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County and State Programs
Arlington Public Schools recognize that certain learners within the school population have unique abilities, interests, needs, and potential for accomplishment. A variety of opportunities are available to gifted students through programs here at Wakefield and at the county and state level. For information regarding Gifted Services in Arlington Public Schools, please visit the APS Gifted Services web page located on the Arlington Public School web site.
Students have the opportunity to participate in intensified and Advanced Placement classes to extend their learning beyond the basic curriculum at the high school level. In addition, students may design their own courses through independent study, summer courses, and dual enrollment with local universities. A variety of summer experiences are also available to advanced high school students. Some of these opportunities are only available to students who have been identified for gifted services; however, most are open to all students in the system who wish to pursue further challenge.
Parents, teachers, other school staff, and community members can refer students to be evaluated for gifted services. Identification committees meet each spring to review students referred for services. More information on the identification process can be found on the APS Gifted Services web page.
Each department in the school offers enriched coursework at every grade level. Please review the "Program of Study" for detailed descriptions of these courses. In some instances, prerequisites are suggested to help students meet the level of rigor expected in these courses. A student does not need to be identified for gifted services to take any course offered at Wakefield High School.
Advanced Placement (AP) courses are offered for students who wish to take college level coursework during high school. Students are expected to do college level work within the class and will take the national Advanced Placement examination at the end of the course. The scores from these exams are sent to colleges and students may be able to skip freshman level courses when they enter college based on their scores (contact individual colleges and universities for the scores they accept for credit). All fees for these examinations will be paid by Arlington Public Schools.
Gifted students and their parents are encouraged to discuss the appropriate selection of courses with their counselor and/or the Resource Teacher for the Gifted.
Resource Teacher for the Gifted
Every high school in Arlington County has a Resource Teacher for the Gifted. This person is responsible for:
County and State Programs
PRIME is an internship/mentorship program for gifted juniors and seniors. Internships can be done during the school year or summer. PRIME is designed to provide students with an opportunity to be placed as interns in professional organizations that relate to their field of interest. The school-year program offers a non-paying internship in which students must complete 150 hours for a full credit or 75 hours for half credit. Applications are posted on the Career Center website.
The PRIME Summer Program provides internships during the month of July for a limited number of Arlington Public School students. Students must be sixteen years of age and provide their own transportation to and from the business and the Arlington Career Center. Students must be available the entire designated times to participate in the program. For more information on either the school year or summer program, see the PRIME web page.
Applications are available in December for the PRIME Summer Program through the PRIME web page for the coming summer.
Fine Arts Apprentice Program
The Fine Arts Apprentice Program provides students who have demonstrated achievement in and commitment to the Fine Arts (drama, instrumental and vocal music, dance and visual arts) with enrichment opportunities throughout the school year. All Arlington Public Schools students who will be in grades 10, 11, or 12 next September are welcome to apply.
The Commonwealth of Virginia has summer residential programs for identified gifted students in the humanities; foreign language; visual and performing arts; agriculture; math, science, and technology; life science and medicine; and mentorships in engineering and marine science. Acceptance to these programs is based on a competitive application process, auditions and interviews (auditions and interviews are held only for the Visual and Performing Arts program). The academic and visual and performing arts programs last four weeks. Students must be able to commit to stay for the entire duration of the program. The programs are held on various university campuses throughout the Commonwealth. Mentorships are available in engineering through NASA. The mentorship programs are five weeks long. General information about the summer residential program is available on the Governor's School website. Students may apply during their sophomore and junior years and may only attend one program during their high school career.
Enrichment opportunities abound for high school students in all interest areas. Most programs do require tuition but many offer financial aid. Opportunities for gifted students may be found through the listing of the National Association of Gifted Students. An extensive list of summer opportunities for students can also be found at the Peterson's Website.