• 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

    When schools closed in March due to COVID-19, gifted resource teachers across the division had finished approximately half of the gifted evaluation process -- collecting student work samples, teacher observations, and ability testing information. Based upon guidance provided by the Virginia Department of Education and the National Association of Gifted Children (NAGC) as well as extensive conversations with supervisors of gifted education from across the state, the LCPS Gifted Department made the decision to put the process on hold until students returned to school.

    The Gifted Department will resume the eligibility process during the month of September for students who were referred for an evaluation last spring. The plan is to complete the process by early October and notify parents/guardians of eligibility decisions by mid-October. Some students may be asked to meet with their gifted resource teacher in person at school  to complete any missing work samples or testing. New students found eligible for gifted services will begin classes starting the week of October 19.

    The Gifted Department does realize that some students who are being evaluated for gifted services may need enrichment opportunities at the beginning of the school year to meet their educational needs. Students will have access to choice boards through the gifted resource teacher at their school. Choice boards provide a variety of engaging enrichment activities for students to stretch their thinking and challenge their creativity. Parents may also access parent resources and enrichment resources on the NAGC website to find challenging activities.

    Gifted Eligibility FAQ Document (Fall, 2020 Edition)


    Referral Form (English)
    Referral Form (Spanish) 

  • 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. 

  • 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 SY2020-21

    Gifted Education Advisory Committee

    School Year 2020-2021

    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.

    Meetings take place from 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm. Meetings during the 2020-21 school year may be held virtually. Meeting locations or virtual meeting links will be posted closer to the meeting dates.

    Meeting Calendar

    Thursday, October 8, 2020

    Thursday, November 12, 2020

    Thursday, January 14, 2021

    Thursday, March 11, 2021

    Thursday, May 13, 2021

    October 8, 2020



    DRAFT Gifted Plan


  • 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

    2021 Virginia Summer Residential Governor’s Schools (SRGS)

    Are you currently a high school sophomore or junior?  If so, you should consider applying to the 2021 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 2021 (pending issues related to COVID-19):

    • Agriculture (held at Virginia Tech)
    • Humanities (held at Radford University)
    • Math, Science, and Technology (held at the University of Lynchburg)
    • Visual and Performing Arts (held at Radford University)

    And Mentorships in:

    • Marine Science (held at Christopher Newport University/VIMS)
    • Medicine and Health Sciences (held at VCU)
    • Engineering (held at Christopher Newport University/Jefferson Lab)

    Governor's School Overview

    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. 

    LCPS students interested in the 2021 Visual and Performing Arts Governor’s School must attend a local preliminary audition for selection to attend the state level audition. The 2021 LCPS Preliminary Audition will be VIRTUAL. 

    Visual and Performing Arts Applicants:

    • The deadline to register for the VIRTUAL Preliminary Audition is October 20, 2020. Please complete the Registration Form found here:


    • Once you register, you will receive an email with a link to our VPA Governor’s School Schoology course. All the information you need to audition is in the course.
    • You do not need to complete an application before the LCPS Preliminary Audition but you do need to register!
    • LCPS Preliminary Audition Requirements are found here:
    • Please read them carefully as you prepare for your audition.
    • If you are selected for the state auditions you will need to apply for the Visual and Performing Arts Governor’s School. If you are not selected for the state auditions, you may apply to a different Governor’s School.

    All Applicants:

    If you wish to apply, please read the LCPS application instructions found here: How to Apply

    The Virginia Summer Residential Governor’s School website should update on October 2, 2020.  Please do not begin the application process until the 2021 applications appear on the website. The link to the website is:  http://www.doe.virginia.gov/instruction/governors_school_programs/summer_residential/index.shtml.

    Student/Parent Handout (Quick Reference Document for 2021 SRGS)


  • 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 gifted resource teacher at your child's school prior to appealing an ineligibility decision. The gifted resource 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.  Email the gifted resource teacher at your child's school. In the email, ask your specific question or ask to set up a phone call to discuss the ineligibility decision. 
    2.  Mail or email an appeal request form to the Office of Gifted Education within 10 days of receiving the ineligibility decision email. Click below to access the form. (You may mail or email the form before your scheduled phone meeting with the gifted resource teacher.) If you choose to email the form, email it to Jessica.Mainhart@lcps.org (elementary) or Susan.Helsley@lcps.org (middle school).  APPEAL REQUEST FORM
    3.  Once the appeal request form is processed by the Gifted Education Office, you will receive a letter stating how to proceed with the appeal process (e.g., what type of documents to collect and when to submit them 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. 

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