Highly Academically Gifted Program
Frequently Asked Questions
Based on recent aptitude and achievement test results, my child is eligible for services in the Highly Academically Gifted (HAG) program. What does this mean?
While gifted education is required by law in North Carolina, the HAG program is unique to WS/FCS dedicated to meeting the specific needs of our highest ability students.
The program is offered 3rd – 8th grades, with a variety of high level options for high school students.
Traditionally, two to three percent of WS/FCS students are identified as highly gifted.
Research shows that highly gifted individuals have unique intellectual, social and emotional needs that are best addressed in cluster or homogenously-grouped classes with like-minded peers, facilitated by specifically trained and licensed teachers
What services are available for Highly Academically Gifted (HAG) students?
Highly Academically Gifted (HAG) Service Delivery Model in WS/FCS:
WS/FCS provides a continuum of services for gifted learners at all of its elementary and middle schools, which may include consultative basis regular education services, a part-day program, or an all-day program.
Students receive advanced instruction in Mathematics, English/language arts, and other subjects, as determined by student need.
HAG Service Options- Elementary & Middle Schools: Offered grades 3-8
Accelerated English, Mathematics, Science & Social Studies curriculum (two years or more)
Students enrolled in full day program -- integrated, concept-based, thematic units
Teacher with AIG license (or provisional)
HAG services for elementary students are provided at Brunson or Southwest Elementary Schools.
HAG middle school services are provided at Hanes Magnet.
The HAG program begins in 3rd grade where students are homogenously grouped for all core classes. The curriculum and pacing is accelerated by up to two years above grade level in math and English/Language Arts, with added depth and complexity in science and social studies.
What factors should I consider when determining if the HAG program is the best placement for my child?
When making this decision, you may want to consider the following:
How intrinsically motivated is my child/student?
Does my child have the social and emotional capabilities to handle a more rigorous and faster paced learning environment?
What are areas of development and challenge for my child that could be a positive factor to their growth in this advanced program?
Will my child adjust well to a new learning environment, especially one in which he/she may be joined with students similar to him/her in temperament, social/emotional needs, and academic ability?
How ready is my child for new challenges and opportunities?
When will score information related to HAG services be provided to parents?
Parents will normally receive score reports for students and information regarding the potential HAG reassignment process throughout the year dependent upon the assessment schedule. After second grade, student scores are reviewed annually to determine if a rescreen is necessary. A child may rescreen only once per grade span (rising 3rd - 5th, and rising 6th - 9th).
If my child qualifies for HAG services during the school year, when will he/she be able to join the HAG program/classroom?
Students will be transitioned from an AIG classroom to an HAG classroom/school site at the beginning of a new quarter. This ensures the student is prepared for a positive transition both academically and socially.
If my child qualifies for the HAG program, is he/she required to attend?
Students are not required to enter the HAG programs at Brunson, Southwest or Hanes Magnet. Choosing a school is a family decision. However, we would highly encourage you to explore all options before making a decision. All three schools offer tours from mid-February through the end of May so that students and families may learn more about each school and its programmatic offering.
What if I/we choose for our child to remain at his/her current school?
If you do not attend one of the HAG sites, your child is still eligible to receive Academically & Intellectually Gifted (AIG) services at your assigned school – whether it’s the residential school, choice selection or magnet school. The AIG program offers an accelerated math and English/Language Arts curriculum and pacing that is one year above grade level. There is not a requirement for enriched curriculum in the areas of science and social studies.
If he/she does not attend the HAG program now, can he/she enter it later?
Your child can enter the HAG program at a later time; once students are identified HAG, they keep their eligibility unless they exit Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.
If he/she enters the HAG program after 3rd grade, or after 5th grade will he/she be behind?
Since your child has been identified HAG, we believe they have gifts and talents to meet the expectations of an accelerated curriculum. The goal is to focus on rigor, challenge and advanced learning opportunities. However, if a child enters after third grade or after 5th grade going into middle school, additional study and support outside the school may be necessary.
Will students receive comparable HAG experiences at the two elementary HAG school sites?
Families and students have the option of selecting either Brunson or Southwest Elementary School as their HAG site. Both offer accelerated curriculum and pacing of up to two grade levels in both math and English/Language Arts, with depth and complexity in Science and Social Studies. The schools differ in that Brunson is also a STEM magnet school with a particular focus on interdisciplinary studies related to this focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
If the student eligible for the HAG program at either of the school sites (Brunson, Southwest, or Hanes) has a sibling, can he/she attend the same school?
Yes, a sibling can attend the assigned school.
Since the HAG program is accelerated by up to two grade levels, what will high school look like for my child/student?
By completing the HAG program in elementary and middle school, your student has the opportunity to enter high school with three credits: Math 1, Math 2 and Environmental Science (typically a 9th grade Science course). There is also an opportunity for HAG students to complete more high school courses, if desired, through Credit by Demonstrated Mastery. These advanced course offerings in middle school allow your student to pursue Honors level high school courses including Seminar level and Advanced Placement course offerings.
Is transportation provided to the HAG school sites?
All HAG school sites are served by Magnet shuttle bus service with stops at all elementary neighborhood schools. You can drop off your child at any of these sites for shuttle service to the HAG sites. The schedule is available on the district’s transportation website https://www.wsfcs.k12.nc.us/Page/1200
What about childcare if my work schedule will not allow for me to pick up my child immediately after school?
Both Brunson and Southwest Elementary Schools offer afterschool childcare options provided by the local YMCA for a fee. These sites are open until 6:00 pm.
What if our family makes a decision that doesn’t seem right once the school year begins (either joining the HAG program or remaining at our current school)? Is it too late to change our minds?
Once a student is eligible for AIG/HAG services, he/she is able to move into the program at any time between 3rd and 8th grades. If your child is eligible for HAG services, we highly recommend allowing your child the opportunity to attend the appropriate program (elementary or middle). If, for any reason, your child is not comfortable or the work load intense, he/she always has the option of returning to his/her residential school.