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Advanced Academics & Talent Development

Advanced learners need opportunities to think abstractly, work at various rates and levels of complexity, and pursue tasks independently.

Image of a tree with the words "Advanced Academics" at the top and "Talent Development & Young Scholars Model" at the bottom.Arlington Public Schools is dedicated to maximizing the strengths and potential of all students so they may become self-confident, well-rounded, responsible, and productive citizens.

Gifted services are implemented through school-based and countywide activities, which comply with School Board and State objectives. The Office of Advanced Academics and Talent Development ensures that school-based services are delivered in the following ways:

  • According to a collaborative resource model in which the classroom teacher works with the Advanced Academics Coach (AAC) to develop and present appropriately differentiated learning experiences for advanced learners within the general education classroom
  • In the general education classroom setting with identified students cluster-grouped (minimum of 10) and through a variety of flexible groupings based on ongoing data
  • With teachers who are specifically trained in instructional needs of and curriculum written for advanced and gifted learners
  • Through curricula which are differentiated or extended from concepts in the general education curriculum, and when appropriate, through opportunities for enrichment and extension

The APS Advanced Academics and Talent Development Office is guided by the 2022-2027 APS Gifted Services Local Plan.


Advanced Academics and Talent Development Office
2110 Washington Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22204
Phone: 703-228-6160
Twitter/X: @APSGifted

Parents/guardians are encouraged to contact their school’s Advanced Academics Coach and/or Principal for specific information about their child’s school.

Advanced Academics Coaches (formerly Resource Teachers for the Gifted)

By School


School Advanced Academics Coach E-mail Twitter Handle
Abingdon Maria deOlazo maria.deolazo@apsva.us @deOlazoRTG
Arlington Science Focus Raphael Villacrusis Raphael.Villacrusis@apsva.us @MrV_theRTG
Arlington Traditional Jen Hauver jennifer.hauver@apsva.us
Ashlawn Vicki Paris victoria.paris@apsva.us
Barcroft Aaron Olive aaron.olive@apsva.us
Barrett Erin VerWest erin.verwest@apsva.us
Campbell Pamela Clark pamela.clark@apsva.us @ThinkCampbell
Cardinal Kevin Trainor kevin.trainor@apsva.us 
Carlin Springs Marijoy Cordero marijoy.cordero@apsva.us @marijoy_cordero
Claremont Elizabeth Lebedeker elizabeth.lebedeker@apsva.us
Discovery Tammy Stoker tamatha.stoker@apsva.us
Dorothy Hamm MS Regina Boyd regina.boyd@apsva.us
Drew Kristina Farrell kristina.farrell@apsva.us @APSDrewGifted
Fleet Sarah Switaj sarah.switaj@apsva.us
Glebe Rachel Landry rachel.landry@apsva.us
Gunston MS Jawana Washington jawana.washington@apsva.us
HB Woodlawn Secondary Liz Waters liz.waters@apsva.us @HBWLiz
Hoffman – Boston Doug Clarke doug.clarke@apsva.us
Innovation Sarah Congable sarah.congable@apsva.us @MrsCongableAPS
Jamestown Joanne Price joanne.price@apsva.us
Jefferson MS Megan Detweiler megan.detweiler@apsva.us @TJMSgifted
Kenmore MS Allie Weber allie.weber@apsva.us @allieweber1
Key Micaela Pond Micaela.Pond@apsva.us @coachpondkey
Long Branch Celine Clark celine.clark@apsva.us
Montessori Joanna Yamashita joanna.yamashita@apsva.us
Nottingham Ryan VanValen ryan.vanvalen@apsva.us @NTMThinkers
Oakridge Greg Chapuis greg.chapuis@apsva.us @OakThinkers
Randolph Sara Conyers sara.conyers@apsva.us
Swanson MS Whitney Field whitney.field@apsva.us
Taylor Therese Franco Waltrich therese.franco@apsva.us
Arlington Tech/Career Center
Tuckahoe Corinne Reilly corinne.reilly@apsva.us @CReillyRTG
Wakefield HS Diana Dempsey diana.dempsey@apsva.us @WakeRTG
Washington-Liberty HS Liz Burgos elizabeth.burgos@apsva.us @teacherburgos
Williamsburg MS Kristie Board kristie.board@apsva.us @kristie_board
Yorktown HS Eileen Wagner eileen.wagner@apsva.us @YHSGifted

What is an AAC?

The Advanced Academics Coach (AAC) provides support to the classroom teachers in the instruction of gifted and advanced children and the differentiation of curriculum to challenge the potential of all students. The K-12 AACs engage classroom teachers in an instructional cluster model that includes co-planning, collaborative teaching, and one-on-one professional development focused of specific gifted instructional methodology.

  • Co-planning requires the AAC to meet for at least 30 minutes with the cluster or classroom teacher prior to a lesson or short unit to determine ways to support instruction of the gifted in the regular classroom. This planning includes discussion of the characteristics of advanced learners and a variety of instructional strategies and curricular resources written for gifted/advanced learners  meeting the all students’ academic needs.
  • Collaborative teaching results when the AAC and the cluster or classroom teacher work together to instruct the students. The AAC support of the classroom teaching may take a direct or indirect instructional approach.
    • Direct instructional support for identified gifted student is evidenced when
      • the AAC and classroom teacher collaboratively plan for daily differentiation of gifted learners on a weekly basis
      • the AAC shares or models critical and creative thinking strategies for the classroom teacher by instructing the whole class and plans follow up support based on teacher and student needs
      • the AAC models and/or co-teaches curricular resources written for the classroom teacher by instructing the whole class and plans follow up support based on teacher and student needs
    • Indirect support to identified gifted students in the general education classroom is evidenced when
      • the AAC and the classroom teacher collaboratively plan and the teacher implements student assessment, particularly pre-assessments
      • the AAC and the classroom teacher collaboratively plan for daily differentiation on a weekly basis
      • the AAC serves as an ongoing support for daily differentiation by sharing resources and strategies to support differentiation for gifted/advanced learners