Welcome to Habersham County Schools Gifted Education Services! Habersham County Schools is committed to supporting Success for ALL Students to include students who need advanced learning opportunities. The mission of gifted services for Habersham County public schools is to identify, nurture, and develop the unique abilities and potential of each gifted and talented student through high quality gifted education services. This mission is achieved through a variety of services and opportunities for our students provided by highly trained educators.
Gifted Program Coordinator: Dr. Martha K. Cantrell, 706-754-2110 x128
Discovery Program - The Discovery Program is a gifted enrichment pullout-model. The Discovery Center is located at Fairview Elementary. Students are transported from their home school to the Discovery Center one day each week to join same-age gifted students from each of our elementary schools.
The goals of the Discovery Program are to provide an extension of learning opportunities, the development of individual potential, the enhancement of students’ self-concept, and the advancement toward becoming an independent learner beyond the opportunities of the regular classroom. The program focuses on development in four major areas: cognitive skills, learning skills, research and reference skills, and communication skills. The curriculum is interdisciplinary.
Eligibility for gifted services in the state of Georgia requires a collection of student data in the areas of mental ability, achievement, creativity, and motivation. A unique feature of our gifted resource center is a focus on critical thinking, creativity, and problem solving through integrated units of study that give particular focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics enhanced by the arts (STEAM). In addition to units of study, activities are provided that target each student's area(s) of giftedness. Students develop individual and group projects that are interest-driven or extensions of classroom curriculum. Discovery students are encouraged to develop individual talents and to become self-directed lifelong learners.
Gifted Clusters - If an elementary student is scheduled with a classroom teacher who has completed training in gifted education (received a gifted endorsement), the teacher will provide gifted cluster group services. This will typically be in the areas of reading and mathematics, but could be in language arts, science or social studies depending on the subjects taught by the teacher. Cluster groups are comprised of gifted and advanced students who are grouped together in a class. Activities and lessons are differentiated to provide additional challenge for students within the cluster. This additional service complements the enrichment program provided at the Discovery Center.
Gifted services in middle school are provided through the advanced content model. This means that students are scheduled for classes for which the curriculum is modified for an advanced learner. If a teacher with the appropriate training is available, courses are offered in all core content areas through honors courses. Otherwise, an advanced course is offered. In mathematics, students accelerate curriculum so sixth, seventh, and eighth grade math is completed in two years and the first high school course, Honors Algebra I, is taken in the eighth grade. In English Language Arts, the first high school course, Honors 9th English Lit/Comp, is taken in the eighth grade. Placement in advanced content courses is based on a student’s need for acceleration or increased depth and rigor in a particular content area. Parents will receive communication of the recommended course placements and areas of continuation of gifted services each year.
Habersham County Schools offers advanced content courses in all core content areas in high school. Honors courses are offered in all core content courses. The first advanced placement course (AP) is offered in the ninth grade (AP Human Geography). This is a wonderful opportunity for students to engage in their first AP course experience. AP course offerings increase as students move through high school to include the AP Capstone Diploma Program, an innovative combination of classes – AP Seminar and AP Research – through which students develop skills in research, analysis, evidence-based arguments, collaboration, writing, and presenting. Students may apply for the AP Capstone Program during their sophomore year.
Dual enrollment (DE) courses provide an additional opportunity for students to earn college credits while still in high school. Deciding between an AP or dual enrollment course can be confusing. Students should check college credit policies for both AP courses and dual enrollment courses and the freshman class profile for the colleges and universities of interest in planning their high school course selections. It is also helpful to speak with a guidance counselor, college planning coordinator, and the dual enrollment coordinator at the high school. This link from the University of Georgia that discusses the pros and cons of AP and DE may also be helpful: https://www.admissions.uga.edu/blog/apib-vs-de-courses-pros-and-cons/
Georgia Virtual School provides online courses that may not be available through typical courses offerings. For example, students have taken courses such as AP Psychology, AP Computer Science Principles, Japanese, Latin, and German.