• What is a gifted student?

    The gifted student possesses exceptional talents and abilities that require enrichment beyond the regular curriculum to meet their educational needs. Suffolk Public Schools commits to excellence in education, equality of educational opportunity, and recognizing each student's individuality. Therefore, it is committed to identifying, developing, and challenging gifted students.

    Link to SPS Local Gifted Plan

    Elementary through Middle School Programs

     The elementary school program begins with enrichment for kindergarten through grade 2 and offers creative activities and lessons based on students' advanced needs and maturity. Students receive differentiated instruction from the gifted resource teacher and the general education teacher during the school year. Emphasis is placed upon critical thinking, creative problem solving, developing independent research skills, and stimulating creativity.

    Kindergarten Talent Pool: Kindergarten Talent Pool: The Kindergarten Talent Pool is the program for potentially gifted students who demonstrate high achieving abilities in grades K-2. The placement decision is made according to student performance as documented on the eligibility matrix. Students receive differentiated instruction from the gifted resource teacher and general education teacher to meet their academic needs. Those students are formally evaluated during the second-grade year to determine gifted identification and placement. 

    QUEST: Quality Utilization Enrichment of Students' Talents, known as QUEST is a program for academically gifted students in grades 3-8. Students receive differentiated instruction from the gifted resource teacher and general education teacher throughout the year. Assignments are provided to stimulate and foster critical thinking and independent research skills. Students work individually and in small groups to develop independent learning skills, creative potential, and higher-level thinking abilities.

    Tidewater Governor's Summer School for Science and Technology: This regional summer program is provided for a limited number of identified gifted students in grades 3-6. Students from Suffolk, Franklin, Isle of Wight County, and Southampton County attend classes four days a week for three weeks. Classes are designed to provide students with hands-on experiences with state-of-the-art technology. Students work in cooperative groups to explore topics of their choice and to share their discoveries and findings with peers, parents, and the community.

    High School Programs

    High school students who have been identified as gifted have the opportunity to enroll in a variety of advanced courses, including ten (10) Advanced Placement (A.P.) classes, nineteen (19) Honors classes, and eleven (11) Dual-Credit classes. Dual-credit courses allow students to simultaneously earn high school credit and community college credit. All dual-credit, advanced placement, and honors courses are weighted. Guidance counselors at each School can provide additional information.

    Governor's Summer Residential Programs: This residential summer program is designed to provide artistically and/or intellectually challenging and enriching experiences for a limited number of selected rising eleventh- and twelfth-graders. Governor's School is offered in the following areas: agriculture, humanities, science, mentorships, and the arts (instrumental music, vocal music, drama, dance, and visual arts.) All selected participants are enrolled in elective courses, seminars, and discussion groups at the sites. Schools are held around the state at college campuses, NASA-Langley, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, and the Medical College of Virginia. Classes meet for one month in the summer.

    Governor's School for the Arts: Rising ninth- through twelfth-grade students may apply for acceptance to the Governor's School for the Arts. Classes are offered in dance, music, theater, performing arts, and visual arts. Students are selected based on indicated ability, interest, and potential for artistic growth. Interviews, auditions, portfolio reviews, and application materials are used in the selection process. Each afternoon, students are transported to Norfolk for instruction in their chosen area of interest.