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The Gifted Program in CMS

The goal of the Talent Development and Advanced Studies Program in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is to provide rigorous curriculum and academic opportunities so each student may reach a classroom performance level consistent with his/her intellectual ability.

  • Advanced Placement
  • AVID
  • Horizons
  • International Baccaalaureate (IB)
  • LI/TD Magnet Program
  • TD Catalyst Program

Elementary Schools

In CMS, elementary students are identified when they demonstrate extraordinary problem solving or aptitude in a combination of areas including intellectual, academic, leadership, artistic, creativity, language arts, and math.  The majority of identification takes place in the second grade; there are additional screenings in the fourth grade and on an as-needed basis. In order to grow academically, identified students require differentiated curriculum. In addition to language arts and math skills grouping, elementary curriculum enrichment designed for gifted students extends and enriches the learning experience.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools use a variety of instruments to identify second grade students. These include Standardized Testing (the Cognitive Abilities Test, and the Iowa Test of Basic Skills), a nationally normed Gifted Rating Scales, and a student-created portfolio. Students in grades three through twelve are identified using scores on nationally normed achievement and aptitude tests. For more information please see the Talent Development Identification Rubric under the documents tab.

Elementary students who are identified as gifted have two instructional choices within CMS. The first choice is attending one of the six academic magnet centers that offer full-time gifted classrooms for students in grades 3-5. These schools offer an enriched, accelerated academic program where students are challenged to reach their full potential. Placement is available during the annual CMS magnet school lottery. TD certified students in these schools are guaranteed placement in the Middle Years International Baccalaureate Program. For additional information on each of the magnet schools, please visit the Annual Magnet School Information Fair. You can also contact The Family Application Center or The Magnet Office for specific application information.

The second instructional choice is the Elementary (K-5) Catalyst model within the home school. In this model, implementation of the program is a joint effort by the classroom teachers and the Talent Development (TD) teachers who use the technique of "consultation and collaboration" as they develop curriculum and participate in professional development. The Catalyst model allows the classroom and TD teachers to design and implement frequent differentiated educational experiences for gifted children.

CMS also offers Horizons, a program for highly gifted students in grades K through 12 whose academic needs require differentiation and acceleration beyond thier gifted peers. Please click on the link to the Horizons program or contact the Talent Development and Advanced Studies office for information about this program.

Middle Schools

Each middle school receives support from a full-time Academic Facilitator who works with students and teachers to develop rigorous, accelerated, complex curriculum and appropriate instructional practices.  High performing middle school students are evaluated annually for instructional placement in Honors or Standard Plus language arts and math courses. Students identified as academically and intellectually gifted are grouped in classes or clusters for instruction in those courses.

High Schools

At the high school (9-12) level, through the Advanced Studies Program, students may select the interdisciplinary or discipline-specific Honors or Advanced Placement® course work. All high schools offer Advanced Placement® courses; five high schools offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) program in eleventh and twelfth grades and the IB Middle Years Program (MYP) for ninth and tenth grades.

If you have questions about the identification of gifted students, or the gifted program in your school, contact the school directly. For additional information or assistance, please contact the Talent Development/Advanced Studies/AVID office, located at Walton Plaza Suite 500, 700 E. Stonewall St., 28202, (980) 343-6955.