Middle School Service

  • Grades 6-8

    Students with poster

    Academically Gifted Service: Middle School

    Unlike the elementary service model, where students are pulled out of the general education setting for enrichment service by an AIG specialist, in the middle grades, academically gifted services consist of proper course placement coupled with advocacy for learner needs. This service is provided in the following ways:

    • For English/Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics (Math), enrollment in advanced coursework that aligns with district criteria for course placement. All GCS middle schools offer advanced classes in ELA and Math, which target academically gifted and high-achieving students.
    • For ELA and Math, classroom teachers assigned to teach academically gifted identified students have their AIG Licensure or, at a minimum, have completed the professional development provided by the district’s AG Department.
    • Timely communication to parents/guardians regarding their child’s academically gifted identification so that they can best advocate for their child’s learning needs and ensure that, throughout their secondary (6th – 12th) experiences, their child is enrolled in courses that will best lead to successful post-secondary outcomes. 


    Each middle school principal assigns a staff member to chair the school’s Team for Academically Gifted (TAG), which consists of representatives from each grade level as well as other school support staff.  The purpose of TAG is to ensure that the school has processes in place to fulfill the compliance requirements stated in the board-approved AIG Plan, such as:

    • Parent/Guardian Notification of Student Eligibility:  For newly identified students or students who have a change to their identification, the school provides a copy of the Student Eligibility Record (SER), which documents the student’s identification and service eligibility.  To confirm the parent’s/guardian’s awareness of their child’s identification and service, this form is signed and returned to school.


    • Beginning-of-Year (BOY) Parent/Guardian Meeting: This meeting is held during the first quarter and serves as an opportunity for parents/guardians to receive the Differentiated Education Plan (DEP) denoting the curriculum difference between standard and advanced courses for the student’s grade level.  This meeting also provides an opportunity for families to ask questions about middle school AG programming as well as learn about the various enrichment opportunities available at the school.


    • Fidelity to the AIG Plan Requirements:  Annually, the school will provide the AG Department with a record of the number of ELA and Math teachers assigned to teach AG identified students and how many of these teachers meet the requirements stated in the AIG Plan.   This annual report will also include details regarding the scheduling of academically gifted identified students and enrichment opportunities available at the school level. 


    The AG Department supports each TAG Chair with the tools needed to lead their TAG to successful implementation of the AIG Plan expectations.  As the liaison for their school, the TAG Chair is considered the school’s first level of contact for any questions regarding academically gifted services.  A list of the middle school TAG Chairs can be found here.  


    Academically Gifted Eligibility Criteria:  Grades 6 – 8

    Each spring, the district administers the stated required North Carolina End-of-Grade (EOG) assessments to students in grades 3 – 8.  For middle school academically gifted identification, the scores for students in grades 5 – 7 are reviewed for possible eligibility for the academically gifted program for the upcoming school year in grades 6 – 8. At the middle school level, the criteria listed below must be met. Student progress is reviewed each year to determine future course placement.


    • Reading Achievement: Level 5 on the NC End-of-Grade Assessment OR performance at or above the 85th%ile on a nationally normed assessment.


    • Math Achievement: Level 5 on the NC End-of-Grade Assessment OR performance at or above the 85th%ile on a nationally normed assessment.


    For students transferring into the district, eligibility for academically gifted identification will be contingent upon the ability of the AG Department to obtain summative achievement data that is approved by the AG Department and reports the student’s score as a nationally normed percentile score or a NC End-of-Grade scale score or achievement level. 

    • For students transferring from another NC public school or a NC public charter school, the AG Department will use the student’s most current EOG data if the data is from an administration that occurred within the past 12 months. 
    • For students transferring from out-of-state, private school, or home school, the AG Department will accept the scores from a nationally normed assessment that is reported on a document generated by the test publisher and administered within the past 12 months.
    • In some cases, the AG Department will accept data from a test that was privately administered.  Please click here to learn more about the AG Department’s guidelines for private testing.


    Intellectually Gifted Service: Middle School

    In the middle grades, students who are intellectually gifted students are enrolled in the rigorous grade-level course with differentiation provided by the classroom teacher. As with the requirement for students who are academically gifted, for ELA and Math, classroom teachers assigned to teach intellectually gifted identified students have their AIG Licensure or, at a minimum, have completed the professional development provided by the district’s AG Department.  Intellectually gifted students with performance data meeting the district’s requirement for placement in advanced courses will be enrolled in the applicable course.


    Intellectually Gifted Eligibility Criteria:  Grades 6 – 8

    At the middle grades level, the district does not administer any assessments to formally measure a student’s aptitude ability.  As such, students who were identified, in elementary school, as intellectually gifted will retain their intellectually gifted identification throughout their tenure in middle school.  For students who are new to the district, the results of a nationally-normed aptitude assessment, administered within the past 36 months, can be used for to identify a student as intellectually gifted.  In these cases, the student must have a nationally-normed aptitude score that is at the 98th%ile or higher.