Watauga County Schools Academically and Intellectually Gifted Program

  • The vision of the Watauga County Schools (WCS) AIG Program is to provide equitable referral, screening and identification procedures for all students, regardless of ethnic, geographic, and/or socio-economic diversity. Through rigor, relevance, and relationships, an array of service options will be offered to maximize student potential and provide real world learning opportunities for AIG students.

    WCS is committed to providing equity and excellence for all students and has established gifted education as a priority through Board of Education support. Our goal is to prepare all gifted learners to be productive, responsible citizens who are globally competitive in the 21st century. Services for gifted students must be a part of an overall educational program that supports success for all students and the belief that all students can learn. The Academically/Intellectually Gifted program believes that gifted learners require a challenging, differentiated curriculum that is developmentally appropriate. Differentiation must include enrichment, extension and acceleration opportunities in Kindergarten through twelfth grade and is best accomplished through a range of service options that promote dignity and respect for all gifted students. Instruction should be planned and delivered by certified personnel with expertise in gifted education and additional support must be provided to address the unique social and emotional needs of our gifted learners.

    The WCS AIG Program is committed to providing an array of gifted services designed to meet the varying academic, intellectual, social, and emotional needs of our gifted students. Nurturing options must be designed to maximize opportunities to develop and exhibit giftedness with under-represented populations targeted. On-going communication between home, school, and community is critical in establishing a student-centered, supportive learning environment. Continuous staff development rooted in research-based best practices in gifted education is a necessity for all staff working with gifted students. Collaborative planning between AIG Specialists and classroom teachers is required for the development of meaningful differentiated curriculum.

    Curriculum enrichment, extension, and acceleration must require our gifted students to use critical thinking, problem solving strategies, and creativity to become effective members of society. Our goal/vision is to offer real world learning opportunities that will transcend local, regional, and global contexts and provide our gifted students with the needed leadership skills that will allow them to become successful life-long learners.

    If you have questions about the WCS AIG Program, feel free to contact AIG Program Director Ike Smith (smithi@wataugaschools.org) or your school's AIG Specialist.