Advanced Academic Programs

Bull Run offers students all levels of Advanced Academic Programs (AAP), including a Level IV center as an option in grades 3-6. Here is a description of each of the four levels of service: 

Level I: Critical and Creative Thinking Lessons, Grades K-6

The first level is provided to all students in kindergarten through grade six and consists of model lessons that are designed to teach critical and creative thinking skills. The lessons are modeled in all classrooms by Advanced Academic Resource Teachers (AARTs) and the thinking strategies are then used throughout the year by classroom and other teachers who work with students. Student responses to these lessons are used as part of the identification process for Levels II-IV. Parents may also practice these strategies during family conversations and activities.

Level II: Differentiated Lessons in Areas of Academic Strength, Grades K-6

The AART collaborates with classroom teachers to provide additional challenges through lessons and resources that extend and enrich the Program of Studies. Screening for this level of service is ongoing throughout the school year.

Level III: Part-Time Advanced Academic Programs, Grades 3-6

Students identified by our local Advanced Academic committee work directly with the AART each week in a small group setting. During this time, students are challenged with enrichment and extension activities developed to enhance grade-level curriculum.

Level IV Center

Bull Run houses an Advanced Academic Program (AAP) which draws identified gifted students from a number of neighboring elementary schools including Centre Ridge, Centreville, Deer Park, London Towne, Virginia Run. Currently there are multiple classrooms at each grade level from grades 3 through 6.

Students in the AAP center study the same Fairfax County Program of Studies curriculum as do students in the base school with instructional techniques that are designed to match the educational learning styles of gifted students.

All AAP students are instructed one year ahead in math and are engaged in a Mathematics contest called "Continental Math." Additional language arts, science and history units for gifted students, designed by the College of William and Mary's Center for Gifted Education, are part of the enriched AAP curriculum. Higher level thinking skills are stressed through class discussions and project-based learning which allow students to learn to work together to solve problems.

Technology is used as a tool for learning with all students. Students use computers for word processing, creating graphs, spreadsheets, and databases, designing multimedia presentations, and to access the Internet for research. 

Screening

Multiple criteria are reviewed to determine eligibility for all FCPS advanced academic services. The local school committee determines student eligibility for part-time school-based services. The countywide central selection committee determines eligibility for full-time AAP Level IV placement.

Testing 

In the spring, the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT) is administered to all FCPS first grade students. In the fall, the CogAT-Custom Form is administered to all FCPS second grade students. During the fall testing cycle, the NNAT and/or Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) may be administered to students in grades 3-6 who do not have an ability test score. A second grade screening pool is established using the test results from first and second grade testing. Students in the second grade pool are automatically screened for full-time AAP Level IV placement. Parents or guardians may exercise a one-time retest option during the fall testing cycle.

Referrals for Full-Time AAP Level IV 

Parents or guardians of students not in the second grade screening pool may initiate the full-time AAP Level IV screening process by completing and submitting an Advanced Academic Programs Level IV Referral Form to the local school principal. The deadline for referrals will be announced in September 2018. No late referrals will be accepted. Second grade students not in the pool and all students in upper grades are screened only by referral. Forms are available on the FCPS website and in the Parent Information Packet available at the local school.

Parents or guardians of students who are in the second grade pool will be notified by the school. Students who are not in the second grade pool will not receive notification. The benchmark score used to create the second grade pool will be published on the AAP website mid-January.

Please do not wait for test scores before submitting a referral for your student as there will be no referrals for Level IV screening accepted past the deadline. If you are waiting for test scores and would like your student screened for Level IV, please submit the referral by the published deadline (even if you have not received the test scores for your student).

For more information about Advanced Academics services, contact: