Gifted Education Services
Gifted education services and various enrichment opportunities are available to students of Charles County Public Schools throughout the school year. A Learning Resource Teacher is on staff at every elementary and middle school to collaborate with classroom teachers, provide instruction and support highly able learners. Advanced courses and a wide range of academic opportunities are available at all high schools. County-wide and school activities provide enrichment at all grade levels.
The mission of Charles County Public Schools is to provide an opportunity for all school-aged children to receive an academically challenging, quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares for life, in an environment that is safe and conducive to learning.
We believe that students who perform or show the potential for performing at high levels of accomplishment should have access to high quality gifted education services. A rich continuum of advanced learning opportunities is available to our students. We are committed to providing rigorous instructional programs that nurture potential and enhance academic success.
Gifted Education provides leadership and expertise for parents and schools. It is our commitment to provide access to advanced learning opportunities which are matched to our students' potential.
Maryland State Definition of Gifted and Talented
The Annotated Code of Maryland § 8-201 defines a gifted and talented student as “an elementary or secondary student who is identified by professionally qualified individuals as having outstanding talent and performing, or showing the potential for performing, at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared with other students of a similar age, experience, or environment…”
"A gifted and talented student needs different services beyond those normally provided by the regular school program in order to develop the student's potential" (Annotated Code of Maryland § 8-202).
"Gifted and talented students are to be found in youth from all cultural groups, across all economic strata, and in all areas of human endeavor" (Annotated Code of Maryland § 8-202).
- News & Events
- Learning Resource Teacher Staff
- Gifted Identification
- Appeals Process
- Middle School
- High School
- Opportunities for Students
- Resources for Parent & Educators
- EGATE Schools
2022 Winter Chess Tournament
Saturday, February 12, 2022
8: 15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Henry E. Lackey High School
3000 Chicamuxen Road
Indian Head, MD 20640
The tournament is open for grades 4 - 12 students only. Participation is free and open to all Charles County students. The tournament features a four-round Swiss Style format. Games approximately 9 AM, 10 AM, 11 AM, and 12 PM. Awards ceremony follows the 4th round match. Trophies, medals, and/or certificates awarded.
- Sign-in for registered players begins at 8:15 AM. First round of play begins at 9:00 AM.
- Students must check in by 8:45 AM to be paired for play in the first round.
- Students compete in divisions based on grade level. Grades 4 - 12 will use chess clocks and are allotted 15 minutes per game.
COVID Safety Precautions
- Spectators are limited to 2 adults per registered player.
- Students need to be dropped off / picked up.
- Health form to be completed when the student arrives. Parents will be emailed the form after registering.
- Chess pieces will be replaced and/or sanitized between matches.
- Hand sanitizer will be readily available.
- Face masks must be worn during match play.
- Implement social distancing between players.
Registrations close after Wednesday, February 9, 2022. Walk-in registrations cannot be accommodated.
Central Office Contacts
|Kristen Modes||Content Specialist for Gifted and Differentiated Services||301-934-7227|
Elementary School Learning Resource Teachers
|C. Paul Barnhart||Jessica Meador||301-645-9053|
|Dr. Gustavus Brown||Mollie Crisp-Rugila||301-645-1330|
|Dr. James Craik||Joni Rooney||301-934-4270|
|William A. Diggs||Sabrina McCabe||301-638-7202|
|Gale-Bailey||Amy Tascione Hoffman||301-743-5491|
|Dr. Thomas L. Higdon||Stephanie Campbell||301-934-4091|
|Indian Head||Amy Arnold||301-743-5454|
|Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer||Nicholas Gardiner||301-932-9603|
|T.C. Martin||Tammy Barnes||301-274-3182|
|Mary H. Matula||Tina Caron||301-934-5412|
|Arthur Middleton||Jennifer Toone||301-645-3338|
|Walter J. Mitchell||Holly Smigal||301-934-4687|
|Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy||Amanda McAllister||301-246-4383|
|Dr. Samuel A. Mudd||301-645-3686|
|Mary B. Neal||Kelly Craft||301-638-2617|
|J.C. Parks||Charna Brooks||301-375-7444|
|J.P. Ryon||Kelly Rodriguez||301-645-3090|
|Eva Turner||Ryan Thompson||301-645-4828|
|William B. Wade||Stacey Durham||301-932-4304|
Middle School Learning Resource Teachers
|Theodore G. Davis||Brett Gerhart||301-638-0858|
|John Hanson||Kathryn Neiles||301-645-4520|
|Matthew Henson||Heather White||301-375-8550|
|General Smallwood||Chrissy Trest||301-743-5422|
|Milton M. Somers||Suzanne Johnson||301-934-4663|
|Benjamin Stoddert||Debbie Simmons||301-645-1334|
High School Counseling Department
Information on advanced courses is available through high school counselors. Contact the counseling department for individual counselors.
|Henry E. Lackey||301-743-5431|
|Maurice J. McDonough||301-932-2944|
In Charles County Public Schools, students in grades 2 - 7 are screened for gifted services. Data collection occurs throughout the school year, and final placements and parent notifications are made in May. The identification process includes the following steps:
Charles County Public Schools has adjusted the gifted education screening process for the 2021-2022 school year.
The following is a new timeline for gifted screening and Cognitive Abilities (CogAT) Testing.
Gifted Screening and Identification, current 2nd grade students – All 2nd grade students will be given the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) January/February 2022 as part of the global screening process for gifted identification. Gifted screening will take place May 2022 and students identified will begin services 2022-2023 school year. Parents will receive notification with their child’s screening results June 2022.
Gifted Screening and Identification, current 3rd grade students 2021-2022 - All 3rd grade students will be given the CogAT test November/December 2021, and gifted screening will take place prior to second semester. Third grade students identified will begin services January/February 2022. Parents will receive notification with their child’s screening results January/February 2022.
Gifted Screening and Identification, new to CCPS & referred 4th-7th grade students– CogAT will be administered November/December 2021 to all new to CCPS and referred students. Gifted screening will take place May 2022 and students identified will begin services 2022-2023 school year. Parents will receive notification with their child’s screening results June 2022.
Questions regarding the identification process should be addressed to the school's Learning Resource Teacher.
Broad-based Screening of Students
- All students in grades 2 take the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) in November. This test measures general and specific reasoning abilities and is one way students are brought to the attention of the Gifted Identification Committee.
- In addition, teachers may nominate students who display gifted characteristics in the classroom.
- Parents may nominate students who display gifted characteristics at home.
- These students make up the screening pool for review by the school-based Gifted Identification Committee.
In-depth Assessment of Students in Screening Pool
- A school-based identification committee reviews data on each student in the screening pool.
- Multiple criteria are considered including:
- Abilities test – CogAT
- Achievement data
- Classroom performance/grades
- Teacher observation checklists
- Parent nominations/checklists
- Student work samples
- Student needs are identified by the Gifted Identification Committee.
Student Needs Matched to Gifted Services
- Students who require learning experiences beyond the standard program will be matched to appropriate gifted services.
- Gifted services in reading, language arts and/or math are available at every elementary and middle school.
- Parents will be notified by mail of committee recommendations.
- Letters will be mailed before the end of the school year.
Any parent can nominate a child in grades 2 - 7 to be screened for gifted services. Parent nomination forms are available at every elementary and middle school or can be printed from the link below. Forms should be returned to the learning resource teacher at your child's school by the end of November. Contact the learning resource teacher at the school with questions.
Each year all Charles County elementary and middle schools screen students in grades 2-7 for gifted services in reading and math. Parents are notified of committee recommendations before the close of the school year. If a parent wishes to appeal the decision of the school's Gifted Identification Committee, he/she should send a letter of appeal to the school principal as soon as possible.
This letter should state the reason for the appeal and any new information not considered in the original review. This may include student work samples, letters from adults who know the child's advanced ability and/or other relevant information that demonstrates the student's need for gifted services.
Upon receiving an appeal, the school principal will conduct a meeting with appropriate school and system staff to review the appeal and determine the most appropriate instructional plan for the student. If the letter of appeal is received after the close of the school year, the meeting will be delayed until August/September when school staff return.
When a decision is made, the principal or other staff member will contact the parent to discuss the instructional plan for the upcoming school year.
Grades 1 and 2: Nurturing Potential in Reading
Students in grades 1 and 2 who are reading at least one year above level receive instruction from their classroom teachers with support from the Learning Resource Teacher. Students are grouped with peers of similar academic needs for instruction that include the use of above level texts, shared inquiry discussion, above level vocabulary and/or novel study. Enrichment guided reading curriculum has been developed to provide appropriate levels of challenge through above level content, vocabulary, writing, and language study. The classroom teacher may use the following resources to address the needs of students who require instruction beyond the regular curriculum.
- Junior Great Books
- Junior Great Books Nonfiction Inquiry
- Junior Great Books ThinkIt Critical Thinking Nonfiction Reading
- The Jacob’s Ladder Reading Comprehension Program
- William & Mary Beyond Words
- William & Mary A World of Wild, Wacky, Wonderful Words
- Wordly Wise
- Imagine Learning
Grades 1 and 2: Nurturing Potential in Math
Students who are working above grade level in math receive differentiated instruction from their classroom teachers with support from the Learning Resource Teacher. Students are grouped with peers or similar academic needs for small group instruction. The classroom teacher may use the following resources to address the needs of students who require instruction beyond the grade level curriculum.
- Illustrative Math
- Project M2- Mentoring Young Mathematicians
- DreamBox Learning
Grades 3 through 5: English Language Arts
Students in grades 3 – 5 who have been identified for gifted services in reading receive instruction from their classroom teachers with support from the Learning Resource Teacher. Students are grouped with peers of similar academic needs. Gifted guided reading curriculum has been developed to provide appropriate levels of challenge through advanced content, vocabulary, and/or novel study. Instructional strategies focus on critical reading; analysis of issues, themes and moral dilemmas; critical approaches to literature; and a range of inquiry-base discussion models. The classroom teacher may use the following resources to address the needs of students who require instruction beyond the regular curriculum.
- Novel Studies
- Junior Great Books; Fiction and Non-fiction series
- The Jacob’s Ladder Reading Comprehension Program
- Wordly Wise 3000, 2nd Edition
- William and Mary Navigator Units for Novel Study
- William and Mary Language Arts Units
Grades 3 and 4: Mathematics
Students who have been identified for gifted services in third and fourth grade math receive differentiated instruction from their classroom teachers with support from the Learning Resource Teacher. Students are grouped with peers of similar academic needs for small group instruction. Enrichment curriculum has been developed to advance students’ content knowledge beyond minimal competency, expand conceptual understanding, cultivate and extend problem-solving abilities. The classroom teacher may use the following resources to address the needs of students who require instruction beyond the grade level curriculum:
- Illustrative Math
- Math Curriculum for Gifted Students
- Math in Practice
- Mindset Mathematics
- Motivation Math
- Project M3 Mentoring Mathematical Minds
- Challenging Common Core Math Lessons from William and Mary University
- DreamBox Learning
Grade 5: Mathematics
Students in grade 5 who have been identified for gifted services in mathematics are placed in an accelerated math cluster group. A classroom teacher with support from the Learning Resource Teacher and/or Instructional Resource Teacher delivers instruction in the accelerated math cluster. The accelerated math curriculum addresses both 5th and 6th grade Maryland State College and Career Readiness Standards.
English Language Arts
The gifted level language arts and reading classes in grades 6-8 address the needs of students who require instructional experiences beyond the regular curriculum. The school-based Learning Resource Teacher collaborates with the classroom teacher to provide appropriate levels of challenge through accelerated pacing and advanced content, vocabulary, research, writing and language study. Instructional strategies focus on critical reading; analysis of issues, themes and moral dilemmas; critical approaches to literature; author studies, and a range of inquiry-based discussion models.
Students who demonstrate high levels of achievement in mathematics take accelerated courses in middle school. Under the Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards for Mathematics, students may be placed in 6th Grade Accelerated Math, 7th Grade Accelerated Math and Algebra 1. High school credit is earned for completion of Algebra 1.
Scholars Course of Study
Students who demonstrate talent and interest in academic areas and work beyond grade level content may participate in the Charles County Scholars Course of Study. These students in grades 6-12 take advanced level courses and maintain minimum required grades in order to earn recognition at the end of eighth grade.
There are a variety of advanced learning opportunities available to high school students.
Honors level courses are designed for students who are motivated to go beyond the foundational knowledge of the discipline. Honors courses build upon the successes of earlier experiences and stimulate students to explore their potential.
Advanced Placement courses provide rigorous college preparatory coursework in the major subject areas. The AP Program was developed by the College Board and offers students an opportunity to earn college credit based on successful completion of a comprehensive AP exam given in May.
Advanced technology, fine arts and career-related courses are also available to interested students. Check the Charles County High School Program of Studies for explanations of specific courses at the high school level.
Scholars Course of Study
Students who demonstrate talent and interest in academic areas and work beyond grade level content may participate in the Scholars Course of Study. These students in grades 6-12 take advanced level courses and maintain minimum required grades in order to earn recognition at graduation. Information on the Scholars Course of Study is available through the brochure and/or the high school counseling department.
“Acceleration is an educational intervention based on progress through an educational program at rates faster or at ages younger than typical. It is ideally suited to academically gifted students – young people who have an enhanced capacity to learn. Acceleration practices provide the appropriate level of challenge and reduce the time necessary for student to complete traditional school.” (Templeton National Report on Acceleration, 2004)
“The purposes of acceleration as a practice with the gifted are 1) to adjust the pace of instruction to the students’ capacity in order to develop a sound work ethic, 2) to provide an appropriate level of challenge in order to avoid the boredom from repetitious learning, and 3) to reduce the time period necessary for students to complete traditional schooling. Acceleration benefits many highly capable individuals by better motivating them toward schooling, enhancing their involvement with extracurricular activities, promoting more challenging options in the middle school and high school years, and preparing them to begin contributing to society at an earlier age.” (NAGC, 2004)
In accordance with our mission to provide the opportunity for all children to receive an academically challenging education, CCPS recognizes that some academically advanced students may require acceleration beyond what can be provided in the traditional setting. When differentiation and instructional modifications are insufficient to meet the needs of an exceptionally advanced student, grade acceleration may be considered.
Decisions regarding grade acceleration are made by a team of educators, which may include the principal, learning resource teacher, reading and/or math resource teachers, classroom teachers, counselor and appropriate central office personnel.
Requests for grade acceleration are accepted throughout the year; however, implementation of the grade acceleration could take place immediately or with the next school year, depending on the needs of the child.
Requests made at the end of the school year must be submitted by May 1. It may not be possible to review requests received after May 1 until the fall because of staff availability.
The grade acceleration process generally takes about 8 weeks.
A student must be enrolled in Charles County Public Schools for at least 30 days before a grade acceleration request can be considered.
A parent may request grade acceleration through a letter to the school principal describing the child’s advanced skills and the reasons for the grade acceleration request.
A teacher, counselor, or other staff member can also initiate this process. A written request that describes the student’s academic status and the differentiation that has been used to meet the academic needs of the student should be submitted to the principal.
Contact the Learning Resource Teacher at your child's school for more information on grade acceleration.
Throughout the year, Charles County Public Schools sponsors many academic competitions and enrichment activities for students of all ages. For information on specific clubs, teams or events, contact your child’s school.
Fall and Winter Chess Tournaments
Chess is an activity that promotes critical thinking, analysis and reasoning, as well as self-confidence and good sportsmanship. Students in grades K through 12 are invited to participate in two county-wide chess tournaments each year. The Fall Chess Tournament is generally held in October/November, and the Winter Chess Tournament occurs in February. In addition, chess clubs are held at many schools.
In early December, teams from all six high schools test their knowledge in a county-wide It’s Academic competition. Winning teams can advance to playoff competitions against other Washington, DC area schools in the televised games on NBC4.
Destination Imagination (DI)
DI is a creative problem-solving program for students in kindergarten through college, active in 48 states and over 40 countries. Teams of up to seven students solve one of seven different long-term challenges, which they perform in front of appraisers at a regional competition. Winning teams from the regional tournament may be invited to advance to the state and/or global DI competitions.
CTY Talent Search
Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth conducts an annual Talent Search each fall to identify, assess and recognize the academic abilities of advanced students. Students qualify for the Talent Search through standardized test scores, and may qualify for a variety of opportunities through Johns Hopkins University.
Maryland Summer Centers for Gifted and Talented
The Maryland State Department of Education provides summer educational opportunities for gifted and talented students across the state. The Maryland Summer Centers program, in partnership with public and nonpublic agencies, offer a variety of experiential learning opportunities which nurture talent and provide unique experiences for students. Information is available in late winter/early spring.
Additional Enrichment Opportunities
Additional opportunities are available to students at all grade levels. Contact the school for details on specific clubs and competitions. Enrichment opportunities may include the following:
- Elementary Math Challenge (grades 4-5)
- Math Counts (grades 6-8)
- Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement Competition - MESA (grades 3-12)
- Spelling Bee (grades 6-8)
- Geography Bee (grades 4-8)
- History Day (grades 6-12)
- Black Saga (grades 4-8)
- Science Fair (grades 3-12)
- Future Educators of America (grades 6-12)
- Student Government (grades 6-12)
National Association for Gifted Children
The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) is an organization of parents, teachers, educators, and community leaders who work to increase public awareness about the unique needs of children with demonstrated gifted abilities and those children who may be able to develop their talent potential with appropriate educational experiences.
Parenting for High Potential
Parenting for High Potential is a quarterly magazine designed to help parents understand the characteristics and needs of advanced learners and how to develop their children's talents and promote their potential to the fullest. The publication is available through the NAGC website.
MSDE and Johns Hopkins School of Education GT Discover
Discover and contribute to the wealth of information and resources available for Gifted and Talented students and their families on the MSDE and Johns Hopkins School of Education GT Discover website.
MSDE Office of Gifted and Talented Programs
The Office of Gifted and Talented Programs at the Maryland State Department of Education provides information on gifted programs and events in the state. Dr. Jeanne Paynter is the Specialist for Gifted Education at MSDE. State regulations, informational material, and upcoming conferences can be found on this website.
Maryland Coalition for Gifted and Talented Education
Maryland Coalition for Gifted and Talented Education (MCGATE) is a Maryland gifted education advocacy group made up of educators, parents, students and community members. Their focus is on public policy and educational practices that affect the successful education of gifted and talented/highly able students.
Johns Hopkins University – Center for Talented Youth
The Center for Talented Youth (CTY) is a university-based initiative with a mission "to recognize and develop the world's brightest young minds." CTY is dedicated to the education of advanced learners worldwide and offers courses, testing, publications, and research on K-12 gifted and talent youth.
Hoagies' Gifted Education
Hoagies' Gifted Education is a comprehensive resource on the education of gifted children for parents, educators, and students. It offers an abundance of information, articles, books, and links covering a wide range of topics.
The College Board is a not-for-profit membership association whose mission is to connect students to college success and opportunity. College Board is responsible for Advanced Placement courses and exams for college credit, and they also conduct the SAT and PSAT college entrance exams. Parents may find information about college planning, paying for college, scholarships, and exam schedules and fees on their website.
GT Discover builds the capacity of schools, communities, and parents to identify and serve more gifted and talented students, especially those who are historically underrepresented, serving as a repository of resources, learning opportunities, and a collaborative community for stakeholders.
Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted
Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG) is a nonprofit organization that empowers families and communities to guide gifted and talented individuals to reach their goals: intellectually, physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.
In 2010, the Maryland State Department of Education and the State Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education initiated the Excellence in Gifted and Talented Education (EGATE) School Awards Program. This recognition program honors elementary, middle, and high schools that offer gifted and talented programs aligned with the objectives and criteria of the Maryland Criteria for Excellence: Gifted and Talented Program Guidelines.
Each EGATE school submitted a comprehensive application which provided documentation of twenty-one different criteria under four program objectives from the Criteria for Excellence: Gifted and Talented Education Program Guidelines. The EGATE schools are recognized with Governor’s proclamations at a February reception, proudly display the EGATE banner, host celebratory visits, and serve as models for other schools seeking to achieve EGATE status.
Three Charles County elementary schools and one middle school have earned the EGATE award. These schools are:
- Dr. James Craik Elementary School (2017)
William B. Wade Elementary School (2017)
T.C. Martin Elementary School (2013)
Milton M. Somers (2014)
Visit the school websites to learn about these model schools.