WJCC holds a philosophy of talent development with regard to gifted education. School is a talent development process, and students who demonstrate one or more areas of academic strength or the potential for academic strength must be nurtured through appropriately differentiated curriculum and instruction in their strength area(s). Students exhibiting extremely high levels of performance in academics need curriculum and instruction that is specially designed for gifted learners. Giftedness and potential giftedness occurs in all cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. In addition, all students must have exposure to and training in higher-level critical and creative thinking skills and activities as part of the core curriculum (Tier I instruction) beginning in Kindergarten.
The WJCC gifted program falls under the Gifted Education and Talent Development Program (GTD Program). The Mission Statement of the Department of Gifted Education and Talent Development (GTD Department) is:
To support appropriately rigorous curriculum and instruction for all students based on their unique academic strengths and needs so that all students, including our gifted and potentially gifted students, are challenged and engaged in their learning.
Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools (WJCC) is committed to excellence in education for all students. As a division, WJCC expects all students to experience challenging, rigorous coursework based on their academic strengths and needs. Gifted and Talent Development Resource Teachers (GTDRTs) support general education teachers to implement meaningful differentiation for all students, while also advancing the unique academic needs of gifted learners. Thus, the Local Plan for the Gifted aligns to the WJCC Strategic Plan, the Virginia Regulations Governing Educational Services for Gifted Students, and the 5 C’s from the Virginia Profile of a Graduate (critical thinking, creative thinking, collaboration, communication, and citizenship). There is a full-time GTDRT or GTD Leader in each of our 16 elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as two itinerant and one full-time Primary GTDRT in our nine elementary schools to support the Gifted Education and Talent Development Program.
The formal gifted identification process has four parts: screening, referral, identification (testing), and eligibility. You may learn more about the WJCC Gifted Identification timeline on the “Frequently Asked Questions” at the bottom of this webpage, and more about the entire Gifted Identification Process through this handout.
Services for identified gifted students are provided through cluster grouping and specialized curriculum and activities in their regular classroom; Honors, advanced, or accelerated classes; Advanced Placement classes; and/or Dual Enrollment classes. In grades 1-5, gifted services also include a combination of live or asynchronous pull-out and/or push-in lessons. All building-based students in grades K-2 will receive Talent Development push-in lessons from the Primary GTDRT several times a year beginning with Kindergarten in the 2021-2022 school year and adding 1st grade in 2022-2023, and 2nd grade in 2023-2024. The Local Plan for the Education of the Gifted explains in detail all aspects of gifted education and talent development in WJCC as well as long-range goals for the GTD Program. A copy of the Local Plan is available in each school’s front office and online under the “WJCC Resources” tab on this page.