UPDATED: Advanced Academics Program (AAP) Information

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For more general information about the Advanced Academics Program, please visit the AAP website and/or see the recording of the parent presentation that was held on 9/28. The recording and a copy of the presentation in both English and Spanish, as well as translations of the AAP Newsletter, are also available on the “All Parents” Schoology course. 

Advanced Academic Programs (AAP)

Screening for School-Based (Level II-III) Services

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) is committed to challenging all students through talent development and differentiated instruction to meet the needs of advanced learners.

Screening for Levels II-III

Students can be screened for school-based (level II-III) AAP services at any time in the school year. In the spring, local schools review data on all students to determine services for the start of the next school year.

  • Parents or guardians can initiate the screening process by submitting the AAP School-Based Services (Level II-III) Referral Form to the Advanced Academic Resource Teacher (AART) or Assistant Principal by April 15, annually.
  • The AAP School-Based Services (Level II-III) Referral Form may be found at https://www.fcps.edu/academics/academic-overview/advanced-academic-prog… or by searching “AAP Forms” at https://www.fcps.edu/.
  • Parents or guardians who submit a referral will be notified by the local elementary school of their student’s eligibility status by early June.

Screening Process for Levels II-III

Multiple criteria are reviewed holistically to determine eligibility for all FCPS advanced academic services. Committees consider student work from opportunities with AAP lessons, examples of student reasoning or gifted behaviors from class discussions and activities, progress reports, achievement and ability scores, and parent or guardian input. Committees consider whether students have access to a group of students with similar academic needs to support academic conversations and growth in the classroom.

Appeals Process for Levels II-III

If a parent or guardian wishes to appeal an ineligible decision, they may submit an appeal with new data for consideration by the local school screening committee. This new information should be submitted to the Advanced Academic Resource Teacher or Assistant Principal.

School-Based Services Overview

School-Based Services in Elementary School

FCPS offers a continuum of advanced academic services for all students in Grades K-12. The continuum of services approach allows for a focus on matching services to students’ needs rather than labeling students. Students have:

  • Multiple entry points for deeper learning opportunities in specific areas of need as they develop.
  • A cluster group of students with similar academic needs to support student learning and growth.

Teachers, administrators, and Advanced Academic Resource Teachers (AARTs) work together to provide the following levels of school-based services at the elementary level:

Tier 1 Access to AAP Curriculum and Strategies, Grades K-6 (Level I)

All students have opportunities to think critically, reason, and problem-solve.

  • All teachers use critical and creative thinking strategies in their lessons.
  • Classroom teachers provide opportunities using materials from the AAP Curriculum Framework a minimum of once per quarter.

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)

Some students require differentiation beyond the needs of age-level peers in their class in at least one specific subject area. Classroom teachers may adjust instruction for students in these areas by:

  • Providing different assignments and resources using materials from the AAP Curriculum Framework.
  • Grouping students by their strengths, interests, and readiness.

Level II Services are re-evaluated each year and may change from year to year.

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

Some students have advanced academic abilities in multiple subject areas and require differentiation beyond the needs of age-level peers in their class in multiple content areas.

  • Students work with other students that have similar academic needs through weekly pull-out classes or weekly co-taught lessons with the AART and classroom teacher.
  • Teachers provide frequent opportunities to use materials from the AAP Curriculum Framework in Language Arts, science, social studies, and/or mathematics.

Level III services continue through Grade 6. Students do not need to be evaluated each year.

Screening for Full-Time (Level IV) Services

Screening Timeline for Level IV

Screening for level IV AAP services happens at the district/central level rather than by local schools. For your planning for next school year, please know that screening for Level IV services occurs during two specific screening cycles:

  • Fall screening is available for students who are new to FCPS since January.
    • Fall referrals are due in early October (contact the AART for more information).
  • Spring screening is available for any Grade 2-7 FCPS-enrolled student.
    • The referral window is from the first day of school - December 15, annually.

For more information, please visit the AAP website at: https://www.fcps.edu/registration/advanced-academics-identification-and….

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

Some students require regular advanced differentiation beyond the needs of age-level peers in their class in all four core content areas (Language Arts, mathematics, social studies, and science) and on a full-time basis. Students identified for level IV AAP require depth, complexity, and/or acceleration beyond the needs of their age-level peers at their current setting.

Students eligible for full-time AAP services are cluster grouped on a full-time basis and receive:

  • Full-time use of materials from the AAP Curriculum Framework in Language Arts, mathematics, science, and social studies curriculum, and
  • Increased intensity of depth, complexity, and acceleration compared to the needs of age-level peers in their current setting.

Level IV services continue through Grade 8. Students do not need to be evaluated each year.