Gifted Education: Information for Parents and Educators
Welcome parents, educators, and those interested in learning more about gifted students and their unique needs. The purpose of this page is to provide access to a variety of resources related to gifted students, including legislation, enrichment and acceleration opportunities for students, and professional organizations and resources for parents and educators.
Gifted Education in ABSS
The ABSS website offers a lot of useful information about the AIG program options for students in the AIG program. Also see the district's AIG Plan for 2013-2016. This plan will be revised during the 2015-2016 school year and will take effect in August 2016.
Gifted Education in North Carolina
Gifted students come to school with a variety of experiences, knowledge bases, and intellectual and physical abilities; they come from every racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic background. Collectively, gifted students form an eclectic group of children from kindergarten through high school seniors; some are great in school while others would prefer to tinker at home; some are content in a regular classroom while others become bored and act out; some may know more than their teachers while others don't even recognize their own giftedness. Regardless of these differences, all gifted students require special support and instruction in order to achieve at their highest level.
Federally, there is no legislation mandating that special services be offered to gifted students. Each state is responsible for establishing and funding their own gifted programs, and legislation ranges from no mandated programming for gifted students with no funding available to mandated programming for gifted students that is fully funded by the state. North Carolina legislation mandates the provision of gifted education programming in all districts, and programming is partially funded by the state (Davidson Institute for Talent Development, 2013). North Carolina's definition of gifted students from state legislation states that
Academically or intellectually gifted (AIG) students perform or show the potential to perform at substantially high levels of accomplishment when compared with others of their age, experiences or environment. Academically or intellectually gifted students exhibit high performance capability in intellectual areas, specific academic fields, or in both the intellectual areas and specific academic fields. Academically or intellectually gifted students require differentiated educational services beyond those ordinarily provided by the regular educational program. Outstanding abilities are present in students from all cultural groups, across all economic strata, and in all areas of human endeavor. (North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, n.d.)
This definition, which can also be found in Article 9B Academically or Intellectually Gifted Students, along with the NC AIG Program Standards (2012) serve as a guide for local education agencies (LEA) to develop and plan the gifted programming for their district. Each LEA is responsible for maintaining a three-year local AIG plan that describes the provision of services for gifted students, including identification, services, and funding. AIG plans for all NC LEA can be found on DPI's Local AIG Plans page. These plans are reviewed every three years.
Enrichment and Acceleration Opportunities for Gifted Student
- Duke TIP
The Duke Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP) is a nonprofit organization that serves rising 4th through 12th grade gifted students and their families. Duke TIP offers support for students and parents through their 4th-6th grade and 7th grade talent search programs. Duke TIP programs include access to publications, lessons, scholar weekends, summer experiences, and more.
- Governor's School of NC
The Governor's School of NC is a five week residential summer experience for gifted students before their senior year of high school (some visual and performing arts openings for rising juniors). Students study in their primary area while integrating other academic disciplines, the arts, and applicable experiences.
- Summer Ventures in Science and Mathematics
Summer Ventures in Science and Mathematics is "North Carolina's intensive research experience where high school students and college faculty advance knowledge of science and mathematics." Available for rising juniors and seniors, SVSM offers gifted students who have expressed interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics an opportunity for intense study and research in a four-week residential setting on a university campus.
- North Carolina Virtual Public School
The North Carolina Virtual Public School (NCVPS) offers gifted students an opportunity to engage in courses not offered at their middle or high school. NCVPS offers a wide range of honors and advanced placement (AP) courses as a part of North Carolina Public Schools.
- North Carolina Odyssey of the Mind
Odyssey of the Mind is an international program for students kindergarten through college. Students participate in annual competition where team members must use creative problem-solving skills and teamwork to solve open-ended problems. Also visit the Odyssey of the Mind homepage.
- North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics
North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics is a public school option for high school juniors and seniors. Students can apply to either the residential program or the online program. Both programs offer students an opportunity to focus their studies in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
- Elon University's FLEX Program
Elon's Formative Learning Experience (FLEX) program offers gifted students from 3rd through 8th grade a five-day experience to explore their interests and be challenged. For more information, contact your child's AIG teacher.
- NC State University's Pre-College Programs
NC State offers a variety of pre-college programs for students with a range of interests.
Resources and Professional Organizations
- Hoagies Gifted Education Page
This site provides a "Gifted 101" guide with resources and information for parents of gifted children and adolescents.
- National Association for Gifted Children
NAGC is a professional organization that offers a variety of membership options for parents, educators, and graduate students. Membership includes access to one of their publications, Gifted Child Quarterly or Parenting for High Potential. Resources are available for members and non-members, including parenting tools and lesson development support.
- The Association for the Gifted
TAG is a division of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). "CEC-TAG establishes professional standards for teacher preparation for the field, develops initiatives to improve gifted education practice, and ensures that the needs of children and youth with exceptionalities are met in educational legislation" (TAG, 2013).
- Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted
SENG is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the unique social and emotional needs of gifted individuals and their families. Resources are available without a membership fee. You can also sign up for a free e-newsletter, SENGVine.