Gifted & Talented Education

What is a gifted student?

The gifted student is one who possesses exceptional talents and abilities that require enrichment beyond the regular curriculum to meet his or her educational needs. Suffolk Public Schools has a commitment of excellence in education, equality of educational opportunity, and the recognition of each student's individuality, and therefore, is committed to identifying, developing and challenging the gifted student.

Elementary through Middle School Programs:

The elementary school program begins with enrichment for kindergarten through grade 2. It offers creative activities and lessons based on the advanced needs and the maturity of students. Students receive differentiated instruction from the gifted resource teacher and the general education teacher during the school year. Emphasis is placed upon critical thinking, creative problem solving, developing independent research skills, and stimulating creativity.

QUEST: Quality Utilization Enrichment of Students' Talents, known as QUEST is the program for academically gifted students in grades 3-8. Students receive differentiated instruction from the gifted resource teacher and general education teacher throughout the year. Assignments are provided to stimulate and foster critical thinking and independent research skills. Students work both individually and in small groups to develop independent learning skills, creative potential, and higher level thinking abilities.

Talented Art and Music Classes: Students who qualify may be enrolled in special talented art and music classes in grades 4-5. These classes meet one period per week in the local school. Classes are designed to enrich and expand the regular curriculum. The instruction frequently has students involved in special projects which emphasize creativity. Students work independently and in small groups.

Tidewater Governor's Summer School for Science and Technology: This regional summer program is provided for a limited number of identified gifted students in grades 3-6. Students from Suffolk, Franklin, Isle of Wight County and Southampton County attend classes four days a week for three weeks. Classes are designed to provide students with hands-on experiences with state-of-the-art technology. Students work in cooperative groups to explore topics of their choice and to share their discoveries and findings with peers, parents, and the community.

High School Programs

High school students who have been identified as gifted have the opportunity to enroll in a variety of advanced courses, including ten (10) Advanced Placement (A.P.) classes, nineteen (19) Honors classes, and eleven (11) Dual-Credit classes. Dual-credit courses allow the student to simultaneously earn both high school credit and community college credit. All dual-credit, advanced placement, and honors courses are weighted. Guidance counselors at each school can provide additional information.

Governor's School for the Gifted: This residential summer program is designed to provide artistically and/or intellectually challenging and enriching experiences for a limited number of selected rising eleventh- and twelfth-graders. Governor's School is offered in the following areas: agriculture, humanities, science, mentorships and the arts (instrumental music, vocal music, drama, dance and visual arts.) All selected participants are enrolled in elective courses, seminars and discussion groups at the sites. Schools are held around the state at college campuses, NASA-Langley, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, and the Medical College of Virginia. Classes meet for one month in the summer.

Governor's School for the Arts: Rising ninth- through twelfth-grade students may apply for acceptance to the Governor's School for the Arts. Classes are offered in dance, music, theater, performing arts, and visual arts. Students are selected based on indicated ability, interest, and potential for artistic growth. Interviews, auditions, portfolio reviews, and application materials are used in the selection process. Students are transported to Norfolk each afternoon for instruction in their chosen area of interest.