Gifted Education

Chesapeake Public Schools defines gifted students as those students whose abilities and potential are so outstanding that special services and programs are required to meet their needs. Chesapeake Public Schools uses multiple criteria to identify gifted learners including teacher and parent checklists, portfolios, and ability and achievement measures to determine students’ need for gifted services in the area of General Intellectual Aptitude in grades K-12 and Visual and Performing Arts in grades 9-12.

Elementary and Middle School Programs
The elementary program begins with enrichment in kindergarten through second grade. Students receive differentiated instruction from the classroom teacher with support from a gifted specialist during the school year.
Students who have been identified as academically gifted are placed in gifted cluster classrooms in their home schools in grades 3-8. The standard curriculum is supplemented through the implementation of gifted instructional strategies and concept-based gifted curricula designed to promote critical thinking, creative thinking, collaborative skills, and independent research skills.

High School Programs
High school students identified as gifted as well as other high performing high school students have the opportunity to enroll in a variety of advanced courses; these include Advanced Placement Courses, Honors Classes, and Dual-enrollment credit courses. Dual-enrollment courses allow students to earn both high school credit and community college credit simultaneously.

Specialty Programs
High school students can also pursue their unique interests through participation in specialty programs such as the Chesapeake Career Center, the Governor’s School for the Arts, International Baccalaureate, Governor’s STEM Academy, or the Science and Medicine Academy.

Click here to learn more about the Chesapeake Career Center.
Click here to learn more about academic opportunities.

Rising ninth through twelfth-grade students may apply for acceptance to the Governor’s School for the Arts. Classes are offered in dance, music, theater, and visual arts. Students are selected based on a competitive audition/application process. Students are transported to Norfolk each afternoon for instruction in their chosen area of interest.

Click here to learn more about the Governor’s School for the Arts.

Summer Programs

  • Summer Enrichment Elementary School
    The Chesapeake Public Schools Elementary Enrichment Program is designed for students enrolled in first through fifth grade who are working on or above grade level. The program targets students who demonstrate high intellectual or achievement capabilities. Students will be immersed in engaging and challenging activities to stimulate academic, artistic, and creative abilities. Grade levels may be combined due to enrollment. Click here to learn more about these programs.
  • Summer Enrichment Middle School
    The Chesapeake Public Schools Middle School Summer Enrichment Program is designed for students who complete grades six through eight and who have consistently demonstrated exceptional intellectual and academic ability. All classes are dependent on sufficient enrollment and the availability of qualified and appropriately endorsed instructional staff.  Click here to learn more about these programs.
  • Summer Residential Governor’s School
    Summer Residential Governor’s Schools provide gifted high school juniors and seniors with intensive educational experiences in foreign language, visual and performing arts; humanities; mathematics, science, and technology; or through mentorships in marine science, medicine, and health sciences, or engineering. Each Summer Residential Governor’s School focuses on one special area of interest. Students live on a college or university campus for up to four weeks each summer. During this time, students are involved in classroom and laboratory work, field studies, research, individual and group projects and performances, and seminars with noted scholars, visiting artists, and other professionals. In the three mentorships, students are selected to work side-by-side with research scientists, physicians, and a variety of other professionals. A director and student-life staff provide supervision of students 24 hours a day, throughout the program. Click here to learn more about these programs.

Differentiated Instruction
The practice of differentiating instruction across the curriculum and in all grade levels is endorsed in Chesapeake Public Schools. Instruction must, in fact, be differentiated in order to afford identified academically gifted students access to challenging and engaging curricula. Based on best practices for the gifted, a conceptually driven model is used to increase transferable and essential understandings. Specialized curriculum for identified gifted students has been prepared to promote higher-level thinking, interdisciplinary connections, and real-world applications via differentiated strategies. Students will be encouraged to utilize both convergent and divergent thinking while involved in a cohesive and collaborative work culture of active learning.