• 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.
    Gifted Education Advisory Committee (Virtual Meeting)
    Thursday, November 10, 2022
    7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
    Topic: Perfectionism
    The meeting link will be emailed two days prior to the meeting to all individuals who RSVP.

    For questions about the SY23 Elementary Gifted Evaluation Process, please view this video.

    SY23 Elementary Permission to Evaluate Forms



  • 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 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:  perceiving, reasoning, connecting, creating, and evaluating.  Each grade level learns about each component at increasingly more complex and abstract levels.
    Thinking Keys:
    Perceiving is understanding and learning with one’s senses. Concrete spatial and visual activities are provided and students are encouraged to look at objects in many different ways. Pattern recognition and prediction skills develop and are used along with reasoning skills.

    Reasoning is using information to find answers that can be proven, are logical, and make sense. Reasoning activities begin at the simple level of recognizing, labeling, classifying, and comparing attributes of concrete objects. As students mature, reasoning activities become more abstract as students use analysis and logic to solve problems.

    Connecting means linking information and ideas to see how they fit together. At the basic level, students identify and extend patterns using concrete objects. More abstract problem solving involves interpreting and extending numeric patterns, determining relationships between concepts, and making generalizations. Students make connections between cause and effect.

    Creating is putting ideas, information, or objects together in a new or different way. Students learn to be flexible and fluent in their thinking with familiar objects as well as unusual and/or real life problems. Original ideas are elaborated with humor and/or beauty to provide clarity and completeness. Student products may be visual, verbal, spatial, or kinesthetic.

    Evaluating is using information to make a decision. Students begin evaluating by determining what the facts are and what considerations are important in making a decision. Students learn to develop criteria and rank solutions or choices according to the criteria when making decisions.

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

    The School-Based, Collaborative Gifted Program, now known as FUSION, 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 will be implemented at LCPS elementary schools during the 2022-2023 school year.

  • Differentiated Classroom Instruction/DCI (Grades 4-5)

    What is DCI (Grade 4 - 5)?

    The LCPS Gifted Education Department has added a new level of gifted services for 4th and 5th grade students. It is called Differentiated Classroom Instruction or DCI. Students who demonstrated exceptional performance in one domain, language arts or mathematics, during the gifted evaluation process were found in need of DCI in their area of strength. Some students may have been identified for DCI mathematics and DCI language arts.

    The gifted resource teacher will meet with DCI students on a weekly basis to provide extension or enrichment options to differentiate instruction for them in their area of strength. These activities are designed to provide additional opportunities for rigor and deeper learning in language arts and/or mathematics.

    Questions about DCI for 4th and 5th grade students may be directed to the gifted resource teacher at your child’s school.

  • 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.

  • SY23 Gifted Education Advisory Committee (GEAC)

    Gifted Education Advisory Committee

    School Year 2022-2023

    Loudoun County Public Schools sponsors a Gifted Education Advisory Committee (GEAC). 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/family members 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.

    GEAC meetings take place from 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm. During the 2022-23 school year, meetings may be held in-person or virtually. In-person GEAC meetings are held at the LCPS Administration Building at 21000 Education Court, Ashburn, VA  20148. The meeting status (in-person or virtual) will be posted on this webpage prior to each meeting date. The agenda for each meeting will be posted on the Monday prior to the meeting. 

    SY23 Meeting Dates

    September 15, 2022 (in-person)

    November 10, 2022 (Virtual/RSVP Here)

    January 12, 2023

    March 9, 2023

    May 11, 2023

    November 10, 2022 (Virtual Meeting)

    September 15, 2022


  • Twice-Exceptional Learners (2e)

    Twice-Exceptional (2e) Resources

    Spotlight on 2e Series (The 2e Resource)

    The Twice-Exceptional Dilemma (NEA)

    Supporting Twice Exceptional Students (NAGC)

    Twice-Exceptionality (NAGC White Paper)

  • 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 read the information 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 or will 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.

    The LCPS Gifted Education program does not have reciprocity with other school divisions for gifted services. Students new to LCPS must be evaluated and identified in need of gifted services prior to participating in FUSION or Spectrum.

  • Governor's School - SY23

    2023 Virginia Summer Residential Governor’s Schools

    Are you currently a high school sophomore or junior? If so, you should consider applying to the 2023 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 2023:

    • Agriculture
    • Humanities
    • Math, Science, and Technology
    • Visual and Performing Arts

    And Mentorships in:

    • Marine Science
    • Medicine and Health Sciences (Update:  Cancelled for 2023)
    • Engineering

    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.

    General Information Handout (Revised 10.18.22)

    General Information Handout (Spanish)

    How to Apply

    How to Apply (Spanish)


    LCPS students interested in the 2023 Visual and Performing Arts Governor’s School must participate in our local preliminary audition for selection to attend the state level audition. The 2023 LCPS Preliminary Audition will be IN-PERSON, by appointment, on October 31, 2022, at Stone Bridge High School.

    The deadline to register for the VIRTUAL Preliminary Audition is October 24, 2022. Please complete the Registration Form found here: https://forms.office.com/r/ME0h7MxbbU

    Once you register, you will receive an email with the audition requirements for the arts area you selected.

    You do not need to complete an application before the LCPS Preliminary Audition, but you must 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 audition, 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:

    The Virginia Summer Residential Governor’s School website should update on October 3, 2022. Do not begin the application process until the 2023 applications appear on the website.

    The link to the website is:



  • 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

  • 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 Course Information


Last Modified on November 10, 2022