Advanced Academic Programs (AAP) Elementary Continuum of Services

September 26, 2018

Advanced Academic Programs (AAP) Elementary Continuum of Services

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) offers a continuum of advanced academic services for all students in Grades K-8. Learning experiences are designed to develop higher-level thinking through enrichment, acceleration, and extension of the Program of Studies (POS). Teachers, administrators, and Advanced Academic Resource Teachers (AARTs) work together to provide the following levels of services. A video showing each level of service in action, as well as information about middle and high school services, are available at https://www.fcps.edu/academics/elementary-school-academics-k-6/advanced-academics.

  • Critical and Creative Thinking Lessons, Grades K-6 (Level I)

Level I services are provided to all students in Kindergarten through Grade 6 and consist of lessons designed to teach critical and creative thinking skills. Strategies are modeled in all classrooms by AARTs and are used throughout the year by classroom and other teachers.  Student responses to these lessons are used as part of the identification process for Levels II-IV. Parents may also practice these strategies during family conversations and activities. Descriptions and videos of the nine critical and creative thinking strategies can be found at https://www.fcps.edu/academics/elementary-school-academics-k-6/advanced-academics/critical-and-creative-thinking.

Because Level I services are for all FCPS students, there is not a screening process. 

  • Differentiated Lessons in Areas of Academic Strength, Grades K-6 (Level II)

Level II services are available for students in Kindergarten through Grade 6 for students with strength in a specific subject area. The AART collaborates with classroom teachers to provide additional challenges using materials from the AAP Curriculum Framework for Levels II-IV to extend and enrich in the subject area strength. Screening for this level of service is ongoing throughout the school year. Multiple criteria are used to screen for this level of service and decisions are made at the local school level.

To have your student screened for Level II services, complete the AAP School-Based Referral Form available at https://www.fcps.edu/sites/default/files/media/forms/AAPSchoolBasedServicesReferralForm_0.pdf.

  • Part-Time Advanced Academic Programs, Grades 3-6 (Level III)

Level III services are available for students in Grades 3-6 who are eligible for part-time direct services from the AART. Students are identified by a screening committee at the local school.  The AART uses materials from the AAP Curriculum Framework for Levels II-IV in the four core subject areas through either a weekly pull-out class or weekly co-teaching model with the classroom teacher. Screening for this level of service is ongoing throughout the school year.  Multiple criteria are used to screen for this level of service and decisions are made at the local school level.

To have your student screened for Level III services, complete the AAP School-Based Referral Form available at https://www.fcps.edu/sites/default/files/media/forms/AAPSchoolBasedServicesReferralForm_0.pdf

  • Full-Time Advanced Academic Programs, Grades 3-8 (Level IV)

Level IV services are available for students in Grades 3-8 who are found eligible through a central selection process.  Eligible students use curriculum from the AAP Curriculum Framework for Levels II-IV in the four academic subject areas on a full-time basis.

Multiple criteria are reviewed to determine eligibility for all FCPS advanced academic services. The countywide central selection committee determines eligibility for full-time AAP Level IV placement.

Screening for Level IV services occurs during specific screening cycles: 

    • Fall screening is held for students who are new to FCPS and have been referred
    • Spring screening is held for any FCPS-enrolled student who has been referred

Due to the volume of files screened centrally for Level IV services, deadlines are strictly held. 

Additional information about the holistic screening process and information used for screening can be found at https://www.fcps.edu/registration/advanced-academics-identification-and-placement/current-fcps-students

Middle and High School AAP

Additional information about middle and high school services may be found on the Advanced Academic Programs web page:

Elementary Parent Information Meeting

A parent information meeting will be held at Churchill Road E.S. on October 4, 2018 at 7pm. The AART will provide information about levels of service and examples at Churchill Road E.S., as well as explain and answer questions about the screening processes for part-time school-based and full-time Level IV services.

Ability Testing

In the fall, the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT) is administered to all FCPS first grade students and the CogAT- Custom Form is administered to all FCPS second grade students. During the fall testing cycle, the NNAT and/or Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) may be administered to students in Grades 3-6 who do not have an ability test score. 

Parents or guardians may exercise a one-time retest option during the fall testing cycle. Please contact Assistant Principal, Jennifer Niccolls, jniccolls@fcps.edu, no later than September 26, 2018 to request a one-time retest for either the NNAT or CogAT. 

Please do not wait for test scores before submitting a referral for your student in Grades 2-7 as there will be no referrals for Level IV screening accepted past the January 10, 2019 deadline. If you are waiting for test scores and would like your student screened for Level IV, please submit the referral by the published deadline (even if you have not received the test scores for your student).