Talented and Gifted (TAG) Program

  • ACPS believes that students among all ethnic, racial and socioeconomic groups should be provided with an education that enables them to achieve excellence, developing their abilities to the fullest. Differentiated services beyond the regular curriculum will be provided for children in grades K-12 whose accomplishments and/or demonstrated abilities indicate the need for such services.

    "Gifted students" means those students in public elementary and secondary schools, beginning with kindergarten through graduation, whose abilities and potential for accomplishment are so outstanding that they require special programs to meet their educational needs.

    ACPS has recently undergone an evaluation of its talented and Gifted services. For details of the evaluation and links to content around it please visit.

    Overview of TAG Program Process:

    • Screening
    • Referral - Deadline for submitting referrals is January 28, 2021!
    • Permission for Assessment
    • Data Collection
    • Placement Committee Review
    • Notification
    • Student placed in appropriate curriculum
    • Appeals possible within ten (10) school days

    Who can be eligible for the TAG Program?

    A student who shows evidence of superior performance and exceptional academic potential. This includes:

    • All ACPS students, K thru 12
    • All genders, cultures & backgrounds
    • All English Language Learners

    What does my child do to qualify for TAG?

    Students are referred to the TAG Program. Referrals may result from ability tests given to all students in grades 1 and 3, along with assessment data in K thru 5. Referrals may also be submitted by parents, teachers or community members during the first ninety (90) days of the school year.

    Once referred, students must show evidence of superior performance in at least three of the qualifying criteria, one of which MUST be a standardized test (including):

    • Ability Test
    • Achievement Test
    • Classroom Grades
    • Characteristics & Classroom Behaviors
    • Advanced Transfer Tasks

    When does the TAG Program support students?

    Kindergarten through 3rd grade: those who exhibit superior General Intellectual Aptitude (GIA)

    4th through 12th grade: those who show superior achievement in Specific Academic Aptitude (SAA) (in language arts, math, science or social studies)

    ACPS TAG Program services include:

    Grades K-3: General Intellectual Aptitude (GIA)

    Enriched & integrated classroom activities designed to enhance creativity and problem-solving without being specifically tied to any one subject area.

    Grades 4*-5: Specific Academic Aptitude (SAA)

    Math and Language Arts
    Direct instruction from a teacher who specializes in teaching talented and gifted children with curriculum that is accelerated and significantly above grade level expectations.

    Science and Social Studies
    Differentiated Educational Plans (DEPs) which outline individual enrichment & extension activities to be completed in the general education classroom.

    * For rising 4th grade GIA students, a new referral is required to transition to SAA services, otherwise GIA services continue.

    Grades 6-12: Specific Academic Aptitude (SAA)

    • Online Courses
    • Honors and Advanced Placement (AP) Classes
    • Independent Study
    • Dual-Enrollment in college courses
    • Access to Summer Residential Governors School

    Talented and Gifted Department Description (PDF)

TAG Summer Opportunities


    Frances (Donna) Brearley
    TAG Coordinator
    ACPS Central Office, 4th Floor
    1340 Braddock Place
    Alexandria, Virginia 22314



    COVID-19 Update:

    • Due to the COVID-19 closing of schools, the timeline for identification for the Talented and Gifted (TAG) Program has been adjusted. Although the open TAG referral window closed on November 4, 2019, students are considered for automatic school-based referrals using division-wide assessments in the spring. Spring screening is currently underway based on all data available as of the end of the third quarter. If students are found eligible at this time, parents/guardians will be notified before the end of June. When school reopens, the process will resume. Fall screening for automatic referrals will take place during the first quarter, and new referrals will be accepted until the end of the second quarter.


TAG Designees