New Pathways for Gifted Education
With equity as a top priority, Charlottesville’s gifted education staff implemented new pathways in 2019–2020, and our work continues despite the interruptions of the pandemic.
We begin with the conviction that giftedness is distributed equally among all groups. With this in mind, we have made changes to both the process of identifying students as gifted and the service model for delivering gifted instruction.
Charlottesville City Schools views giftedness through a lens of talent development. We believe that all students are talented and we cultivate their potential through collaborative, high-quality, differentiated instruction. We recognize that the need for students to think and perform at high levels is important for cultivating their potential for advanced learning.
Gifted resource teachers push gifted instruction into general education classrooms so that all students participate in the high quality experiences on a regular basis. They distribute their time across grade levels and content areas as they regularly collaborate with classroom teachers and work with all students. Planning time and collaboration allows staff to develop and offer differentiated lessons and identify instructional materials that meet the needs of every learner and that develop creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills in all students.
Annually in the spring, Charlottesville City Schools considers all students in grades 3 and beyond for eligibility in gifted education services in the aptitude areas of English and math. Multiple criteria are considered through a holistic approach with a focus on talent development.
On April 1, every student in grades 3–11 who is enrolled in the division by March 1 of that year and has not chosen to opt out is automatically referred for gifted identification. Teachers and parents do not complete nominations forms.
Parents/guardians may choose to not have their child participate in the identification process by submitting a completed opt-out form to the school by April 15. The Gifted Identification Opt-Out Form is available here and at schools.
|Area of Giftedness||Screening||Referral/Nomination Deadline||Identification Meetings||Timeline for Providing Results|
|Specific Academic Aptitudes
English & Math
|Spring||March 1 – Deadline for student to be enrolled in CCS school to be considered for upcoming gifted identification
April 1 – CCS refers every student enrolled in grades 3–11
April 15 – Parent must submit opt-out form for the student to not be referred
School-based identification committees are convened in late spring. Eligibility decisions are communicated to the candidate’s parents/guardians in writing with the report card at the end of the academic year.
Parent awareness and involvement in gifted education is encouraged through the following:
- Periodic communications distributed by gifted resource teachers
- Parent/Teacher conference days that are scheduled throughout the school year
- Open house activities that highlight gifted education services
Gifted Advisory Committee
Each year an advisory committee is established to advise in the development and implementation of Charlottesville’s services for gifted students. It is composed of two parent representatives from each school and a School Board member. Among its responsibilities are overseeing the implementation of the local plan, participating in the review and revision of the plan, and reporting to the School Board about the needs of gifted learners. Dates of all meetings are posted on the division calendar and a portion of each meeting is reserved to discuss ideas and concerns from parents or community members.
More about the Gifted Advisory Committee:
- Members of the Gifted Advisory Committee
- Dates for 22-23: October 3, December 5, March 6, May 1. Meetings are held at 5pm. The October meeting will be held in person at the Central Office Annex (back of CHS). Then committee will shift to Zoom meetings.
Media Reporting and Staff Updates
- “86% of Charlottesville students in grades 3-11 are identified as gifted,” Charlottesville Daily Progress, June 14, 2021 Note: As a reminder, the new model is designed so “all students participate in the high quality experiences [of gifted education] on a regular basis.”
- “Charlottesville looks to expand criteria for who is considered gifted,” Charlottesville Daily Progress, March 7, 2020
- “Timeline: Redesigning gifted education in Charlottesville City Schools ,” Charlottesville Daily Progress, March 7, 2020
- “City schools embark on a new quest,” Charlottesville Daily Progress, September 7, 2019
- “New Pathways in Gifted Education in Charlottesville,” Presentation to PTOs, August-September 2019
- “Possible changes to gifted education in Charlottesville schools unveiled,” Charlottesville Daily Progress, June 13, 2019
- Presentation to Charlottesville City Council, August 1, 2019
- CCS Local Plan for the Gifted 2021-2024
- Virginia Department of Education
- Virginia Association for the Gifted
- National Association for Gifted Children
To Learn More
Program Director: Jeannie Pfautz, Coordinator of Instruction