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academic advancement and enrichmentWelcome...

The Department of Academic Advancement and Enrichment coordinates services that meet the needs of gifted and high ability students in Hampton City Schools.
Local Plan for Gifted Education - 2020-2025

Questions? Email: or call us at 727-2160
We look forward to serving the educational needs of your children!

Click the image above to view the Excel Art Virtual Gallery 2021

high school kids in science classHow are students IDENTIFIED for gifted services?
Students in grades K-12 are identified through the use of multiple criteria. The criteria may include, but not be limited to: parent and teacher rating of student characteristics; grades; and ability and achievement test scores. During the identification process, additional consideration is given to students who may also receive special education services, those who participate in the esl program or students attending Title I schools (these circumstances often put students at a disadvantage when demonstrating their exceptional potential in a school setting).

How do gifted children EXPRESS themselves?
While each child has unique characteristics, in general, gifted children and youth demonstrate exceptional reasoning, oral and written communication skills, and exceslent problem solving abilities.  They often see ‘connections’ between seemingly unlike objects or concepts; they are curious about the ‘how and why’ of things; they appear to ‘know’ a large amount of information about topics beyond their years; they are generally voracious readers; they are highly creative; they may express a strong sense of empathy for others; and usually perform at an exceptional level in one or more subject areas (math, language arts or reading, social studies, science, art, or foreign language).

How can I have my child evaluated for gifted services?
Parents, teachers, school administrators, or students may refer a student to be evaluated for gifted services.  Referral forms may be obtained through the school counselors at each school.  There is no deadline for referrals.  The eligibility process may take up to 90 days.  Click here for more detailed information

What forms do I need to submit?
A referral form is needed for each student being referred. Parents or guardians also need to submit a parent consent form and rating scale.  Teachers will submit a teacher rating scale.  For students who are not currently enrolled in Hampton City Schools, we will also need copies of standardized test scores and copies of the most recent report cards. K-2 Parent Consent/Rating form, K-2 Teacher Rating Scale form

girl writing on chalk board in math classWhat does the eligibility process look like?
Click here to view a flow chart of the process.

How can my child attend Spratley Gifted Center?
The eligibility process for Spratley is the same process as for other gifted services. To start the evaluation process, you will need to submit a referral form and parent consent form to the gifted office or to your child’s school counselor. Call the gifted office at 727-2160 (not the Spratley office) for more information.

What is the deadline for submitting referrals?
There is no deadline, but please remember that the eligibility process is quite lengthy, and can take up to 90 days.  We strongly recommend that referrals be made by March for consideration for placement for the following year.  Not only do we not have staff available for testing over the summer, but we do want to make sure we have enough gifted teachers where they are needed!

How do you use the NNAT CogAT tests?
We administer the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT) to every first grade student in Hampton City Schools, and the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) to every second grade student in Hampton City Schools. We look at the scores for every student to determine if he or she should be referred for a full gifted evaluation.

How can I have my child evaluated for the gifted Visual Art program?
Obtain a referral and art rating scale for parents from the school counselor, and ask your child’s art teacher to have your child complete a portfolio (five specific drawings, done in school).

How can I get more information?
Please call the gifted office at 757-727-2160, or email

What happens after all forms are completed?
Once referred, the student’s information will be forwarded to this department’s office at the School Administration Center (SAC).  When the student’s information comes to SAC, a testing session may be scheduled (to provide additional information regarding the student’s ability).  When testing is complete, an identification and placement committee meeting will be held.  Parents will be notified of the decision reached by the committee.

two students in classWhat happens when transfer students enter HCS in the summer?
If possible, call our office (757/727-2160) prior to your arrival in Hampton, provide a mailing address, and a packet of information will be sent to you. Upon arrival in Hampton, IT IS IMPORTANT TO REGISTER/ENROLL YOUR CHILD IN THE ZONED SCHOOL TO WHICH HE/SHE IS ASSIGNED before coming to our office. Next, contact our office for an appointment with the department director. Bring copies of your child’s most recent report card, transcript indicating ability test scores, and if your child has been previously identified as gifted, bring formal evidence of the eligibility decision (which should include test scores and other data needed to make the decision in the previous school division). During the meeting, the director will discuss the process used in HCS to determine eligibility and the possible service options that may meet the student’s educational needs.

Parents of private school or home school students should call our office directly at 727-2160 for a referral package.  When all of the required information is received, the student will be assigned to the next testing session, usually scheduled in the spring and summer.  If the student is found eligible for gifted services, those services will be provided once the student is enrolled as a full time student in Hampton City schools.  The eligibility and placement decision is valid for one year; if the identified student does not enroll in HCS within one year, the process must be completed again prior to enrollment.

General Information...

The Gifted Resource Program provides advanced educational opportunities with trained gifted resource staff on a weekly pullout basis.  The curriculum for this program includes in-depth activities in language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and a variety of multidisciplinary activities that focus on the development of critical thinking skills and problem solving strategies.  For identified students in grades K-5, the Resource Program meets in each elementary school.  In many cases, gifted students in the zoned schools are also clustered in the general education setting so that their classroom teachers are able to differentiate assignments to provide additional challenges. For Grades K-2, this is a Talent Pool program, and students will be re-evaluated at the end of second grade to determine placement for the upper elementary grades.  In grades 6-8, middle school gifted students whose academic needs can best be met in their zoned schools are primarily served through cluster grouping and appropriately differentiated instruction.

The Spratley Gifted Center (grades 3-8) provides a full-time program for identified gifted students with highly advanced skills and aptitudes who have already demonstrated their capacity for complex processing abilities.  These students require a fully differentiated educational environment, with an accelerated program of studies across all content areas.  This comprehensive instructional program is designed around the cognitive characteristics and learning styles of gifted children, providing a multidisciplinary curriculum incorporating focused reflection, interaction, and discussion.  In addition to mastery of basic content and skills (as measured by Virginia SOL assessments), students attending the full time center are expected to master advanced competencies across all content areas.  Opportunities are provided for extensive research, inquiry based learning, literary and scientific analysis, and project based learning to focus on topics of strength and interest.

The Excel Art Program is designed to nurture and enrich the gifts of young artists in grades 3-8. This program focuses on advanced, concentrated instruction in the principles, theory, and practice of visual art. Students participating in Excel Art meet at on a regular schedule at their home schools. Students are accepted into this program based on an adjudicated portfolio, superior potential in art skills and creativity, advanced achievement in art, and recommendations by art teachers.
High school options offer a variety of advanced and high level courses to gifted students, including Honors, Advanced Placement (AP), and dual enrollment classes.  Additional specialized courses are taught at the magnet schools.  Other options include the New Horizons Governor’s School for Science and Technology and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme. In addition to the college and career academies, HCS offers a differentiated option of cluster grouping for gifted high school students, the Gifted Enrichment Seminar, in grades nine and ten in the students' zoned high school. This model offers students access to in-depth learning of curriculum content with time for students to go into greater depth and breadth on a given topic. Teachers offer curriculum compacting and differentiated learning opportunities.

The New Horizons Governor’s School for Science and Technology offers a regional, specialized secondary program for gifted and high ability students in grades 11-12. Students attending New Horizons also attend their home high school for part of each school day.  Courses at the Governor’s School emphasize computer applications and hands-on laboratory experiences set in an inquiry based learning environment. Students attending New Horizons also have opportunities to participate in research and mentoring with scientists and practicing professionals in area hospitals, clinics, NASA Langley, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, and the Jefferson Lab.   College credit may be earned for these weighted high school classes.  Interested students should refer to the Web site at for application and prerequisite information.  A Pre-Admissions Information Series also provides additional information for prospective students entering ninth and tenth grade.

Summer Residential Governor’s School programs are offered by the Virginia Department of Education for exceptional students going into grades 11 or 12.  The admission to these programs is highly competitive, but is a life-changing experience for the participants.  The Governor’s School programs include:

Visual and Performing Arts
Math, Science, and Technology
Life Sciences and Medicine
Marine Sciences Mentorships at VIMS
Engineering Mentorships at NASA 
Foreign Language Academies in French, Spanish, German, Latin, Russian, Japanese, and Chinese

Gifted Information Modules for Parents

My child is bored...
Handy Parent Guide to College Admissions
Open House Presentation
• Virginia Association for the Gifted Conference
• Gifted Parent Workshops! - To be announced
• The Gifted Education Parent Handbook (pdf)

We value input and assistance from our parents.  If you would like to serve on the Gifted Education Local Advisory Committee, please fill out the nomination form and reurn it to

Program Centers:
Spratley Gifted Center:
New Horizons Governor's School:

The following sites have additional information about
gifted education and programs for gifted students: 

These sites are provided for informational purposes only and are not inclusive.
Hampton City Schools is not responsible for their content.

GSST's Virtual Open House Feb. 2021

Informational Videos Featuring Students and Alumni of GSST

How to Apply student videos for GSST and PAS program

Boldly Return 2020 Reopening Plan for SY 2020-2021

The Governor's School Virtual Open House
Here you can access the recorded live Virtual Open Houses for each strand.
Biological Science: Virtual Open House Recording
Computer Science: Virtual Open House Recording
Engineering: Virtual Open House Recording

Grade 4-7 Summer Opportunity

New Horizon's Governor's School for Science and Technology -  Informational Presentation

The Governor’s School for Science and Technology provides a cohesive, innovative science and mathematics program for students in grades 11 and 12. Choices of strands include biological science, engineering, and scientific programming. The senior year experience includes an individualized honors research and mentorship experience with a professional in the field. Admission is highly competitive. Interested students should consider applying to the Pre-Admissions Series in the eighth or ninth grade. For an application and more information, visit the web site at

Applications for 10th grade students are completed online, and are due by February 28.  Late applications are not accepted. 

Applications for the Pre-Admissions Series (PAS) for students in grades 8-9 are due to school counselors on February 28.

Here is a video on the Governor's School from the perspective of the director and a student. 

Summer Governor’s School

The Virginia Department of Educationsponsors the Summer Residential Governor's Schools. Applications are posted in October, with local deadlines the first week of November for VPA applications and the first week of December for the other programs.

These are FANTASTIC programs, conducted on college campuses, and completely free of charge to students. Students may apply for programs in:

Visual and Performing Arts
Math, Science and Technology
(think cutting edge genetics, not cows and plows!)
Medicine and Health Sciences
Article about the VCU program:
Mentorships in Engineering [link not currently available]
Mentorships in Marine Science at VIMS
Information and applications are posted at:
For the local timeline for application deadlines, click here
For basic hints on completing applications, click here.

If you have any questions, please call the DAAE office at 727-2160

Radford University has developed a video about the Summer Residential Governor's School programs in Humanities and Visual and Performing Arts. The video can be found on this page -  

The Local Advisory Committee (LAC) for gifted education is comprised of parents, teachers, administrators, and community members.  The purpose of the LAC is to advise the School Board of the educational needs of all gifted students in the division.  The LAC meets at least three times yearly.  The public is invited to attend.  For more information, please call the office at 727-2160 or email

Meetings for the 2020-2021 school year will be held at Spratley Gifted Center 339 Woodland Rd., 6:00-7:00 p.m. on the following dates:

October 29, 2020
January 21, 2021
March 25, 2021

If you are interested in serving on this committee, or know of someone who would be interested, please complete the nomination form and return it to the DAAE office.

Local Advisory Committee Report for Gifted Education for 2020

• Current Agenda


©2020 HAMPTON CITY SCHOOLS All rights reserved - One Franklin Street, Hampton Virginia 23669 - 757-727-2000


As stated in School Board Policy AC and GBA, Hampton City Schools (“HCS”) does not discriminate with regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age, disability, ancestry, marital status, pregnancy, child birth or related medical conditions, status as a veteran, genetic information, or other characteristic protected by law in its programs, activities and employment practices and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.  

HCS also prohibits retaliation under School Board Policy GBAB for the purpose of interfering with a person’s rights and/or privileges under federal civil rights laws, which can include: (i) raising concerns with Division personnel about a civil rights violation; (ii) asserting a right or advocating for the rights of a student or employee under federal civil rights laws; or (iii) participating in a complaint investigation or related proceedings. 

All individuals are encouraged to promptly report any incident they believe to be discrimination, harassment or retaliation in violation of HCS School Board Policy.  All reports should be made to the HCS Compliance Officer, who also serves as the HCS Executive Director of Human Resources and Title IX/ADA Coordinator.  Upon receiving a report of alleged discrimination, harassment or retaliation, the Compliance Officer shall promptly authorize an investigation into the complaint, determine whether the alleged act occurred, and determine whether any action must be taken to end or prevent further harassment, discrimination, or retaliation.  For more information about this process, please review the Formal Resolution Process and/or Informal Resolution Process.    

Should you have any questions about these procedures or the contents of this notice, please contact:

Executive Director of Human Resources
Title IX and ADA Coordinator
Department of Human Resources
One Franklin Street
Hampton, VA 23669
(757) 727-2300



Hampton City Schools (HCS) is committed to making its website accessible for all, including individuals with disabilities, and strives to ensure accessibility currently and as new technologies emerge.  The division welcomes questions and feedback on the site’s accessibility at each development phase.  By clicking on “Contact” at the upper right of the main webpage, all users are able to “Help Resolve a Concern,” “Share a Story,” “Provide Feedback,” and “Ask a Question.”  Additionally, the Contact Us page provides direct email access to HCS Webmaster Vickie Carper,


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The majority of pages in our site are available in HTML format that can be deciphered by screen readers. Some documents are in Portable Document Format (PDF), which require Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.

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Also, many popular browsers contain built-in accessibility tools, and there are other plug-ins that make websites more accessible.

The HCS website is designed and monitored by HCS Webmaster Vickie Carper, who serves as the gatekeeper for website content and accessibility.   The Webmaster is under the direction of the Executive Director of Public Relations and Marketing, supervised by the Director of Graphics.
Web visitors using assistive technology who may have trouble accessing information on the website may contact the HCS Webmaster,, the Executive Director of Public Relations and Marketing, and/or the Director of Graphics,

When submitting a question or concern via email, “accessibility” should be included in the subject line.  Every reasonable attempt will be made to address the user’s concern within twenty-four hours.  To assist HCS in responding appropriately, all inquiries should include the following information:

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HCS monitors all technology resource activity and requires all employees, students and individuals with access to HCS computer systems and networks to annually read and sign an Acceptable Use Policy.  See School Board Policy IIBEA for Students; School Board Policy GBBB for Employees.

Our continuing goal is for the HCS website to be accessible to individuals with disabilities in compliance with the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and that statute's implementing regulations at 34 C.F.R. Part 104, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and that statute's implementing regulations at 28 C.F.R. Part 35.

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Prior to posting new website content, the HCS Webmaster determines if the proposed content meets the criteria of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).  Periodically the HCS Webmaster checks the website with a recognized website checker such as 508 Checker and WAVE.  If the audit identifies issues of concern or content errors that impede accessibility to any user, the concerns/errors are evaluated and remedied within a six-week period.


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