Advanced Academic Programs

Our Advanced Academic Resource Teacher

Washington Mill offers students all levels of Advanced Academic Programs (AAP), including full-time Level IV options for grades 3-6. Here is a description of each of the levels of service:

Level I: Critical and Creative Thinking Lessons, Grades K-6

The first level is provided to all students in kindergarten through grade six and consists of model lessons that are designed to teach critical and creative thinking skills. The lessons are modeled in all classrooms by Advanced Academic Resource Teacher (AART) and the thinking strategies are then used throughout the year by classroom and other teachers who work with students. Student responses to these lessons are used as part of the identification process for Levels II-IV. Parents may also practice these strategies during family conversations and activities.

Level II, Differentiated Lessons in Areas of Academic Strength, Grades K-6

The AART collaborates with classroom teachers to provide additional challenges and resources within the general education program. Screening for this level of service is ongoing throughout the school year. 

Level III, Part-Time Advanced Academic Programs, Grades 3-6

Students identified by a local school screening committee for advanced academic services (Level III) are challenged through models and strategies designed to extend and enrich the Program of Studies (POS) in the four core subject areas. Students receive some direct instruction from the Advanced Academic Resource Teacher. 

Level IV, Full-time Program, Grades 3-6

Students found eligible for placement in a full-time Advanced Academic Program (Level IV) through a central selection process receive a highly challenging instructional program. 

The full-time advanced academic program is differentiated in depth, breadth, and pace of instruction. It provides an appropriate level of challenge for highly gifted learners with a strong emphasis on critical and creative thinking, and problem-solving.

The mathematics curriculum is accelerated by one grade level and readings and resources that are used in other subject areas are also presented at advanced levels. 

Washington Mill Local Level IV program - How the Local Level IV differs from the Level IV Center

Washington Mill's Local Level IV program provides an important option for advanced learners who need the challenge of a full-time AAP center curriculum and do not want to leave their local school.

The Level IV Center for Washington Mill is located at Riverside ES.

Teachers in both settings are trained in gifted education and teach the same advanced academic curriculum to students who are ready for a highly challenging instructional program in the four core subject areas.

The main difference is in the make-up of the class. All of the students in full-time, center-based classes at Riverside have been identified as center-eligible by a central selection committee and will be coming from several neighborhood schools to comprise the center class. In a Local Level IV classroom at Washington Mill, the students are a mix of students who are center-eligible and high achieving students who are capable of working at advanced levels, all enrolled in the local school. 


In the spring, the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT) is administered to all FCPS first grade students. In the fall, the CogAT-Custom Form is administered to all FCPS second grade students. During the fall testing cycle, the NNAT and/or Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) may be administered to students in grades 3-6 who do not have an ability test score.

An initial second-grade screening pool for AAP Level IV is established using the test results from first and second-grade testing. Parents of students in the second-grade screening pool receive a letter notifying them that their child will be screened for the full-time advanced academic program. 

Referrals for Full-Time AAP Level IV

Students who are not in the second grade pool will not receive notification. The benchmark score used to create the second-grade initial pool will be published on the FCPS AAP website by mid-January.

Parents or guardians of students not in the second grade screening pool may initiate the full-time AAP Level IV screening process by completing and submitting an Advanced Academic Programs Level IV Referral Form to the local school principal. Forms are available on the FCPS website and in the Parent Information Packet available at the local school.

Parent Resources

Looking for more resources? Check out these great articles on developing critical and creative thinking, children's literature, enrichment opportunities and more! (…)

Parent AAP Presentation Material:

AAP Overview Video  
AAP Screening and Identification Video 

AAP Parent Referral FORMS:

Full-Time (Level IV) Referral Form

Parent/Guardian Questionnaire

Please don’t feel like this has to be done ASAP.  I am just trying to provide parents with this info in places they’re likely to look.  Right now, they have to do some digging on FCPS’ site.  Thanks very much!  Let me know if you have any questions.

I appreciate you!

Jennifer Morris 

Young Scholars

Washington Mill ES also participates in the Young Scholars initiative, which is designed to find and nurture advanced academic potential in students from historically underrepresented populations. Curricular interventions and support are provided through the collaboration of the classroom teacher and the Advanced Academic Resource Teacher.  As students progress through elementary and secondary school, continuing support and opportunities for accessing rigorous coursework are provided by school staff.