Gifted Education

Amherst County Public Schools Talented and Gifted Program (TAG)
What is the TAG Program?
The TAG program is Amherst County Public Schools’ gifted education program
What is the definition of gifted?
Gifted students come from many backgrounds, and their special abilities cover a wide range of human potential. The regulations governing educational services define gifted students as those students whose abilities and potential for accomplishment are so outstanding that they require special educational programs to meet their needs.
What is ACPS’S philosophy for education of the gifted?
It is the mission of ACPS to provide an appropriate education for each student in an environment that ensures success in the classroom and in future endeavors. ACPS is committed to an educational program that recognizes the special values and needs of the individual student. We are, therefore, committed to providing gifted students with a qualitatively differentiated K-12 program that takes into consideration individual learning styles and special abilities.
What are the goals of the TAG Program?
The goals of the gifted education program, at all grade levels and in all academic talents, are:
  • to advance knowledge and skills in each student’s area of interest/strength;
  • to provide for problem solving and higher-level thinking in real-life contexts; and
  • to encourage self-directed learning which results in original products worthy of sharing in a public forum.
How are students identified for the TAG Program?
Gifted students are identified through the use of multiple criteria. Division-wide screening procedures begin at the kindergarten level through second grade and continue on an informal basis through twelfth grade. Students are identified in areas of:
  • General Intellectual Aptitude
  • Specific Academic Aptitude
The nomination process is continuous throughout the year and permits referrals from teachers, parents, peers, community persons, and the student himself/herself. Testing occurs three ties each year – fall, winter, and spring.
Evaluation for participation in TAG programs is voluntary. Parents are notified prior to evaluating students, and parental permission is scheduled before students are placed in the program.
What criteria are used to admit students to TAG?
Multiple criteria are used to determine the eligibility of students to receive gifted education services include:
  • Assessment of student products, performances, portfolios, ad auditions
  • Observation of in-class behavior
  • Rating scales, checklists, questionnaires
  • Individual or group aptitude test(s)
  • Individual or group achievement test(s)
  • Record of previous achievements (grades, awards, honors, etc.)
How is the Program Evaluated?
Identification data is reviewed in the fall and the spring of the year with administrators, the parent advisory and the school board in order to evaluate identification measures and procedures. The parent advisory committee reviews the gifted education plan and progress toward implementation of the goals annually. A written report is submitted to the superintendent and the school board in the spring of the year.
TAG Opportunities include:
  • AP (Advanced Placement) and Honors Math Classes (grades 9-12)
  • Accelerated Math (differentiated math instruction)
  • Central Governor’s School (selected students in grades 11-12)
  • Summer Residential Governor’s School (residential program for selected students)
  • Individual Gifted Plans implemented by classroom teachers and Enrichment Specialists
Additional Gifted Opportunities
Ferrum College Summer Enrichment Camp
National Society of the Gifted & Talented
(800) 572-6748
UConn Mentor Connection: An Inquiry-Based Summer Program for Talented Teens
VSA Vanderbilt Summer Academy