The Winchester Public Schools K-12 Gifted (EXCEL) program emphasizes EXcellence, Creativity, Enrichment, and Leadership. Appropriate learning pathways are provided to gifted students through a continuum of services and options. Learning opportunities are designed to be open-ended so that they may be tailored to the talents and interests of students. The goal is to engage students in comprehensive study for which the rate of learning, content, and high level processing skills are adjusted to provide an individualized program commensurate with the needs of each intellectually gifted student.
Teachers are trained to look for gifted characteristics in all students, but students may also be referred to the EXCEL program by parents, community members, professional school staff, student self nomination, or peer nomination. All 2nd grade students are assessed using a universal screener during the month of January.
WPS invites referrals for gifted identification twice a year, once during the fall and once during the spring.
FALL REFERRAL WINDOW: Grades 3-12 - September 1, 2022 - September 30, 2022
SPRING REFERRAL WINDOW: Grades 2-12 - January 30, 2023 - February 28, 2023
Download the Gifted Referral Form or contact your child's teacher.
Information and Forms
If you have questions regarding the gifted program, please contact the gifted chairperson at your child's school:
- Frederick Douglass Elementary School: Joy Cusick
- Garland Quarles Elementary School: Nicole Hobson
- John Kerr Elementary School: Amy Thomas
- Virginia Avenue Charlotte DeHart Elementary School: Betty Jo Amsler
- Daniel Morgan Intermediate School: Martha Johnson
- Daniel Morgan Middle School: Brian Dorsey
- John Handley High School: Jenny Williams
You may also contact Sara Gardner, WPS Gifted Specialist (K-12).
Third and fourth-grade gifted students may apply to attend the ACE Center for gifted students. For more information, please visit the ACE Center page.
2022-2023 CogAT Screening Information (2nd Grade)
During the window of January 10 - February 18, your child will be administered the online version of the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT). This is a screening measure that is administered to all WPS second grade students as part of the district-wide identification process for gifted services. Specific dates and times will be determined by each school building. Please make every effort to have your child attend during the testing weeks, paying specific attention to the testing dates and times for your child’s class.
K-12 Instructional Specialist for Gifted Education
For additional information, contact your child's school principal or the Department of Instruction.