Gifted Services

Gifted Services Team

A photo of Tammy Stoker
Tammy Stoker
Resource Teacher for the Gifted


Discovery has a full-time Resource Teacher for the Gifted (RTG). Identification and eligibility of students for gifted services is a four step process that includes referral, screening identification, and re-evaluation. A student may be considered for gifted services at any time during his or her school career in one or more of the following areas:

  • Specific academic aptitude English, Math, Science, Social Studies (K – 12)
  • Visual and/or Performing Arts aptitude (3 – 12)

Students must be enrolled in Arlington Public Schools to be considered for the eligibility process. The total population is considered in the creation of a candidate pool.  Screening of the available test and assessment data occurs annually throughout the school year.

Gifted Referral Process

Arlington Public Schools is dedicated to maximizing the strengths and potential of all students so they may become self-confident, well-rounded, responsible and productive citizens. Believing that each and every individual has merit, Arlington Public Schools recognizes that certain learners within the school population have unique abilities, interests, needs and potential for accomplishment. These characteristics necessitate systematic, continuous services to present unique and appropriately differentiated curricula and learning opportunities responsive to individual learning rates, styles, and interests. Gifted students need opportunities to think abstractly, work at various rates and levels of complexity, and pursue tasks independently. In addition, students eligible for gifted services need opportunities to learn with others of like abilities, as well as opportunities to develop social relationships with others of all abilities.

The Office of Gifted Services follows the 2017-2022 Gifted Services Local Plan which complies with Virginia Regulations Governing Educational Services for Gifted Students based on the following concepts:

  • Giftedness is developmental; it is potential that must be nourished;
  • Gifted students share some characteristics with all other children; and
  • There is variability among the gifted.

A student is referred to the gifted services eligibility process based on the following criteria:

  • A need for services beyond that provided by the regular instructional program
  • Available test information
  • Students products and performance done in school
  • Academic performance
  • Behavioral characteristics of Gifted students

A Gifted Referral Form may be completed by a classroom teacher or other staff member, a parent/guardian, a community member or a student.

Students can be referred to Gifted Services by the school, by parents, and/or community members. If you are interested in submitting a parent or community referral, please use the Gifted Referral Form. Complete it, print it, and submit it to the Discovery Main Office, to the attention of the Resource Teacher for the Gifted.

All forms must be submitted by April 1 of each year.


Student referrals are considered by a school-based committee composed of teachers including the referring teacher, the resource teacher for the gifted and principal or designee.  All relevant data is reviewed and the decision to identify a student for services or not is made by the committee. In identifying students for Gifted Services, multiple criteria are are used including the following:

  • Observation of in-class behavior
  • Honors, awards
  • School-based performance data including products and test scores
  • Nationally-normed aptitude and or achievement assessments that includes the Naglieri taken by all second graders and the Cognitive Abilities test taken by all fourth graders
  • Teacher and parent information

Parent/Guardians are notified of the screen committee’s decision by letter. For more information, visit the APS Gifted Services webpage.



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