Frequently Asked Questions


  • Why a "Gifted" Program?
    All students need to be challenged to fulfill their potential. For students who learn easily and quickly, who have high intellectual aptitude, or who are very talented in a specific area, these programs help ensure that they are challenged academically and intellectually.

    Why call it "Gifted and Talented?"
    This is the term used by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Each school division is required to submit a "Local Plan for the Education of the Gifted." A copy of the RCPS Local Plan is available at the Gifted Department office.

    How do Gifted programs benefit the whole school population?
    When a school system seeks to create an environment where each student is appropriately challenged, it ensures that highly intellectual students are not expected to fend for themselves. Instead, it seeks to assist all students in realizing their potential.
    Since Roanoke County Public Schools has a philosophy of differentiation of instruction in the regular classroom to meet the needs of gifted students, the varied instructional techniques and strategies employed by the teacher offer enhanced learning opportunities and benefit all students.

    Don't all students have "gifts" and "talents?"
    Yes, all students do have areas of strength. As we learn more about various theories such as Howard Gardner's "Multiple Intelligences Theory," educators appreciate the strengths of all students in their classrooms. Students with strong intellectual aptitudes have strengths in the areas often associated with the ability to rapidly learn and apply academic knowledge. That should not negate the fact that other students may exhibit talents in areas such as art, music, physical education, leadership, spatial relations, communication or social skills.

    Is my child a bright child or a gifted learner?
    It's pretty easy to spot a very bright child in the classroom. But it's not always so easy to tell the difference between a very bright child and one who is "gifted."

    A very bright child is often the best student in the classroom. He or she is eager to please, hard working, conscientious, and well-liked. Many "gifted" children have these characteristics also, but some gifted students seem to be just the opposite. They can be difficult, demanding, lackadaisical about their work, stubborn, talkative, dreamy, rebellious, or even obnoxious! The "gifted" child is not always the "teacher pleaser."

    For more clarification, please see the "Bright Child/Gifted Learner" link on this page.