Gifted Education


Gifted learners demonstrate the potential for advanced thinking and reasoning, creativity and high achievement when compared to others who are the same age with similar experiences and comparable home environments and cultures. Programs and services must be designed to meet their unique cognitive strengths and socio-emotional needs. Each school within Chesterfield County Public Schools has a gifted education facilitator who addresses gifted education concerns.

Each school board must review and approve a comprehensive plan for the education of the gifted. That plan must provide specific explanations of how the school division implements Virginia’s regulations governing educational services for gifted students. Read the Local Plan for the Education of the Gifted.

Referring a Student

Evaluation for gifted services occurs during specific time periods each year. This ensures students are tested at the most appropriate time for their grade level and allows results to be considered in Center-Based Gifted Academy decisions.

  • A student may be evaluated only once per school year.
  • A fall assessment opportunity is available for students in grades 2-12 who are not enrolled in CCPS but are residents of Chesterfield County.

Referral deadlines:

  • Grades 2-12: Oct. 24, 2023
  • Grades K-1 (CCPS-enrolled students only): March 1, 2024

A student may be referred for evaluation by:

  • A parent, legal guardian or community member;
  • A teacher or other professional staff member; or
  • The student or a peer.

Referrals are processed after the referral period ends. Once this occurs, parents/guardians receive:

  • A notification from the school that their child has been referred for evaluation for gifted education services;
  • Information about gifted education services and the assessment process;
  • Contact information for staff members who can answer questions;
  • An opportunity to opt their student out of evaluation process; and
  • Instructions for completing the online CCPS home perception inventory.

The online Gifted Program Services Referral and Review Form must be submitted to begin the gifted evaluation process. Verbal or email communications do not serve as a substitute for this form.

New residents moving Into Chesterfield

When enrolling children in Chesterfield County Public Schools, parents/guardians need to notify the school if the student was identified for gifted services in the previous school system so the appropriate records may be obtained. This document is necessary:

  • Letter or school document stating eligibility for gifted services
  • School document providing information on the type of program placement 
  • Scores from aptitude, achievement or creativity assessments given in a school setting

After Chesterfield County Public Schools confirms gifted identification and placement from the previous school system, the student will be provisionally placed in services most comparable to those received in the student’s last school. The child will then be evaluated using Chesterfield County Public Schools criteria before the end of the school year when possible. A previous identification in another school system does not guarantee eligibility for CCPS gifted services.

Students who don’t attend CCPS

A fall assessment opportunity is available for students in grades 2-12 who are Chesterfield County residents but who are not enrolled in Chesterfield County Public Schools. They may be referred using the online gifted services referral and review form. The referral will be processed by staff at the school in the student’s attendance zone. Any required testing will occur at this location based on the testing schedule established by that school. The parent/guardian is responsible for transporting their student to testing sessions. Other required components of the identification protocol such as grades, work samples and teacher perception inventories will be requested from the student’s current, non-CCPS school. These components must be provided to determine eligibility for services.

Evaluation & Identification Process

After referral, students are evaluated to determine eligibility and placement. Any new placement begins at the start of the following school year.

This data is collected and reviewed:

  • Parents/guardians complete the online home perception inventory.
  • Teachers complete the online teacher perception inventory and submit samples of student work in English, math, social studies and/or science.
  • Students complete the online student perception inventory, creativity assessment and thinking and reasoning test.
  • Academic performance from the three most recent marking periods are also used in the evaluation.

Gifted testing must be administered in person, and all testing occurs in the student’s school. If qualifying assessment data or previous areas of academic strength exist, certain portions of the testing may not be required.

Each component of the CCPS operational definition of giftedness is considered in the holistic evaluation of the child. In order to be identified as eligible for gifted services, students must have two evident gifted indicators and at least one identified area of academic strength.

Students found eligible for CBG services will retain eligibility. If a student does not participate in CBG Services they may choose to do so in a subsequent school year.

  • Advanced thinking and reasoning measured by a standardized, norm-referenced measurement of aptitude
  • Creative and imaginative expression indicated by a standardized, norm-referenced creativity assessment
  • Gifted characteristics apparent in student, parent and teacher perception inventories

Strength in English, math, social studies and/or science evident in academic strength indicators such as subject-area performance measurements, student work samples and perception/interest inventories. Academic areas of strength are determined by two evident indicators present in a particular content area.

Students who are not eligible for gifted services but display notable gifted indicators, regardless of the number of demonstrated academic strength areas, may be eligible for monitor status. This means students are placed in classes with a cluster of identified gifted students, and they are monitored and re-evaluated in two years.

Program placement for identified gifted students is determined at the time of the gifted eligibility decision. To ensure fairness, the review goes beyond test scores to include holistic evaluations.

The following data points are used to determine eligibility for Center-Based Gifted (CBG) Services:

  • Recent aptitude test scores
  • Recent creativity assessment scores
  • Overall grade average that includes available grades in reading, writing, English, math, social studies, science
  • Number of areas of academic strength
  • Other gifted indicators used in the identification process

Students may enter CBG Services only at the beginning of a school year. However, parents may choose to exit students from CBG Services at any time.

Because a tremendous amount of information is gathered during the evaluation process, it takes time to complete data collection, scoring and processing. Families can expect to receive eligibility results in early February for grades 2-12 and late May for grades K-1.

CCPS families will receive electronic results via ParentVUE. Non-CCPS referrals receive results through the mail. Results include a decision letter and a Gifted Education Eligibility Report (GEER). Learn more about the GEER here.

Parents/guardians with questions about an eligibility decision should contact the school’s gifted identification facilitator using the contact information provided in the decision letter. Parents/guardians with questions about a CBG Academy decision should contact the gifted support staff member at their child’s school.

Parents/guardians may submit an appeal within 10 instructional days from receipt of the decision through the online form linked in the student’s decision letter. Appeals should include specific concerns or circumstances that are believed to impact the eligibility decision. Appeals are reviewed by the Office of Gifted Education and the division’s appeals committee.

The division-level appeals committee reviews all information used in determining student eligibility and considers issues raised in the letter of appeal. A written notification of the decision is provided to parents/guardians and school-level personnel within 15 instructional days after the decision is made. Decisions made by the committee are final.

Programs & Services

Chesterfield County Public Schools provides services in English, math, social studies and science for identified gifted students in grades K-12. 

Gifted elementary and middle school students are cluster-grouped as possible with other identified gifted learners. Teachers consider readiness, achievement and interests to modify curriculum and instruction while striving to provide appropriate challenges. This may include curriculum enrichment and extension, differentiated assignments, increased rigor and advanced pacing. Identified gifted students in grades 3-8 may also qualify to participate in a Center Based Gifted Academy.

Center Based Gifted Academy teachers use advanced content, pacing and instructional strategies that provide additional depth, complexity, rigor and challenge for gifted learners. Core content area classes are composed entirely of students eligible for Center Based Gifted services. Eligible students are assigned to an academy based on their home address. 

The high school honors program in English, mathematics, science and history/social sciences provides rigorous curriculum experiences for gifted students in grades 9-12. Additional offerings include advanced placement courses and dual enrollment opportunities. Additionally, Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School, Appomattox Regional Governor’s School, CodeRVA and specialty centers within Chesterfield County Public Schools provide comprehensive services for students with high ability and interest in specific areas.

Gifted Education Advisory Committee

This School Board advisory committee reviews the Local Plan for the Education of the Gifted each year and determines the extent to which the previous year’s plan was implemented. It is composed of parents of identified gifted students, community members, teachers, administrators and identified gifted students. Meetings are open to the public, and meeting dates and locations may be found on the Chesterfield County School Board site. For meeting information, select “library” in the top right corner, then select Gifted Education Advisory Committee from the list of items on the left.

Governor's School Information

Students who reside in Chesterfield County may apply to two regional governor’s schools. Beginning in mid-October each year, eligible eighth graders may apply through the CCPS application portal.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Students must reside in a participating school division and must apply through the division in which they live. Chesterfield County Public Schools uses an online application portal. Chesterfield County Public Schools students log in using RapidIdentity, while non-CCPS students must create an account. Paper applications are not used in Chesterfield County Public Schools.

The Regional Evaluation Committee, consisting of teams of educators representing participating school divisions, is trained to evaluate each portion of the student’s application. The regional core team of gifted education program administrators representing the participating school divisions and the coordinator of admissions oversee the process.

Transportation is provided from a variety of pickup points throughout the county. More information is available on the transportation page.

The number of available slots at each governor’s school varies from year to year. The number of returning sophomores, juniors and seniors subtracted from the total number of Chesterfield County Public Schools slots determines the number of students who will be offered admission.

Applicants should review the information provided on this page before applying. This information is specifically for applicants from Chesterfield County and may differ slightly from information provided on governor’s school websites.

Appomattox Regional Governor's School for the Arts and Technology (ARGS)

Chesterfield County has a total of 129 allocated slots in grades 9-12 at Appomattox Regional Governor’s School. Chesterfield County will have about 25 open slots to fill for the 2024-25 school year. Here is more information and a sample application.

Appomattox Regional Governor’s School application schedule for Chesterfield County

  • Oct. 2, 2023: CCPS online application portal opens
  • Nov. 2: 6-8:30 p.m. open house for Chesterfield students and parents at Appomattox Regional Governor’s School 
  • Dec. 1: Online application portal closes
  • Dec. 28: Individual adjudication schedule sent to each applicant
  • Jan. 13, 2024: Student adjudication
  • Jan. 20: Student adjudication
  • Jan. 27: Adjudication snow day
  • Feb. 2: Transcripts due for private and homeschooled applicants
  • March 1: Acceptance status available in the CCPS online application portal
  • March 12: ARGS visit for accepted students (including potential registration)
  • March 15: ARGS visit for alternate/wait listed students
  • March 15: Deadline for appeal. Written or emailed appeal letter to be received by CCPS Office of Gifted Education (gifted@ccpsnet.net).
  • March 15:  Response due from accepted students via online application portal

Maggie L. Walker Governor's School for Government and International Studies (MLWGS)

Chesterfield County has a total of 228 allocated slots in grades 9-12 at Maggie L. Walker Regional Governor’s School. Chesterfield County will have about 70 open slots to fill for the 2024-25 school year. Here is more information and a sample application. Here is the school’s admissions handbook.

Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School application schedule for Chesterfield County

  • Oct. 2, 2023: CCPS online application portal opens
  • Oct. 28, 2023: 1 p.m. information forum for prospective students and parents at Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School
  • Dec. 1: Online application portal closes
  • Jan. 9, 2024: Emails to applicants with evaluation day information, including the student’s assigned evaluation date, time and room assignment
  • Jan. 27: Student evaluation at MLWGS (8-11:30 a.m. or 1-4:30 p.m.). All applicants will be evaluated in an assigned room during an assigned morning or afternoon time slot.
  • Feb. 2: Transcripts due for private and homeschooled applicants 
  • Feb. 3: Snow day for student evaluation (if needed)
  • Feb. 13: Makeup student evaluation session at 8:30 a.m. (only by CCPS approval)
  • March 1: Acceptance status available in the CCPS online application portal
  • March 11: MLWGS visit for accepted Chesterfield students 
  • March 15: Deadline for appeal. Written or emailed appeal letter to be received by CCPS Office of Gifted Education (gifted@ccpsnet.net).
  • March 15: Response due from accepted students via online application portal
  • March 27: 6-8 p.m. new student registration at MLWGS
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