Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
1. What is Gateways? Gateways is the name of gifted services in grades K-12 in Fauquier County Schools.
2. In what areas does FCPS identify and serve gifted students? We identify and serve academically gifted students in the areas of math and language arts in grades K-12. We are also developing our visual arts identification and services for students in grades 5-12.
3. How is a student referred for academic gifted services? Anyone can refer a student for gifted services. Referrals are accepted by the Gateways teacher (K-5) or Guidance (6-12) on a continuous basis until March 1 each year. Referrals can be requested at each school or from the office of Advanced Studies.
4. How is a student referred for visual arts gifted services? At this point, students must be referred for visual arts by an art teacher. Parents will receive a letter and a permission form once a referral is made.
5. Who should be referred for academic gifted services? Students who need gifted services are capable of working at such an advanced level that they need services outside of the regular classroom. What about in visual arts? Art teachers are looking for students who show advanced talent, ability, and interest.
6. What do academic Gateways services look like at each grade level? In grades K and 1, the Gateways teacher conducts whole class lessons and may pull enrichment groups of students to work with them in a small group setting. Beginning in 2nd grade, the Gateways teacher pulls students identified as needing Gateways services for L. Arts and Math for at least 45 minutes, twice a week. Services change in grades 3-5. In the upper elementary grades, identified Gateways students receive accelerated instruction from the Gateways teacher (or a specially chosen classroom teacher) in L. Arts and Math. The Gateways teacher becomes the teacher of record for those subjects for identified students. In middle school, Gateways students are invited to apply to SummerQuest, a Summer Regional Governor's School. In addition, students can take advanced courses in Math and L. Arts. A gifted identification guarantees access to those advanced courses. In high school, Gateways students can take advanced courses with guaranteed access and are encouraged to apply to Summer Residential Governor's School, Governor's Foreign Language Academies, and Mountain Vista Governor's School.
7. What services are available to students identified in visual arts? An identification in visual arts guarantees access to art classes, an invitation to FCPS summer art camp, and a possible nomination for the Visual and Performing Arts Summer Residential Governor's School in high school.
8. My child scores passed advanced on all SOL tests and is always on the Honor Roll. Why isn't he/she eligible for gifted services? It sounds like your child is an amazing student who is doing very well in school and that accomplishment should not be minimalized. Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between great students and gifted students. Gifted students are students who may not reach their full potential without additional resources. The state of Virginia requires school systems to use a multi-criteria approach to identification, including the use of norm-referenced tests. SOL tests are not used because they are criterion referenced tests. The follwing data is used in FCPS:
A. Ability Testing- We use the CoGAT or the KBIT-2
B. Gifted Behavior Rating Sheet- The classroom teacher fills this out and we are looking for unique characteristics that are often present in a child needing gifted services.
C. Achievement-this is where we look at grades and other achievements.
D. Work samples- Each student completes standardized work samples which are scored by a team of trained gifted education professionals who do not know the child. The tasks are designed to allow the student to show gifted traits in his/her work.
E. Interview: An interview may be conducted to learn more about the child.
F. Parental input- All parents receive a survey to allow the identification committee to learn more about your child.
Once all of the data is collected, a meeting is held with the Gateways teacher, a school administrator, a school counselor, and the student's classroom teacher. The Supervisor of Advanced Programs attends all identification meetings to ensure consistency. Once the data is reviewed, it is determined whether or not the student exhibits the need for gifted services.
9. What is "monitor" status? When the school based ID committee meets on a child who does not currently meet the criteria for identification but feels there is a good chance the criteria will be met after a year of provisional Gateways services, the committee may choose to place the child on monitor status. This is not considered a gifted identification but about 60% of our monitor students end up meeting the criteria for identification after the monitor status ends.
10. What if my child was identified or receiving gifted services in another county/state? If the school receives paperwork that proves a need for gifted services from another school system, students are provisionally placed in FCPS Gateways services. If the criteria for identification from the previous school is comparable to ours or the Gateways teacher sees the student is flourishing in our services, no additional data collection needs to take place. The student's file will be reviewed at the next school based ID committee meeting. If additional data is needed, this will be collected and also reviewed at a school based ID meeting.