Our Schools

Academically & Intellectually Gifted

Gifted children and youth perform, or show potential for performing, at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared with others of their age, experience, or environment. These children and youth exhibit high performance capability in intellectual areas and/or specific academic fields. Outstanding abilities are present in children and youth from all cultural groups, across all economic strata, and in all areas of human endeavor. These students require differentiated educational services beyond those ordinarily provided by the regular education program (North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 1994).

Who Does the Program Serve?

The AIG program serves students in grades K-12 who manifest the ability to learn well beyond the expected level of their peers. Multiple indicators of giftedness include a students’ aptitude, achieve-ment, performance, interest, motivation, and ob-servable behavior.

Students in grades K-3 receive differentiated services within the regular classroom setting from the regular teacher.

All third grade students are screened in the spring using the Naglieri Non-verbal Ability Test (NNAT) to identify those who exhibit high cognitive ability. In addition, teachers are asked to refer students who perform at high levels in the classroom.

End-of-grade (EOG) test results and portfolios of student work are also considered by the school-based Needs Determination committee that includes the child’s regular teacher(s), the AIG specialist, and the school principal or designee.

Students at any grade level beyond third grade may be referred by a teacher, parent, or themselves. Referral windows occur each fall and each spring. Students who transfer into the Jackson County Public School System who have been identified as AIG elsewhere will be considered for placement immediately by the Needs Determination Committee.

What Do AIG Services Provide For Students?

  • Challenging, differentiated, and enriched core curriculum learning environments that value and nurture intellectual ability, creativity, and decision-making processes.
  • Learning opportunities and instructional activities that correlate with the objectives of the North Carolina Standard Course of Study to challenge advanced learners.
  • Learning opportunities that develop abstract thinking and reasoning skills, encourage creative thinking and problem solving, use higher levels of cognition, foster self-directed learning processes, and allow for independent investigation.
  • Collaboration through flexible scheduling to accommodate needs of gifted learners.
  • Three major avenues are used to differentiate curriculum and instruction from AIG students. They include differentiating the learning environment, content modification, and special programs.
  • Options increase at the high school level to include Advanced Placement, Honors, and dual enrollment courses at SCC or WCU, early admission, and virtual courses as well as special electives, seminars, independent study, mentorships, and internships.

How Do Students Choose Courses of Study?

Gifted students in Kindergarten through eighth grade receive differentiation in reading and mathematics instruction as appropriate for the individual student. Gifted students in grades 9-12 self-select courses with guidance from counselors, teachers, and parents. Available service options at each school site are matched with the individual student needs related to the specific criteria for each service option.

How Do the Services Vary at Each School?

Each school provides differentiated services for AIG students within the service options possible at that particular school. Many variables must be taken into consideration by the principal and the School Improvement Team in determining how differentiation is accomplished. Every classroom teacher has the responsibility for providing appropriate differentiation for each gifted student. AIG specialists ensure compliance with state and local regulations, policies, and procedures, and maintain AIG records for search, referral, evaluation, and placement. They also serve on the AIG Needs Determination Team; provide resource/inclusion services; develop differentiated curriculum and units of study; participate in program evaluation; and communicate with parents, teachers, and the community.


Laura Dills

Elementary Education Director
Title I, Title III/LEP, AIG
(828) 586-2311 ext. 1950