Gifted Education

Gifted Education Mission Statement:
The mission of the York County School Division Gifted Program is to maximize the development of the intellectually gifted learner by providing an atmosphere that promotes intellectual challenge. The program is designed to foster self-directed, life-long learning by encouraging exploration, inquiry, in-depth study, and reflective thinking.

Division Statement of Philosophy for Gifted Education
The York County School Division is committed to a rigorous and innovative instructional program that fosters the highest level of excellence and recognizes the right of each student to receive intellectual challenge appropriate for his/her capabilities. The Division provides differentiated instructional services for intellectually gifted students from a variety of social, economic, and cultural backgrounds. These programs, designed to meet the academic, social, and emotional needs of gifted learners from kindergarten through twelfth grade, allow students to develop more fully and appreciate their abilities and talents. In addition, these programs encourage students to make meaningful contributions to society.


Gifted Education Services

Grades K-7
Gifted students are identified in the spring of the kindergarten year and throughout grades 1-12. All K-5 gifted students attend the EXTEND program at the division's gifted education center. Identified kindergarten students participate in special seminars each spring during the school day. First through fifth grade students who are intellectually gifted travel from their home schools one day each week to participate in the program. Students in sixth and seventh grade who have been identified as intellectually gifted meet weekly in their home schools with a gifted education teacher. For all identified gifted students, learning is "extended" as they participate in interdisciplinary units of study and research activities which emphasize abstract thinking and independent learning.

Grades 8-12
Eligible students in eighth through twelfth grade are encouraged to select from the available advanced secondary program options which include: The York County School Division Honors Program, Virtual Virginia online courses, the International Baccalaureate Programme, Advanced Placement courses, the School of the Arts, Summer Residential Governor's School, and New Horizons Governor's School for Science and Technology. In addition, concurrent dual enrollment in cooperation with local colleges, seminars, and enrichment activities are available to eligible students.


Gifted Education Curriculum
The EXTEND Center's curriculum utilizes the Integrated Curriculum Model for Gifted Learners as created by Joyce VanTassel-Baska. Interdisciplinary units are comprised of three key features: overarching concepts, advanced content, and process/product style learning. Units expose students to a variety of topics that promote independent learning while incorporating citizenship, communication, collaboration, creative thinking, and critical thinking

Gifted Education Program
Staff/Contact Information
Sarah Haywood
Gifted Education Coordinator/Grade 3 Teacher
757-898-0389

Vee Baggett
Grades 1 and 2 Teacher
757-898-0389

Pam Schwalenberg
Grade 4 Teacher
757-898-0389

Roberta Bockrath
Grade 5 Teacher
757-898-0389

Kristin Spires
Grades 3, 6 and 7 teacher
757-898-0389

JoAnn Hoff
Secretary
757-898-0389
 
Gifted Education School Contacts
Bethel Manor Elementary Sherry Carducci, School Counselor
Coventry Elementary Kristina Wallace, School Counselor
Dare Elementary LaTrese Martin, School Counselor
Grafton Bethel Elementary Kristen Vlattas, School Counselor
Magruder Elementary Kate Lubrano, School Counselor
Mt. Vernon Elementary Donna Adams, School Counselor
Seaford Elementary Sydney Downs, School Counselor
Tabb Elementary Jen Richardson, School Counselor
Waller Mill Elementary Katie Gaylord, School Counselor
Yorktown Elementary Danielle Neubauer, School Counselor
Grafton Middle Tiffany Grant, Counseling Director
Queens Lake Middle Keith Wright, ACC
Tabb Middle Jeff Gaylord, ACC
Yorktown Middle Rachel McBride, ACC
Bruton High Lynn Smith, Counseling Director
Grafton High Melissa Kashy, Counseling Director
Tabb High Brad Williams, Counseling Director
York High Michele Williams, Counseling Director

Referral/Identification of Students for Gifted Education Services
Students may be referred for consideration in gifted education programs by administrators, classroom and resource teachers, guidance counselors, and other professional staff members, as well as by parents, community members, peers, and students themselves. Each school has a Gifted Education School Contact who is responsible for providing and organizing the paperwork regarding gifted referrals and placements. The Gifted Education School Contact can be contacted to obtain the necessary paperwork to initiate a referral. The criteria indicated below are used to identify students for gifted education:

  • Standardized/Norm-Referenced Ability Tests - Students who qualify for gifted education generally score between the 95th-99th percentiles on these tests. If a referred student has not taken a standardized ability test, the Division administers one.
  • Standardized/Norm-Referenced Achievement Tests - Students who qualify for gifted education generally score between the 95th-99th percentiles on these tests. If a referred student in grades 3-12 has not taken a standardized achievement test, the Division administers one.
  • Teacher Observation Reports - Students who qualify for gifted education demonstrate to a great extent specific behaviors associated with intellectually gifted learners. For students referred for gifted education, teachers complete a Teacher Observation Report, indicating observed examples of these characteristics.
  • Parent Questionnaires - Students who qualify for gifted education demonstrate to a large degree specific behaviors associated with intellectually gifted learners. For students referred for gifted education, parents report examples of these behaviors on a form provided by the Division.
  • Scholastic Records - Students eligible for gifted education typically perform well on academic work that is characterized as being "above grade level."
  • Other Data - Teachers may also be asked to provide illustrative examples of student work.

The Gifted Education Plan 2018-2022
In compliance with regulations from the Virginia Department of Education, the York County School Division's Gifted Education Plan 2018-22 serves as the blueprint for gifted education services. On May 22, 2017 the York County School Board approved the 2018-2022 Local Plan for the Education of the Gifted which describes services available to identified gifted students in grades K-12.

View the full 2018-22 Local Plan for the Education of the Gifted

Grade K

  • Kindergarten students identified as gifted attend special seminars each spring during the school day at the EXTEND Center, the Division's gifted education center.
  • Cluster grouping is provided in each elementary school.

Grades 1-2

  • Students identified as gifted meet weekly at the EXTEND Center with the gifted education teacher who provides extended learning and enrichment opportunities for identified students.
  • Co-curricular activities may serve as extension of the Gifted Education Program (e.g., Odyssey of the Mind, academic challenges, and computer competitions).
  • Cluster grouping is provided in each elementary school.

Grades 3-5

  • Identified gifted students in third through fifth grade travel from their home school one full day each week to the EXTEND Center.
  • Co-curricular activities may serve as extension of the Gifted Education Program (e.g., Odyssey of the Mind, academic challenges, and computer competitions).
  • Cluster grouping is provided in each elementary school.

Grades 6-7

  • Students who have been identified as intellectually gifted meet weekly in their home schools for EXTEND classes with the gifted education teacher who travels to each middle school to provide enriched learning opportunities.
  • Academic achievement grouping in English and mathematics is provided in each middle school.
  • Co-curricular activities may serve as extension of the Gifted Education Program (e.g., Odyssey of the Mind, academic challenges, computer competitions, and debate activities).

Grades 8-12

  • Intellectually gifted students in eighth through twelfth grade who meet prerequisite criteria have the opportunity to participate in various advanced courses of study including: the Honors Program, the International Baccalaureate Programme, Advanced Placement courses, the Governor's School for Science and Technology, the Summer Governor's School, and the School of the Arts. In addition, concurrent enrollment in cooperation with local colleges, seminars, and enrichment activities are available to these students.
  • Academic achievement grouping in English and mathematics is provided in each high school.
  • Co-curricular activities may serve as extension of the Gifted Education Program (e.g., Odyssey of the Mind, academic challenges, computer competitions, and debate activities).

The Gifted Education Advisory Committee (GEAC)
The Gifted Education Advisory Committee (GEAC) is comprised of elementary, middle, and high school parents; a community representative; and school division representatives. This committee serves in an advisory capacity in support of gifted education programs in the school division. The GEAC meets four times annually, and the meetings are open to the public. Dates for the 2017-18 school year are October 24, 2017, January 23, 2018, March 27, 2018, and May 22, 2018. Meetings typically take place at the School Board Office at 7:00 pm. The committee chair is Stacie Lohr. Questions about the York County School Division gifted education services or the means by which students are identified for these programs should be directed to the Gifted Education Contact at your child's school.

View the GEAC's bylaws

Gifted Education Advisory Committee
Bethel Manor Elementary Kimberly Beauchan
Coventry Elementary Lindsey Cook
Dare Elementary Beth Brauner
Grafton Bethel Elementary Chy Green
Magruder Elementary Miki Fett
Mt. Vernon Elementary Danielle Way
Seaford Elementary Angie Jones
Tabb Elementary Amy Speares
Waller Mill Elementary Kristin Downey
Yorktown Elementary Jamel Oliver
Grafton Middle Kristen Falk and Nashat Ahmad
Queens Lake Middle and Chairperson Stacie Lohr
Tabb Middle Nikiesha Virgil
Yorktown Middle Esmereld and Ed Durham
Bruton High Kimberly Silver-Perry
Grafton High Sang-Hyon Chu
Tabb High Jennifer Williams
York High Michelle Haskiell
Community Member vacant
Coordinator of Gifted Education Sarah Haywood
Coordinator of Career and Technical Education Sandy Hespe
Coordinator of Testing and Accountability Leeza Beazlie
Associate Director of K-12 Academic Services Karen Cagle, Ed.D.
Director of IB Programme Kevin Valliant
Director of Gov. School Vikki Wismer

Gifted Education Advisory Committee Meeting
October 18, 2016 Minutes
January 24, 2017 Minutes
March 28, 2017 Minutes
May 23, 2017 Minutes

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