Within the cross-section of learning styles are children who display an extraordinary intellect or passion for learning. Gifted children do have special educational and social/emotional characteristics, and the responsibility for educational planning falls upon the individual family. Parents need to become advocates for their gifted children by ensuring that each child's particular needs are met throughout his or her educational career. The personality and interests of each child should be weighed along with the intellectual or artistic potential. Parents should gather information and plan ahead rather than assuming that a "good" school or school division will do all that is required for a smooth educational and social transition for each child. Most importantly, every child has experiences in school that are less than perfect and most flourish in spite of or perhaps because of these misadventures. Parents need to be supportive of the child and of the educational program the child is in by interfacing with schools regularly, and if necessary, by maintaining a persistent but polite stance to resolve issues that come up.
There are allowances in place under the DSSR 270 Education Allowance that allow for supplementary instruction for gifted and talented students. Read more on the Allowances web site page Frequently Asked Questions on the Supplementary Instruction Allowance.
Traditionally, international schools have not offered a separate program for gifted students. Many schools respond to the question of available gifted and talented education services by asserting that they are able to provide an academically rich and challenging environment by virtue of their unique private, international school setting. Many international settings do, in fact, offer excellent academic programs that are challenging for the brightest students.
Contact the Office of Overseas Schools for questions regarding Gifted and Talented programs and resources while posted overseas.
Reentry to U.S. Schools
Schools in the United States offer a wide range of programs for students who are gifted in academic areas, the arts, leadership, and sports. It is not always easy, however, to navigate the many programs or to decide among private schools and various public school divisions. Also, a child may need to go through a lengthy identification process to qualify for certain gifted services, even if s/he has been identified as gifted elsewhere by a school or by a psychologist in private practice. Other magnet programs, such as language immersion, may have a long waiting list. The waiting list is usually open only to those actually living in the school divisions so planning ahead is not always possible for those moving back from overseas. Get in touch with your local school as soon as you know you’ll be coming back to the States.
Some school divisions have magnet schools for gifted students; however, they are competitive and the application process may begin a full year in advance. Some schools admit students only at certain grade levels and those wishing to enter at a different point may have to compete for one of the spaces created by students who move or withdraw. Please review resources listed below for contact information for Gifted Programs in the local metropolitan school districts.
Participation in a special residential summer program for the gifted can be attractive to the Foreign Service family for several reasons. The time spent living and learning with US based students can help provide a cultural foundation for Third Culture Kids (TCKs) that will later ease a reentry. The rigorous academic programs may supplement a less than strong school program, and the chance to make friends with other gifted American students can mitigate the sense of isolation sometimes experienced by gifted young people.
Some programs require special testing such as the SAT in seventh grade or have other academic requirements for admission. Many have early application deadlines.
Please remember, there is no Allowance available for summer instruction programs.
Twice Exceptional Students
Suggested Resources for Parents and Teachers
District of Columbia Residents
Director, Gifted and Talented Program
1200 First St., NE, 8th floor
Washington, DC 20002
Anne Arundel County
Coordinator of Gifted and Talented Program
Anne Arundel County Public Schools
2644 Riva Road
Annapolis, MD 21401
Gifted and Talented Program
Howard County Public Schools
5451 Beaverkill Rd.
Columbia, MD 21044
Educational Planner for Gifted and Talented
850 Hungerford Drive, Room 177
Rockville, MD 20850
Prince George's County
Gifted and Talented Program Coordinator
9201 East Hampton Drive
Capitol Heights, MD 20743
Mary Baldwin College: Governor's School for the Gifted
The Program for the Exceptionally Gifted, established in 1985, offers an opportunity for bright and accomplished young women between the ages of 13 and 16 to bypass all or some of their high school grades to pursue an undergraduate degree. PEG students live in a fully supervised, state-of-the-art residence hall with their true peers on the beautiful campus of Mary Baldwin College. Read more by visiting the website. (Staunton, VA)
Gifted and Talented Program
Alexandria City Public Schools
2000 North Beauregard
Alexandria, VA 22311
Coordinator, Gifted and Talented Program
1426 North Quincy Street
Arlington, VA 22207
Advanced Academic Programs
3877 Fairfax Ridge Rd.
Fairfax, VA 22030
Fairfax County Association for the Gifted (FCAG)
2831 Graham Road
Falls Church, VA 22042
Gifted and Talented Programs
803 W Broad Street
Falls Church, VA 22046
Gifted and Talented Program
Loudoun County Public Schools
21000 Education Court
Ashburn, VA 20148
Prince William County
Gifted Education Office
P.O. Box 389
Manassas, VA 22110
Stafford County Public Schools
31 Stafford Avenue
Stafford, VA 22554
National Resources for Any U.S. Resident
The Johns Hopkins University: Center for Talented Youth
5801 Smith Ave., #400, McAuley Hall
Baltimore, MD 21209
Duke University: Talent Identification Program (TIP)
1121 West Main Street
Durham, NC 27701
The Council for Exceptional Children
1920 Association Drive
Reston, VA 22091
Social, Emotional, and Educational Guidance Needs of the Gifted
Parenting the Gifted
Information provided by the Family Liaison Office
Contact the Family Liaison Office