral forms. 

    For Parents of 4th and 5th Grade Students:  Parents of 4th and 5th grade students who wish to have their children evaluated for gifted services may submit a parent referral form* to the SEARCH teacher at your child's school from January 27 – February 7, 2020.

    *Please submit hard copies only - no emailed or faxed referral forms.  

    For Parents of 6th, 7th, or 8th Grade Students:  Parents of 6th, 7th, or 8th grade students who wish to have their children evaluated for gifted services may submit a parent referral form* to the SPECTRUM teacher at your child's school from January 27 – February 7, 2020

    *Please submit hard copies only - no emailed or faxed referral forms.  
    Please note that any referral form received after February 7, 2020 may not be processed during the 2019-2020 school year. It is imperative that parents/guardians submit referral forms by the established deadline. Thank you.

  • FUTURA - Facilitating Understanding Through Utilizing Real-life Application (Grades 4-5)

    The FUTURA program seeks to enhance and to develop the intellect of 4th and 5th grade students who have been formally identified in need of gifted services. FUTURA is a pull out program where identified students receive enrichment and challenges one day a week in a center at another school. Some students receive services in their own school through the in-house model. Students are immersed in lessons that correlate the themes Structures and Systems to the Virginia Standards of Learning Objectives for the core content areas.
    FUTURA offers a stimulating environment focusing on higher level thinking skills and activities including:
    • Problem Solving
    • Critical Thinking
    • Creative Thinking
    • Evaluative Thinking

  • School-Based, Collaborative Gifted Program (Grades 4-5)

    The School-Based, Collaborative Gifted Program is a new model for delivering gifted services for 4th and 5th grade gifted learners. It was established to provide gifted services for students at their home schools. A gifted resource teacher collaborates with classroom teachers to challenge gifted learners in their regular classrooms by enriching and extending the general curriculum and by integrating curricula developed for gifted learners (e.g., William & Mary Literature Units, Jacob's Ladder, and Mentoring Mathematical Minds).  In addition, gifted learners meet during the week with other gifted learners to collaborate on a variety of challenging, interdisciplinary projects.

    The School-Based, Collaborative Gifted Program is implemented at the following elementary schools: 

    Phase 1 Schools (Began 2018-2019)

    ·        Kenneth W. Culbert Elementary School

    ·        John W. Tolbert Jr. Elementary School

    ·        Ashburn Elementary School

    ·        Sanders Corner Elementary School

    ·        Steuart W. Weller Elementary School

    ·        Goshen Post Elementary School 

    Phase 2 Schools (Beginning 2019-2020)

    ·        Algonkian Elementary School

    ·        Belmont Station Elementary School

    ·        Creighton’s Corner Elementary School

    ·        Emerick Elementary School

    ·        Evergreen Mill Elementary School

    ·        Moorefield Station Elementary School

    ·        Rosa Lee Carter Elementary School

    ·        Sugarland Elementary School

    *If a school is implementing the new model for 4th grade only, the 5th grade gifted learners will go to the school’s assigned FUTURA center for gifted services.

  • EDGE - Empowering Diversity in Gifted Education (Grades K-5)

    The EDGE program is designed to nurture and challenge students with advanced academic potential from groups historically underrepresented in LCPS advanced academic and gifted programs. The program provides additional academic challenges for students designed to develop students' individual potential. Classroom teachers and gifted resource teachers work together to nurture academic potential in young learners and prepare them for more challenging and rigorous academic pathways.
    For parents and family members who want to know more about giftedness and gifted education, please click the following links:






  • SPECTRUM (Grades 6-8)

    The SPECTRUM program is designed to meet the needs of middle school students (grades 6-8) who have been identified in need of gifted services. Students attend SPECTRUM for a half block (approximately 45 minutes) every other day.
    The SPECTRUM curriculum framework focuses on four themes that are explored each year:  Business & Economics, Communication & Culture, Technology & Engineering, and Ethics & Perspectives. Students engage in project-based learning, research and inquiry, and problem solving. They are challenged to collaborate, communicate, and apply their knowledge to real-world situations. Learning experiences are designed to develop initiative, creativity, and leadership skills. SPECTRUM provides students with opportunities for self-assessment and reflection on the demands and responsibilities of the gifted learner.

  • Local Plan for the Education of the Gifted

    Local Plan for the Education of the Gifted

  • Gifted Education Advisory Committee SY2019-20

    Advisory Committee for Gifted Education 
    Loudoun County Public Schools sponsors an Advisory Committee for Gifted Education. This committee serves as a support group to review and make suggestions about gifted programs and to promote community awareness of gifted education. School personnel, community members, and parents serve on the committee. Every effort is made to have a broad-based group of committee members from all high school attendance areas. Meetings are open to the public.
    2019-2020 Meeting Dates
    Thursday, September 12, 2019
    Thursday, November 7, 2019
    Thursday, January 9, 2020
    Thursday, March 12, 2020 
    Thursday, May 7, 2020
    Upcoming Meeting:  Gifted Education Advisory Committee Meeting
    Thursday, January 9, 2020
    6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
    Steuart Weller Elementary School
    20700 Marblehead Drive
    Ashburn, VA 20147 
    Special Guest Speaker: Dr. James Delisle
    Topic: How to Support a Gifted Teenager
    RSVP by Clicking Here 
    November 7, 2019
    Topic: EDGE Program
    RSVP (Click this Link to RSVP) 
    September 12
    Topic: Gifted Education Strategic Action Review

  • New to LCPS

    Families New to LCPS


    If you are considering moving to or have just moved to Loudoun County and have questions about gifted services available in Loudoun County Public Schools, please review the main LCPS Gifted & Talented webpage and read the answers to the Frequently Asked Questions below.


    I just moved to Loudoun County, how can I learn about gifted education services available in LCPS?  You may start by reviewing the LCPS Gifted & Talented webpage. In addition, each school has a gifted education webpage. You may consider reading the gifted webpage of the school your child may attend. The elementary school webpages are titled SEARCH and the middle school webpages are listed as SPECTRUM. Each elementary and middle school has a gifted resource teacher. You may also contact this teacher by phone or email to ask any questions that you have about the gifted program.    


    Each year, the Department of Gifted Education hosts Gifted Information Night sessions in September/October and January/February at schools around the division. Parents who are interested in referring their child for gifted services are strongly encouraged to attend one of the sessions. The session locations and dates are posted on the LCPS Gifted & Talented webpage.


    My child was found eligible for gifted services in another school district. Will my child automatically be found eligible for gifted services in LCPS?  If your child is new to LCPS, he/she will need to be evaluated for gifted services regardless of gifted status in a previous school district. Once you have moved to Loudoun County and your child is enrolled in and attending a school in Loudoun County, you may refer your child to be evaluated for gifted services. Please contact the gifted education resource teacher at your child's school to learn about the gifted evaluation process and referral deadlines. Although there is no reciprocity with other school districts' gifted programs, the gifted education resource teacher will review your child's documentation from the previous school district (e.g., standardized test scores) during the eligibility process to see if existing testing can be used from the previous school district.  

  • Advanced Placement Updates 2020 - Parents/Guardians

    Advanced Placement Updates - Parents/Guardians

    Spring 2020

    AP Coronavirus Updates (College Board)

    Parent Resources

    Parent Webinar:  Helping Your Student Prepare for AP Exams (recording)

    Webinar Presentation:  Helping Your Student Prepare for AP Exams

    AP Exam Schedule:  AP Exams 2020

    2020 AP Testing Guide - This document was designed for AP educators to walk students through test day. Parents/guardians may want to review the document to see how you can assist your child in preparing for his/her AP exam(s). It includes information on the following:

    • AP Exam e-Ticket
    • 5 steps to take before exam day
    • understanding the test day experience
    • exam scores 

    Student Resources

    AP Coronavirus Updates - Students: About this Year's AP Exams

    Daily AP Review Lessons

  • Governor's School

    2020 Virginia Summer Residential Governor’s Schools

    Are you currently a high school sophomore or junior?  If so, you should consider applying to the 2020 Virginia Summer Residential Governor’s Schools.

    The Virginia Summer Residential Governor’s Schools are approximately four weeks long and are held each summer on various college and university campuses throughout Virginia.  The Governor’s Schools offer students a unique opportunity to work and study not only with other students with similar talents and interests but also with mentors, professors, scientists, and other professionals in their field of interest.

    The following Summer Residential Governor’s Schools will be offered in 2020:

    ·         Agriculture (held at Virginia Tech)

    ·         Humanities (held at Radford University)

    ·         Math, Science, and Technology (held at Lynchburg College)

    ·         Visual and Performing Arts (held at Radford University)

    And Mentorships in:

    ·         Marine Science (held at Christopher Newport University)

    ·         Medicine and Health Sciences (held at VCU)

    ·         Engineering (held at Christopher Newport University)

    LCPS students must apply through their home high schools.  Students may apply to only one Governor’s School.  School divisions select the students they nominate for the state level application process. 

    In addition, LCPS students applying for the Visual and Performing Arts Governor’s School must attend a local preliminary audition for selection to attend the state level audition. The preliminary audition is Monday, November 4, 2019, at Stone Bridge High School, 43100 Hay Road, Ashburn, VA 20147.  Auditions are by appointment.

    If you wish to apply, application instructions will be posted soon. 

    The Virginia Summer Residential Governor’s School website should update on or before October 4, 2019.  Please do not begin the application process until the 2020 applications appear on the website. Click here to visit the website (not updated for 2020 yet).

    Visual and Performing Arts Applicants:

    ·         The deadline to register for the Preliminary Audition is October 18, 2019. Please click here to complete the Registration Form.

    ·         Audition Requirements are found here:  

    o   Dance

    o   Visual Art

    o   Music (Instrumental and Vocal)

    o   Theatre

    ·         Please read them carefully as you prepare for your audition. Here are some Audition Tips.


    Information Sessions

    Information sessions will be offered at each LCPS high school and the Academies of Loudoun from September through mid-October.  These sessions are scheduled during the school day.  Please encourage your student to attend. Contact your school counseling office for the date, time and location.

    An evening information session for parents and students will be held on Tuesday, October 1, 2019, from 7:00 pm until 8:00 pm, in the Auditorium at Stone Bridge High School, 43100 Hay Road, Ashburn, VA 20148.  Doors will open at 6:30 pm.  This session is identical to the high school information sessions. 

    The information session will include:

    ·         General overview of Academic and Visual/Performing Arts Summer Residential Governor’s Schools

    ·         Application procedure

    ·         Nomination process

    ·         Auditions for Visual and Performing Arts students (local and state)

    ·         Deadlines and other important dates

    The information session will not include:

    ·         Detailed information on each Governor’s School including curriculum/faculty

    ·         Information on World Language Academies (Students apply for the World Language Academies through their high school World Languages departmentPlease see the department chair for more information.)

    Click Here for Parent Information

  • Thomas Jefferson HS for Science and Technology

    For information on admission to TJHSST please use the website: www.tjadmissions.org.

    Information about transportation for students attending Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology can be found on ParentVUE.

  • Resources - Parents

    General Information
    What Is Gifted? (NAGC) 
    Common Myths (NAGC) 



    National Association for Gifted Children
    Hoagies' Gifted Education Page
    Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG)

    Loudoun County Parents of Gifted Students (LoCoPOGS)


    Parent Resources

    Advanced Placement

  • Resources - Teachers

    Teacher Resources

  • Appeals

    It is extremely important that parents/guardians speak with the SEARCH teacher (elementary) or SPECTRUM teacher (middle school) at your child's school prior to appealing an ineligibility decision. The SEARCH or SPECTRUM teacher can provide vital information that will guide parents/guardians through the appeal process.  
    If you plan to appeal an ineligibility decision, please follow these steps:
    1.  Set up an appointment to meet with the SEARCH (elementary) or SPECTRUM (middle school) teacher at your child's school. 
    2.  Mail an appeal request form to the Supervisor of Gifted Education within 10 days of receiving the ineligibility decision letter. Click below to access the form. (You may mail the form before your scheduled meeting with the SEARCH/SPECTRUM teacher.) APPEAL REQUEST FORM
    3.  Begin collecting the necessary documents to include in the appeal package. Once the appeal request form is processed by the Gifted Education Office, you will receive a letter stating when these documents will need to be mailed to the Gifted Education Office.

  • Re-Entry and Withdrawal Forms

    Click here for the Gifted Education Withdrawal Form in English.   
    Click here for the Gifted Education Withdrawal From in Spanish.
    If a child is withdrawn, s/he may not re-enter the program in the same school year.  The child may re-enter the following school year.
    If you wish for your child to re-enter the program once s/he has withdrawn, you must fill out a re-entry form and submit it to the Supervisor of Gifted Education.
    Click here for the Gifted Education Re-entry Form in English. 
    Click here for the Gifted Education Re-entry Form in Spanish

  • Gifted Education - Add-On Endorsement

    If you are interested in acquiring an add-on endorsement in gifted education, please note that the Virginia Department of Education requirements changed as of August 23, 2018.
    Please click on the following link to learn more about the Gifted Education Add-On Endorsement.
    You are encouraged to contact the LCPS Licensure Office at 571-252-1100 with questions about the state endorsement. 

  • FUTURA Welcome Page

    Thank you for visiting the FUTURA welcome webpage. This webpage was designed to provide information for the parents of students who have been found eligible for the FUTURA program. We hope you find the information helpful as your support your child in the gifted program.
    Message #3 - September, 2019 
    Message #2 - August, 2019 
    Message #1 - May, 2019